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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Differential expression of the murine mannose-binding lectins A and C in lymphoid and nonlymphoid organs and tissues.

Mannose-binding lectin (MBL), a member of the collectin family, binds to carbohydrate structures on the surfaces of micro-organisms and may serve as a recognition molecule of the lectin pathway of complement activation. In rodents two forms, MBL-A and MBL-C, were described and shown to be products of two related, but uncoupled, genes. The liver is the main source of MBL biosynthesis. For rat MBL-A, expression has also been described in the kidney. Here we report that the two forms of murine MBL are differentially expressed in a number of nonhepatic tissues. Real-time RT-PCR revealed that the liver is the major site of expression for both MBL genes. Lower copy numbers were found in kidney, brain, spleen, and muscle. In testis, only the MBL-A gene is expressed, whereas MBL-C is exclusively expressed in small intestine. Using in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry, we demonstrate that both MBLs are synthesized by hepatocytes and show MBL expression in cells of the monocyte/macrophage lineage. In the kidney MBL-A, but not MBL-C, was found to be synthesized. Vice versa, only MBL-C biosynthesis was detected in endothelial cells of the small intestine. The latter finding may support the view that MBL-C, as part of the innate immune system, may be a counterpart of secretory IgA of the acquired immune system in preventing, for example, microbial invasion and colonization. Our findings demonstrate that MBL-A and MBL-C are differentially expressed, implying distinct biological roles for both recognition molecules of the murine lectin pathway of complement.[1]


  1. Differential expression of the murine mannose-binding lectins A and C in lymphoid and nonlymphoid organs and tissues. Wagner, S., Lynch, N.J., Walter, W., Schwaeble, W.J., Loos, M. J. Immunol. (2003) [Pubmed]
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