C-type lectins (CTLs) are proteins that contain one or more carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRDs) that require calcium for sugar binding and share high degree of sequence homology and tertiary structure. CTLs whose CRD contain EPN (Glu-Pro-Asn) tripeptide motifs have potential to bind mannose (Man), N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc), glucose (Glc) and l-fucose (Fuc), whereas those with QPD (Glu-Pro-Asp) tripeptide motifs bind galactose (Gal) and N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc). We report here for the first time a direct comparison of monosaccharide (and some di- and trisaccharides)-binding characteristics of 11 EPX-containing (X = N, S or D) immune-related CTLs using a competition assay and an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and neoglycoproteins as ligand. The EPX CTLs studied are DC-SIGN, L-SIGN, mSIGNR1, human and mouse mannose receptors, Langerin, BDCA-2, DCIR, dectin-2, MCL and MINCLE. We found that: (1) they all bound Man and Fuc; (2) binding of Glc and GlcNAc varied considerably among these lectins, but was always less than Man and Fuc; (3) in general, Gal and GalNAc were not bound. However, dectin-2, DCIR and MINCLE showed ability to bind Gal/GalNAc; (4) DC-SIGN, L-SIGN, mSIGNR1 and Langerin showed enhanced binding of Man2Man over Man, whereas all others showed no enhancement; (5) DC-SIGN bound Lex trisaccharide structure, which has terminal Gal and Fuc residues, more avidly than Fuc, whereas L-SIGN, mSIGNR1, DCIR and MINCLE bound Lex less avidly than Fuc. BDCA-2, dectin-2, Langerin, MCL and mannose receptor did not bind Lex at all.
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