Siglecs and their roles in the immune system

Paul R. Crocker, James C. Paulson, Ajit Varki

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    1303 Citations (Scopus)


    Cell surfaces in the immune system are richly equipped with a complex mixture of glycans, which can be recognized by diverse glycan-binding proteins. The Siglecs are a family of sialic-acid-binding immunoglobulin-like lectins that are thought to promote cell-cell interactions and regulate the functions of cells in the innate and adaptive immune systems through glycan recognition. In this Review, we describe recent studies on signalling mechanisms and discuss the potential role of Siglecs in triggering endocytosis and in pathogen recognition. Finally, we discuss the postulated functions of the recently discovered CD33-related Siglecs and consider the factors that seem to be driving their rapid evolution.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)255-266
    Number of pages12
    JournalNature Reviews Immunology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2007


    • Animals
    • Antigens, CD
    • Antigens, Differentiation, Myelomonocytic
    • Cell Communication
    • Endocytosis
    • Humans
    • Lectins
    • Lymphocyte Activation
    • Lymphocytes
    • N-Acetylneuraminic Acid
    • Protein Structure, Tertiary
    • Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 2
    • Sialic Acid Binding Ig-like Lectin 3
    • Sialic Acid Binding Immunoglobulin-like Lectins
    • Signal Transduction


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