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C-type lectin receptors in tuberculosis: what we know


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), the etiologic agent of tuberculosis (TB), is recognized by a number of pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs), either soluble or predominantly expressed on the surface of various cells of innate and adaptive immunity. C-type lectin receptors (CTLRs) are a class of PRRs which can recognize a variety of endogenous and exogenous ligands, thereby playing a crucial role in immunity, as well as in maintaining homeostasis. Mtb surface ligands, including mannose-capped lipoarabinomannan and cord factor, are important immune modulators which recently have been found to be directly recognized by several CTLRs. Receptor ligation is followed by cellular activation, mainly via nuclear factor κB mediated by a series of adaptors with subsequent expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Mtb recognition by CTLRs and their cross talk with other PRRs on immune cells is of key importance for the better understanding of the Mtb-induced complexity of the host immune responses. Epidemiological studies have shown that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in several PRRs, as well as the adaptors in their signaling cascades, are directly involved in the susceptibility for developing disease and the disease outcome. In addition, an increasing number of CTLRs have been studied for their functional effects in the pathogenesis of TB. This review summarizes current knowledge regarding the various roles played by different CTLRs in TB, as well as the role of their SNPs associated with disease susceptibility and outcome in different human populations.

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This study was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) International Graduate School (IRTG) GRK1673 and by the Federal Ministry for Education and Science (Grant BMBF 03Z2JN22) to HS.

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Correspondence to Hortense Slevogt.

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Goyal, S., Klassert, T.E. & Slevogt, H. C-type lectin receptors in tuberculosis: what we know. Med Microbiol Immunol 205, 513–535 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00430-016-0470-1

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  • PRRs
  • C-type lectin receptors
  • Cell signaling pathways
  • Tuberculosis
  • Single nucleotide polymorphisms