MICROBIOLOGY: Dendritic Cells, Part 2

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Science  29 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5722, pp. 605b
DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5722.605b

The first step to infection is capture by a cell-surface receptor. A broad range of viruses, bacteria, and other human pathogens initiate infection by attaching to dendritic cell-specific ICAM-3 grabbing nonintegrin (DC-SIGN), a C-type lectin encoded by the gene CD209. The usual role of DC-SIGN is to mediate contact between dendritic cells and T cells and to promote the migration of dendritic cells through tissues.

Sakuntabhai et al. have explored the effects of genetic variation in CD209 on the specific disease syndromes caused by dengue virus. They recruited school-aged children with classical incapacitating dengue fever from three hospitals in Thailand. Screening CD209 for genetic polymorphisms revealed that a dominant protective effect against dengue fever (without leakage of plasma), but not dengue hemorrhagic fever, lay in a G allele in the promoter region of CD209. This polymorphism influences the binding of the transcription factor Sp1 and may ultimately affect disease progression as well as the distinct pathophysiologies of dengue fever and dengue hemorrhagic fever. — CA

Nat. Genet. 10.1038/ng1550 (2005).

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