Molecular basis of the differences in binding properties of the highly related C-type lectins DC-SIGN and L-SIGN to Lewis X trisaccharide and Schistosoma mansoni egg antigens

Ellis Van Liempt, Anne Imberty, Christine M C Bank, Sandra J Van Vliet, Yvette Van Kooyk, Teunis B H Geijtenbeek, Irma Van Die

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The dendritic cell-specific C-type lectin DC-SIGN functions as a pathogen receptor that recognizes Schistosoma mansoni egg antigens through its major glycan epitope Galbeta1,4(Fucalpha1,3)GlcNAc (Lex). Here we report that L-SIGN, a highly related homologue of DC-SIGN found on liver sinusoidal endothelial cells, binds to S. mansoni egg antigens but not to the Lex epitope. L-SIGN does bind the Lewis antigens Lea, Leb, and Ley, similar as DC-SIGN. A specific mutation in the carbohydrate recognition domain of DC-SIGN (V351G) abrogates binding to all Lewis antigens. In L-SIGN Ser363 is present at the corresponding position of Val351 in DC-SIGN. Replacement of this Ser into Val resulted in a "gain of function" L-SIGN mutant that binds to Lex, and shows increased binding to the other Lewis antigens. These data indicate that Val351 is important for the fucose specificity of DC-SIGN. Molecular modeling and docking of the different Lewis antigens in the carbohydrate recognition domains of L-SIGN, DC-SIGN, and their mutant forms, demonstrate that Val351 in DC-SIGN creates a hydrophobic pocket that strongly interacts with the Fucalpha1,3/4-GlcNAc moiety of the Lewis antigens. The equivalent amino acid residue Ser363 in L-SIGN creates a hydrophilic pocket that prevents interaction with Fucalpha1,3-GlcNAc in Lex but supports interactions with the Fucalpha1,4-GlcNAc moiety in Lea and Leb antigens. These data demonstrate for the first time that DC-SIGN and L-SIGN differ in their carbohydrate binding profiles and will contribute to our understanding of the functional roles of these C-type lectin receptors, both in recognition of pathogen and self-glycan antigens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33161-7
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number32
Publication statusPublished - 6 Aug 2004

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