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      Mannose‐binding lectin in innate immunity: past, present and future

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          Abstract

          The human collectin, mannose‐binding lectin (MBL), is an important protein of the humoral innate immune system. With multiple carbohydrate‐recognition domains, it is able to bind to sugar groups displayed on the surfaces of a wide range of microorganisms and thereby provide first‐line defence. Importantly, it also activates the complement system through a distinctive third pathway, independent of both antibody and the C1 complex. Three single point mutations in exon 1 of the expressed human MBL‐2 gene appear to impair the generation of functional oligomers. Such deficiencies of functional protein are common in certain populations, e.g. in sub‐Saharan Africa, but virtually absent in others, e.g. indigenous Australians. MBL disease association studies have been a fruitful area of research and implicate a role for MBL in infective, inflammatory and autoimmune disease processes. Overall, there appears to be a genetic balance in which individuals generally benefit from high levels of the protein. However, in certain situations, reduced levels of circulating MBL may be beneficial to the host and this may explain the persistence of the deleterious gene polymorphisms in many population groups.

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          Collections and ficolins: humoral lectins of the innate immune defense.

          Collectins and ficolins, present in plasma and on mucosal surfaces, are humoral molecules of the innate immune systems, which recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns. The human collectins, mannan-binding lectin (MBL) and surfactant protein A and D (SP-A and SP-D), are oligomeric proteins composed of carbohydrate-recognition domains (CRDs) attached to collagenous regions and are thus structurally similar to the ficolins, L-ficolin, M-ficolin, and H-ficolin. However, they make use of different CRD structures: C-type lectin domains for the collectins and fibrinogen-like domains for the ficolins. Upon recognition of the infectious agent, MBL and the ficolins initiate the lectin pathway of complement activation through attached serine proteases (MASPs), whereas SP-A and SP-D rely on other effector mechanisms: direct opsonization, neutralization, and agglutination. This limits the infection and concurrently orchestrates the subsequent adaptive immune response. Deficiencies of the proteins may predispose to infections or other complications, e.g., reperfusion injuries or autoimmune diseases. Structure, function, clinical implications, and phylogeny are reviewed.
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            A second serine protease associated with mannan-binding lectin that activates complement.

            The complement system comprises a complex array of enzymes and non-enzymatic proteins that is essential for the operation of the innate as well as the adaptive immune defence. The complement system can be activated in three ways: by the classical pathway which is initiated by antibody-antigen complexes, by the alternative pathway initiated by certain structures on microbial surfaces, and by an antibody-independent pathway that is initiated by the binding of mannan-binding lectin (MBL; first described as mannan-binding protein) to carbohydrates. MBL is structurally related to the complement C1 subcomponent, C1q, and seems to activate the complement system through an associated serine protease known as MASP (ref. 4) or p100 (ref. 5), which is similar to C1r and C1s of the classical pathway. MBL binds to specific carbohydrate structures found on the surface of a range of microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, parasitic protozoa and viruses, and exhibits antibacterial activity through killing mediated by the terminal, lytic complement components or by promoting phagocytosis. The level of MBL in plasma is genetically determined, and deficiency is associated with frequent infections in childhood, and possibly also in adults (for review, see ref. 6). We have now identified a new MBL-associated serine protease (MASP-2) which shows a striking homology with the previously reported MASP (MASP-1) and the two C1q-associated serine proteases C1r and C1s. Thus complement activation through MBL, like the classical pathway, involves two serine proteases and may antedate the development of the specific immune system of vertebrates.
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              Interplay between promoter and structural gene variants control basal serum level of mannan-binding protein.

              Mannan-binding protein (MBP) is a serum lectin participating in the innate immune defense by opsonizing various microorganisms for phagocytosis. Opsonization defect due to MBP deficiency and low levels of the protein can partially be explained by the dominant effect of three different mutations in the structural part of the MBP gene. Large interracial differences in the frequencies of these variants have previously been described, but they cannot explain the large interindividual variation in MBP serum concentration. We describe the existence of additional polymorphisms at positions -550 (H/L variants) and -221 (X/Y variants) in the promoter region of the gene. The promoter haplotypes, HY, LY, and LX, show associations with high, medium, and low levels of MBP serum concentrations, respectively. Moreover, this represents a genetic system with additive effect of haplotypes in which a low producing LX haplotype in the homozygous state down-regulates the basal expression of MBP as effectively as a single structural variant. Populations of pure Eskimos, Caucasoids, and black Africans show marked interethnic differences in the frequencies of promoter haplotypes regulating the expression of the normal peptide, with the HY haplotype frequency varying from 0.83 in Eskimos via 0.33 in Caucasoids to 0.08 in Africans. The LY haplotype frequency varies from 0.04 in Eskimos via 0.39 in Caucasoids to 0.23 in Africans. The LX haplotype frequency varies from 0.03 in Eskimos via 0.24 in Caucasoids to 0.23 in Africans. The effect of the promoter variants can explain almost all of the ethnic differences not explainable by the structural variants alone.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Tissue Antigens
                Tissue Antigens
                10.1111/(ISSN)1399-0039
                TAN
                Tissue Antigens
                Blackwell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                0001-2815
                1399-0039
                01 September 2006
                September 2006
                : 68
                : 3 ( doiID: 10.1111/tan.2006.68.issue-3 )
                : 193-209
                Affiliations
                [ 1 ]Infectious Diseases and Microbiology Unit, Institute of Child Health, UCL, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK
                [ 2 ]Immunobiology Unit, Institute of Child Health, UCL, 30 Guilford Street, London WC1N 1EH, UK
                Author notes
                [* ]Professor Malcolm W. Turner
Immunobiology Unit
Institute of Child Health
UCL
30 Guilford Street
London WC1N 1EH
UK
Tel: 0207 9052215
Fax: 0207 8138494
e‐mail: m.turner@ 123456ich.ucl.ac.uk
                Article
                TAN649
                10.1111/j.1399-0039.2006.00649.x
                7169806
                16948640
                2006 Blackwell Munksgaard

                This article is being made freely available through PubMed Central as part of the COVID-19 public health emergency response. It can be used for unrestricted research re-use and analysis in any form or by any means with acknowledgement of the original source, for the duration of the public health emergency.

                Page count
                links-crossref: 0, links-pubmed: 0, Figures: 6, Tables: 2, Equations: 0, References: 153, Pages: 17, Words: 0
                Product
                Categories
                Review Article
                Custom metadata
                2.0
                September 2006
                Converter:WILEY_ML3GV2_TO_JATSPMC version:5.8.0 mode:remove_FC converted:15.04.2020

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