Dectin-1 is a major ß-glucan receptor on macrophages

Gordon D Brown, Philip R Taylor, Delyth M Reid, Janet A Willment, David L Williams, Luisa Martinez-Pomares, Simon Y C Wong, Siamon Gordon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

854 Citations (Scopus)


Zymosan is a beta-glucan- and mannan-rich particle that is widely used as a cellular activator for examining the numerous responses effected by phagocytes. The macrophage mannose receptor (MR) and complement receptor 3 (CR3) have historically been considered the major macrophage lectins involved in the nonopsonic recognition of these yeast-derived particles. Using specific carbohydrate inhibitors, we show that a beta-glucan receptor, but not the MR, is a predominant receptor involved in this process. Furthermore, nonopsonic zymosan binding was unaffected by genetic CD11b deficiency or a blocking monoclonal antibody (mAb) against CR3, demonstrating that CR3 was not the beta-glucan receptor mediating this activity. To address the role of the recently described beta-glucan receptor, Dectin-1, we generated a novel anti-Dectin-1 mAb, 2A11. Using this m-Ab, we show here that Dectin-1 was almost exclusively responsible for the beta-glucan-dependent, nonopsonic recognition of zymosan by primary macrophages. These findings define Dectin-1 as the leukocyte beta-glucan receptor, first described over 50 years ago, and resolves the long-standing controversy regarding the identity of this important molecule. Furthermore, these results identify Dectin-1 as a new target for examining the immunomodulatory properties of beta-glucans for therapeutic drug design.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-412
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002


  • Animals
  • Glucans
  • Macrophage-1 Antigen
  • Macrophages
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Zymosan


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