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1.  Differential utilization of CARD9 by Dectin-1 in macrophages and dendritic cells12 
The pattern recognition receptors Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) and Dectin-1 play key roles in coordinating the responses of macrophages and dendritic cells (DC) to fungi. Induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines is instructed by signals from both TLR2 and Dectin-1. A recent report identified a role for CARD9 in innate anti-fungal responses, demonstrating CARD9-Bcl10-mediated activation of NF-κB and pro-inflammatory cytokine induction in murine bone marrow-derived DC (bmDC) stimulated via Dectin-1. We now report that Dectin-1-CARD9 signals fail to activate NF-κB and drive TNF-α induction in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (bmM). However, priming of bmM with GM-CSF or IFN-γ permits Dectin-1-CARD9-mediated TNF-α induction. Analysis of other macrophage/DC populations revealed further variation in the ability of Dectin-1-CARD9 signaling to drive TNF-α production. Resident peritoneal cells and alveolar macrophages produce TNF-α upon Dectin-1 ligation, while thioglycollate-elicited peritoneal macrophages and Flt3L-derived DC do not. We present data demonstrating that CARD9 is recruited to phagosomes via its CARD domain where it enhances TLR-induced cytokine production even in cells in which Dectin-1 is insufficient to drive cytokine production. In such cells, Dectin-1, CARD9 and Bcl10 levels are not limiting, and data indicate that these cells express additional factors that restrict Dectin-1-CARD9 signaling for TNF-α induction.
PMCID: PMC2718573  PMID: 19124758
Dendritic cells; Monocytes/Macrophages; Fungal infection; Phagocytosis; Signal transduction
2.  Dectin-1 Stimulation Selectively Reinforces LPS-driven IgG1 Production by Mouse B Cells 
Immune Network  2013;13(5):205-212.
Dectin-1, which specifically recognizes β-glucan of fungal cell walls, is a non-Toll-like receptor (TLR) pattern recognition receptor and a representative of C-type lectin receptors (CLRs). The importance of Dectin-1 in innate immune cells, such as dendritic cells and macrophages, has previously been well studied. However, the function of Dectin-1 in B cells is very poorly understood. To determine the role of Dectin-1 in B cell activation, we first investigated whether mouse B cells express Dectin-1 and then assessed the effect of Dectin-1 stimulation on B cell proliferation and antibody production. Mouse B cells express mRNAs encoding CLRs, including Dectin-1, and surface Dectin-1 was expressed in B cells of C57BL/6 rather than BALB/c strain. Dectin-1 agonists, heat-killed Candida albicans (HKCA) and heat-killed Saccharomyces cerevisiae (HKSC), alone induced B cell proliferation but not antibody production. Interestingly, HKSC, HKCA, and depleted zymosan (a selective Dectin-1 agonist) selectively enhanced LPS-driven IgG1 production. Taken together, these results suggest that, during fungal infection, β-glucan-stimulated Dectin-1 may cooperate with TLR4 to specifically enhance IgG1 production by mouse B cells.
PMCID: PMC3817302  PMID: 24198746
Dectin-1; B cell; IgG1; C-type lectin receptor; Fungal immunity
3.  Transitions in Oral and Intestinal Microflora Composition and Innate Immune Receptor-Dependent Stimulation during Mouse Development▿ †  
Infection and Immunity  2009;78(2):639-650.
Commensal bacteria possess immunostimulatory activities that can modulate host responses to affect development and homeostasis in the intestine. However, how different populations of resident bacteria stimulate the immune system remains largely unknown. We characterized here the ability of intestinal and oral microflora to stimulate individual pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) in bone marrow-derived macrophages and mesothelial cells. The intestinal but not oral microflora elicited age- and cell type-specific immunostimulation. The immunostimulatory activity of the intestinal microflora varied among individual mice but was largely mediated via Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) during breast-feeding, whereas it became TLR4 independent after weaning. This transition was associated with a change from a microflora rich in TLR4-stimulatory proteobacteria to one dominated by Bacteroidales and/or Clostridiales that poorly stimulate TLR4. The major stimulatory activity of the intestinal microflora was still intact in NOD1-, NOD2-, TLR2-, TLR4-, TLR5-, TLR9-, TLR11-, ASC-, or RICK-deficient cells but still relied on the adaptor MyD88. These studies demonstrate a transition in the intestinal microflora accompanied by a dynamic change of its ability to stimulate different PRRs which control intestinal homeostasis.
PMCID: PMC2812188  PMID: 19933833
4.  Dectin-1 Is Required for Resistance to Coccidioidomycosis in Mice 
mBio  2013;4(1):e00597-12.
We assessed the role of Dectin-1 in the immune response to the pathogenic fungus Coccidioides, both in vitro and in vivo, using mice with a targeted mutation in Clec7a. Elicited peritoneal macrophages responded to formalin-killed spherules (FKS) and alkali-treated FKS by secreting proinflammatory cytokines in a Dectin-1- and β-glucan-dependent manner. The responses of bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDC) to the same stimulants were more complex; interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) secretion was independent of Dectin-1, while IL-6, IL-10, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) were largely but not entirely dependent on Dectin-1. After intranasal infection, Dectin-1−/− mice had lower concentrations of IL-12p70, gamma interferon (IFN-γ), IL-1β, and the Th17 cytokines IL-22, IL-23, and 17A in the lung lavage fluid, which may explain why they were significantly more susceptible to pulmonary coccidioidomycosis two weeks after infection. The Dectin-1 mutation was even more deleterious in (B6 × DBA/2)F2 mice, which are more resistant to coccidioidomycosis than B6 mice by virtue of protective genes from DBA/2, a genetically resistant strain. We also found that two susceptible strains of mice (B6 and BALB/c) expressed much less Dectin-1 in their lungs than did resistant DBA/2 mice. We conclude that Dectin-1 is necessary for resistance to Coccidioides immitis, that Dectin-1 promotes both Th1 and Th17 protective immune responses to this infection, and that there is a correlation between expression of Dectin-1 by the inflammatory infiltrate and resistance to coccidioidomycosis.
Coccidioidomycosis is a fungal infection endemic in the southwestern United States and neighboring Mexico, causing ~150,000 lung infections in people and resulting in ~17,000 hospitalizations annually in California alone. Very little is known about innate immunity to this fungus. This paper shows that Dectin-1, the primary β-glucan receptor on myeloid cells, is required for resistance to this pathogen. Dectin-1 is part of the innate immune system, and it is needed to direct the acquired immune response toward into a pathway that will lead to macrophage activation. Lungs from infected mice lacking Dectin-1 had lower concentrations of Th1 and Th17 cytokines, two cytokine pathways that are very important for acquired T cell immunity to Coccidioides spp. This is the first demonstration that Dectin-1 is required for host resistance to a dimorphic, primary pathogenic fungus.
PMCID: PMC3562125  PMID: 23386437
5.  PPARγ Controls Dectin-1 Expression Required for Host Antifungal Defense against Candida albicans 
PLoS Pathogens  2010;6(1):e1000714.
We recently showed that IL-13 or peroxisome proliferator activated receptor γ (PPARγ) ligands attenuate Candida albicans colonization of the gastrointestinal tract. Here, using a macrophage-specific Dectin-1 deficient mice model, we demonstrate that Dectin-1 is essential to control fungal gastrointestinal infection by PPARγ ligands. We also show that the phagocytosis of yeast and the release of reactive oxygen intermediates in response to Candida albicans challenge are impaired in macrophages from Dectin-1 deficient mice treated with PPARγ ligands or IL-13. Although the Mannose Receptor is not sufficient to trigger antifungal functions during the alternative activation of macrophages, our data establish the involvement of the Mannose Receptor in the initial recognition of non-opsonized Candida albicans by macrophages. We also demonstrate for the first time that the modulation of Dectin-1 expression by IL-13 involves the PPARγ signaling pathway. These findings are consistent with a crucial role for PPARγ in the alternative activation of macrophages by Th2 cytokines. Altogether these data suggest that PPARγ ligands may be of therapeutic value in esophageal and gastrointestinal candidiasis in patients severely immunocompromised or with metabolic diseases in whom the prevalence of candidiasis is considerable.
Author Summary
Since the early 1980s, Candida albicans has emerged as major cause of human disease, especially among immunocompromised individuals and those with metabolic dysfunction. The main host defense mechanisms against this yeast are engulfment and the production of reactive oxygen molecules by macrophages through Dectin-1 and the Mannose Receptor, two macrophage receptors for Candida albicans cell wall sugars. However, the contribution of these two receptors remains unclear. In our animal experiments, the lack of Dectin-1 in macrophages renders the animals more susceptible to gastrointestinal infection with Candida albicans, demonstrating the essential role of Dectin-1 in antifungal defense. In addition, our experiments established that the interaction between Dectin-1 and Mannose Receptor is important to orchestrate the host antifungal defense. Thus, Candida albicans clearance would be improved by Dectin-1 and Mannose Receptor up-regulation. Interestingly, we had established that the expression of these two receptors was increased by IL-13 through the activation of the nuclear receptor PPARγ, suggesting that PPARγ could be a therapeutic target to eliminate fungal infection. This paper, which highlights a new area of application of PPARγ ligands in infectious diseases, hence heralds the emergence of a new therapeutic strategy against fungal infection in severely immunocompromised patients or those with metabolic diseases.
PMCID: PMC2795865  PMID: 20062524
6.  Genetic Association Analysis of the Functional c.714T>G Polymorphism and Mucosal Expression of Dectin-1 in Inflammatory Bowel Disease 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(11):e7818.
Dectin-1 is a pattern recognition receptor (PRR) expressed by myeloid cells that specifically recognizes β-1,3 glucan, a polysaccharide and major component of the fungal cell wall. Upon activation, dectin-1 signaling converges, similar to NOD2, on the adaptor molecule CARD9 which is associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). An early stop codon polymorphism (c.714T>G) in DECTIN-1 results in a loss-of-function (p.Y238X) and impaired cytokine responses, including TNF-α, interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-17 upon in vitro stimulation with Candida albicans or β-glucan. The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that the DECTIN-1 c.714T>G (p.Y238X) polymorphism is associated with lower disease susceptibility or severity in IBD and to investigate the level of dectin-1 expression in inflamed and non-inflamed colon tissue of IBD patients.
Paraffin embedded tissue samples from non-inflamed and inflamed colon of IBD patients and from diverticulitis patients were immunohistochemically stained for dectin-1 and related to CD68 macrophage staining. Genomic DNA of IBD patients (778 patients with Crohn's disease and 759 patients with ulcerative colitis) and healthy controls (n = 772) was genotyped for the c.714T>G polymorphism and genotype-phenotype interactions were investigated.
Principal Findings
Increased expression of dectin-1 was observed in actively inflamed colon tissue, as compared to non-inflamed tissue of the same patients. Also an increase in dectin-1 expression was apparent in diverticulitis tissue. No statistically significant difference in DECTIN-1 c.714T>G allele frequencies was observed between IBD patients and healthy controls. Furthermore, no differences in clinical characteristics could be observed related to DECTIN-1 genotype, neither alone, nor stratified for NOD2 genotype.
Our data demonstrate that dectin-1 expression is elevated on macrophages, neutrophils, and other immune cells involved in the inflammatory reaction in IBD. The DECTIN-1 c.714T>G polymorphism however, is not a major susceptibility factor for developing IBD.
PMCID: PMC2771910  PMID: 19915667
7.  Dectin-1 and NOD2 mediate cathepsin activation in zymosan-induced arthritis in mice 
Inflammation Research  2011;60(7):705-714.
Activation of pattern recognition receptors (PRR) may contribute to arthritis. Here, we elucidated the role of NOD2, a genetic cause of inflammatory arthritis, and several other PRR in a murine model of inflammatory arthritis.
The roles of CR3, TLR2, MyD88, NOD1, NOD2, Dectin-1 and Dectin-2 were tested in vivo in arthritis elicited by intra-articular injections of zymosan, the fungal cell wall components curdlan, laminarin and mannan, and the bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan.
Dectin-1, and to a lesser extent Dectin-2, contributed to arthritis. TLR2, MyD88 and CR3 played non-essential roles. Observations based on injection of curdlan, laminarin or mannan supported the dominant role of the Dectin-1 pathway in the joint. We demonstrated differential roles for NOD1 and NOD2 and identified NOD2 as a novel and essential mediator of zymosan-induced arthritis.
Together, Dectin-1 and NOD2 are critical, sentinel receptors in the arthritogenic effects of zymosan. Our data identify a novel role for NOD2 during inflammatory responses within joints.
PMCID: PMC3352590  PMID: 21424514
Arthritis models; NOD2; In vivo inflammation; Innate immunity; Zymosan
8.  Syk kinase is required for collaborative cytokine production induced through Dectin-1 and Toll-like receptors 
European Journal of Immunology  2008;38(2):500-506.
Recognition of microbial components by germ-line encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRR) initiates immune responses to infectious agents. We and others have proposed that pairs or sets of PRR mediate host immunity. One such pair comprises the fungal β-glucan receptor, Dectin-1, which collaborates through an undefined mechanism with Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) to induce optimal cytokine responses in macrophages. We show here that Dectin-1 signaling through the spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) pathway is required for this collaboration, which can also occur with TLR4, 5, 7 and 9. Deficiency of either Syk or the TLR adaptor MyD88 abolished collaborative responses, which include TNF, MIP-1α and MIP-2 production, and which are comparable to the previously described synergy between TLR2 and TLR4. Collaboration of the Syk and TLR/MyD88 pathways results in sustained degradation of the inhibitor of kB (IkB), enhancing NFkB nuclear translocation. These findings establish the first example of Syk- and MyD88-coupled PRR collaboration, further supporting the concept that paired receptors collaborate to control infectious agents.
PMCID: PMC2430329  PMID: 18200499
C-type lectin; Innate immunity; Macrophage; Syk; TLR
9.  Syk kinase is required for collaborative cytokine production induced through Dectin-1 and Toll-like receptors 
European journal of immunology  2008;38(2):500-506.
Recognition of microbial components by germ-line encoded pattern recognition receptors (PRR) initiates immune responses to infectious agents. We and others have proposed that pairs or sets of PRR mediate host immunity. One such pair comprises the fungal β-glucan receptor, Dectin-1, which collaborates through an undefined mechanism with Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2) to induce optimal cytokine responses in macrophages. We show here that Dectin-1 signaling through the spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) pathway is required for this collaboration, which can also occur with TLR4, 5, 7 and 9. Deficiency of either Syk or the TLR adaptor MyD88 abolished collaborative responses, which include TNF, MIP-1α and MIP-2 production, and which are comparable to the previously described synergy between TLR2 and TLR4. Collaboration of the Syk and TLR/MyD88 pathways results in sustained degradation of the inhibitor of kB (IkB), enhancing NFkB nuclear translocation. These findings establish the first example of Syk- and MyD88-coupled PRR collaboration, further supporting the concept that paired receptors collaborate to control infectious agents.
PMCID: PMC2430329  PMID: 18200499
C-type lectin; Innate immunity; Macrophage; Syk; TLR
10.  Functional consequences of DECTIN-1 early stop codon polymorphism Y238X in rheumatoid arthritis 
Dectin-1, a pattern recognition receptor expressed by the innate immune system, is known to be a major receptor inducing Th17-type adaptive immune responses that have been demonstrated to mediate autoimmunity. In this study, dectin-1 mRNA and protein expression, as well as the recently characterized DECTIN-1 Y238X early stop codon polymorphism, were studied in relation to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) susceptibility and severity.
Dectin-1 mRNA expression was measured in synovial tissue specimens of RA, osteoarthritis (OA), and nonrheumatic patients. Dectin-1 protein expression and localization were assessed in RA synovial tissue specimens. Macrophages from individuals with different DECTIN-1 genotypes were examined for differences in cytokine responses on dectin-1 stimulation. Furthermore, clinical parameters of inflammation and bone destruction of 262 RA patients were correlated with the presence of the DECTIN-1 Y238X polymorphism.
Evaluation of dectin-1 mRNA expression in synovial tissue biopsies revealed an increased expression in RA specimens, compared with biopsies from OA and nonrheumatic patients. Accordingly, dectin-1 protein expression in RA synovial tissue biopsies was moderate to high, especially on macrophage-like cells. Cytokine production capacity of macrophages bearing the DECTIN-1 Y238X polymorphism was demonstrated to be impaired on dectin-1 stimulation. However, the presence of the DECTIN-1 Y238X polymorphism was not associated with RA susceptibility or disease severity.
Although expression of dectin-1 was high in synovial tissue of RA patients, and reduced cytokine production was observed in macrophages of individuals bearing the DECTIN-1 Y238X polymorphism, loss of one functional allele of DECTIN-1 is not associated with either susceptibility to or severity of RA.
PMCID: PMC2875660  PMID: 20158887
11.  Potentiation of Innate Immunity by β-Glucans 
Mycobiology  2010;38(2):144-148.
β-Glucans have been known to exhibit antitumor activities by potentiating host immunity by an unknown mechanism. The C-type lectin dectin-1, a β-glucan receptor, is found on the macrophage and can recognize various β-glucans. Previously, we demonstrated the presence of β-glucan receptor, dectin-1, on the Raw 264.7 cells as well as on murine mucosal organs, such as the thymus, the lung, and the spleen. In order to investigate immunopotentiation of innate immunity by β-glucan, we stimulated a murine macrophage Raw 264.7 cell line with β-glucans from Pleurotus ostreatus, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and Laminaria digitata. Then, we analyzed cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-6 by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). In addition we analyzed gene expression patterns in β-glucan-treated Raw 264.7 cells by applying total mRNA to cDNA microarray to investigate the expression of 7,000 known genes. When stimulated with β-glucans, the macrophage cells increased TNF-α expression. When co-stimulation of the cells with β-glucan and lipopolysaccharide (LPS), a synergy effect was observed by increased TNF-α expression. In IL-6 expression, any of the β-glucans tested could not induce IL-6 expression by itself. However, when co-stimulation occurred with β-glucan and LPS, the cells showed strong synergistic effects by increased IL-6 expression. Chip analysis showed that β-glucan of P. ostreatus increased gene expressions of immunomodulating gene families such as kinases, lectin associated genes and TNF-related genes in the macrophage cell line. Induction of TNF receptor expression by FACS analysis was synergized only when co-stimulated with β-glucan and LPS, not with β-glucan alone. From these data, β-glucan increased expressions of immunomodulating genes and showed synergistic effect with LPS.
PMCID: PMC3741566  PMID: 23956643
β-Glucan; Cytokines; Laminarin; Microarray; Pleurotus ostreatus
12.  Dectin-2 sensing of house dust mite is critical for the initiation of airway inflammation 
Mucosal Immunology  2013;7(3):558-567.
How the immune system senses aeroallergens and triggers an aberrant inflammation is poorly understood. Dectin-2 is a house dust mite (HDM)-sensing pattern recognition receptor. In a 3-week mouse model of repeated intranasal HDM challenge, anti-Dectin-2 potently attenuated the characteristic allergic inflammation and airway hyper-responsiveness. Anti-Dectin-2 also prevented neutrophil influx following a single HDM challenge. Interestingly, cysteinyl leukotrienes, but not chemokine and cytokine levels were inhibited by anti-Dectin-2 in this acute model, and in ex vivo challenge of cultured alveolar macrophages with HDM. Furthermore in the single-challenge model, zileuton, an inhibitor of leukotriene production, produced a similar effect as Dectin-2 blockade. Together these data suggest alveolar macrophage sensing of HDM by Dectin-2 elicits the production of cysteinyl leukotrienes, and this axis is key for the initiation of airway inflammation to this aeroallergen. Finally, we found Dectin-2-positive infiltrating cells present in bronchial biopsies from asthmatic subjects.
PMCID: PMC3998635  PMID: 24129160
13.  Dectin-1 Regulates IL-10 Production via a MSK1/2 and CREB Dependent Pathway and Promotes the Induction of Regulatory Macrophage Markers 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e60086.
In response to infection by fungal pathogens, the innate immune system recognises specific fungal pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) via pattern recognition receptors including the C-type lectin dectin-1 and members of the Toll Like Receptor (TLR) family. Stimulation of these receptors leads to the induction of both pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. The protein kinases MSK1 and 2 are known to be important in limiting inflammatory cytokine production by macrophages in response to the TLR4 agonist LPS. In this study we show that MSKs are also activated in macrophages by the fungal derived ligand zymosan, as well as the dectin-1 specific agonists curdlan and depleted zymosan, via the ERK1/2 and p38α MAPK pathways. Furthermore, we show that MSKs regulate dectin-1 induced IL-10 production, and that this regulation is dependent on the ability of MSKs to phosphorylate the transcription factor CREB. IL-10 secreted in response to zymosan was able to promote STAT3 phosphorylation via an autocrine feedback loop. Consistent with the decreased IL-10 secretion in MSK1/2 knockout macrophages, these cells also had decreased STAT3 tyrosine phosphorylation relative to wild type controls after stimulation with zymosan. We further show that the reduction in IL-10 production in the MSK1/2 macrophages results in increased secretion of IL-12p40 in response to zymosan relative to wild type controls. The production of high levels of IL-10 but low levels of IL-12 has previously been associated with an M2b or ‘regulatory’ macrophage phenotype, which was initially described in macrophages stimulated with a combination of immune complexes and LPS. We found that zymosan, via dectin-1 activation, also leads to the expression of SphK1 and LIGHT, markers of a regulatory like phenotype in mouse macrophages. The expression of these makers was further reinforced by the high level of IL-10 secreted in response to zymosan stimulation.
PMCID: PMC3606242  PMID: 23533666
14.  Recognition and Blocking of Innate Immunity Cells by Candida albicans Chitin ▿ †  
Infection and Immunity  2011;79(5):1961-1970.
Chitin is a skeletal cell wall polysaccharide of the inner cell wall of fungal pathogens. As yet, little about its role during fungus-host immune cell interactions is known. We show here that ultrapurified chitin from Candida albicans cell walls did not stimulate cytokine production directly but blocked the recognition of C. albicans by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and murine macrophages, leading to significant reductions in cytokine production. Chitin did not affect the induction of cytokines stimulated by bacterial cells or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), indicating that blocking was not due to steric masking of specific receptors. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR4, and Mincle (the macrophage-inducible C-type lectin) were not required for interactions with chitin. Dectin-1 was required for immune blocking but did not bind chitin directly. Cytokine stimulation was significantly reduced upon stimulation of PBMCs with heat-killed chitin-deficient C. albicans cells but not with live cells. Therefore, chitin is normally not exposed to cells of the innate immune system but is capable of influencing immune recognition by blocking dectin-1-mediated engagement with fungal cell walls.
PMCID: PMC3088140  PMID: 21357722
15.  Immune Recognition of Candida albicans β-glucan by Dectin-1 
The Journal of infectious diseases  2007;196(10):1565-1571.
β(1,3)-glucans represent 40% of the cell wall of the yeast Candida albicans. The dectin-1 lectin-like receptor has shown to recognize fungal β(1,3)-glucans and induce innate immune responses. The importance of β-glucan-dectin-1 pathways for the recognition of C. albicans by human primary blood cells has not been firmly established. In this study we demonstrate that cytokine production by both human peripheral blood mononuclear cells and murine macrophages is dependent on the recognition of β-glucans by dectin-1. Heat killing of C. albicans resulted in exposure of β-glucans on the surface of the cell wall and subsequent recognition by dectin-1, whereas live yeasts stimulated monocytes mainly via recognition of cell-surface mannans. Dectin-1 induced cytokine production through the following 2 pathways: Syk-dependent production of the T-helper (Th) 2-type anti-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-10 and Toll-like receptor-Myd88-dependent stimulation of monocyte-derived proinflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor-α. In contrast, stimulation of Th1-type cytokines, such as interferon-γ, by C. albicans was independent of the recognition of β-glucans by dectin-1. In conclusion, C. albicans induces production of monocyte-derived and T cell-derived cytokines through distinct pathways dependent on or independent of dectin-1.
PMCID: PMC2655640  PMID: 18008237
16.  The Pattern Recognition Receptor Dectin-1: From Fungi to Mycobacteria 
Current drug targets  2008;9(2):123-129.
The ability of the innate immune system to quickly recognize and respond to an invading pathogen is essential for controlling the infection. For this purpose, cells of the immune system express receptors which recognize evolutionarily conserved structures expressed by various pathogens but absent from host cells. In this review we focus on the non-classical C-type lectin receptors including Dectin-1 whose role has been extensively characterized in the recognition and response to fungal pathogens. Dectin-1 is a type II transmembrane protein which binds β-1,3 and β-1,6 glucans. It is expressed on most cells of the innate immune system and has been implicated in phagocytosis as well as killing of fungi by macrophages, neutrophils and dendritic cells. The Dectin-1 cytoplasmic tail contains an immunoreceptor tyrosine based activation motif (ITAM) that signals in part through the spleen tyrosine kinase and in collaboration with Toll-like receptors. Although the main research focus has been on Dectin-1’s role as a fungal and yeast pathogen recognition receptor, more recent studies suggest that Dectin-1 may have a broader function in pathogen recognition including a role in directing a macrophage response to mycobacterial infections.
PMCID: PMC3664456  PMID: 18288963
Pattern recognition receptors; Dectin-1; signaling; mycobacteria; fungi; glucans; C-type lectin
17.  Role of Bacterial Lipopolysaccharide in Enhancing Host Immune Response to Candida albicans 
Human infections involving yeast of the genus Candida often occur in the presence of bacteria, and, as such, it is important to understand how these bacteria influence innate host immunity towards Candida. Dectin-1 is a cell receptor of macrophages for Candida albicans recognition. The aim of this study was to examine dectin-1 expression by monocytes after stimulation with bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS), followed by heat-killed C. albicans (HKC). Freshly isolated human peripheral blood monocytes (PBMCs) and human monocytes cell line (THP-1) cells expressed low levels of dectin-1. Stimulation with LPS and GM-CSF/IL-4 was found to increase dectin-1 expression in both CD14+ human PBMC and THP-1 cells. Enhanced dectin-1 expression resulted in increased phagocytosis of Candida. When THP-1 cells were challenged only with HKC, detectable levels of IL-23 were not evident. However, challenge by LPS followed by varying concentrations of HKC resulted in increased IL-23 expression by THP-1 cells in HKC dose-dependent manner. Increased expression of IL-17 by PBMC also occurred after stimulation with Candida and LPS. In conclusion, bacterial LPS induces an enhanced immune response to Candida by immune cells, and this occurs through increasing dectin-1 expression.
PMCID: PMC3563236  PMID: 23401696
18.  Differential Dependencies of Monocytes and Neutrophils on Dectin-1, Dectin-2 and Complement for the Recognition of Fungal Particles in Inflammation 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(9):e45781.
We have re-investigated the role of the complement system and the non-opsonic pattern recognition receptors dectin-1 and dectin-2 in the recognition of fungal particles by inflammatory neutrophils, monocytes and macrophages. We have used in vivo and ex vivo models to study the recognition and response of these cells: i) We confirm previous observations regarding the importance of complement to neutrophil but not monocytic responses; ii) We show that dectin-1 is important for driving inflammatory cell recruitment to fungal stimuli and that it biases the immediate inflammatory response to one that favors neutrophil over monocyte recruitment; iii) We show that dectin-2 contributes to the physical recognition of fungal particles by inflammatory monocytes/macrophages, but is also expressed on neutrophils, where we show it has the potential to contribute to cellular activation; iv) Additionally, we show that serum-opsonization has the potential to interfere with non-opsonic recognition of fungal particles by dectin-1 and dectin-2, presumably through masking of ligands. Collectively these roles are consistent with previously described roles of dectin-1 and dectin-2 in driving inflammatory and adaptive immune responses and complement in containing fungal burdens. This study emphasizes the importance of heterogeneity of receptor expression across myeloid cell subsets in protective immune responses.
PMCID: PMC3458947  PMID: 23049859
19.  Dectin-1 Mediates the Biological Effects of β-Glucans 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2003;197(9):1119-1124.
The ability of fungal-derived β-glucan particles to induce leukocyte activation and the production of inflammatory mediators, such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, is a well characterized phenomenon. Although efforts have been made to understand how these carbohydrate polymers exert their immunomodulatory effects, the receptors involved in generating these responses are unknown. Here we show that Dectin-1 mediates the production of TNF-α in response to zymosan and live fungal pathogens, an activity that occurs at the cell surface and requires the cytoplasmic tail and immunoreceptor tyrosine activation motif of Dectin-1 as well as Toll-like receptor (TLR)-2 and Myd88. This is the first demonstration that the inflammatory response to pathogens requires recognition by a specific receptor in addition to the TLRs. Furthermore, these studies implicate Dectin-1 in the production of TNF-α in response to fungi, a critical step required for the successful control of these pathogens.
PMCID: PMC2193964  PMID: 12719478
β-glucan receptor; macrophages; inflammation; tumor necrosis factor; Candida
20.  Collaborative Induction of Inflammatory Responses by Dectin-1 and Toll-like Receptor 2 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2003;197(9):1107-1117.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) mediate recognition of a wide range of microbial products including lipopolysaccharides, lipoproteins, flagellin, and bacterial DNA, and signaling through TLRs leads to the production of inflammatory mediators. In addition to TLRs, many other surface receptors have been proposed to participate in innate immunity and microbial recognition, and signaling through some of these receptors is likely to cooperate with TLR signaling in defining inflammatory responses. In this report we have examined how dectin-1, a lectin family receptor for β-glucans, collaborates with TLRs in recognizing microbes. Dectin-1, which is expressed at low levels on macrophages and high levels on dendritic cells, contains an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif–like signaling motif that is tyrosine phosphorylated upon activation. The receptor is recruited to phagosomes containing zymosan particles but not to phagosomes containing immunoglobulin G–opsonized particles. Dectin-1 expression enhances TLR-mediated activation of nuclear factor κB by β-glucan–containing particles, and in macrophages and dendritic cells dectin-1 and TLRs are synergistic in mediating production of cytokines such as interleukin 12 and tumor necrosis factor α. Additionally, dectin-1 triggers production of reactive oxygen species, an inflammatory response that is primed by TLR activation. The data demonstrate that collaborative recognition of distinct microbial components by different classes of innate immune receptors is crucial in orchestrating inflammatory responses.
PMCID: PMC2193968  PMID: 12719479
lectin; ITAM; zymosan; dendritic cell; macrophage
21.  Activation of the innate immune receptor Dectin-1 upon formation of a “phagocytic synapse” 
Nature  2011;472(7344):471-475.
Innate immune cells must be able to distinguish between direct binding to microbes and detection of components shed from the surface of microbes located at a distance. Dectin-1 is a pattern recognition receptor expressed by myeloid phagocytes (macrophages, dendritic cells and neutrophils) that detects β-glucans in fungal cell walls and triggers direct cellular anti-microbial activity, including phagocytosis and production of reactive oxygen species1, 2. In contrast to inflammatory responses stimulated upon detection of soluble ligands by other pattern recognition receptors, such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs), these responses are only useful when a cell comes into direct contact with a microbe and must not be spuriously activated by soluble stimuli. In this study we show that despite its ability to bind both soluble and particulate β-glucan polymers, Dectin-1 signalling is only activated by particulate β-glucans, which cluster the receptor in synapse-like structures from which regulatory tyrosine phosphatases CD45 and CD148 are excluded (Supplementary Figure 1). The “phagocytic synapse” now provides a model mechanism by which innate immune receptors can distinguish direct microbial contact from detection of microbes at a distance, thereby initiating direct cellular anti-microbial responses only when they are required.
PMCID: PMC3084546  PMID: 21525931
22.  A Type II Arabinogalactan from Anoectochilus formosanus for G-CSF Production in Macrophages and Leukopenia Improvement in CT26-Bearing Mice Treated with 5-Fluorouracil 
Anoectochilus formosanus is an herb well known in Asian countries. The polysaccharide isolated from A. formosanus consists of type II arabinogalactan (AGAF), with branched 3,6-Gal as the major moiety. In this study, AGAF was examined for the granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) production and related protein expression in RAW 264.7 murine macrophages. The signaling pathway of G-CSF production involves AGAF and mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) inhibitors and pattern-recognition receptor antibodies. AGAF was evaluated to ease the leukopenia in CT26-colon-cancer-bearing mice treated with 5-fluorouracil (5-FU). The results of this study showed that AGAF was a stimulant for Toll-like receptor 2 and Dectin-1 and that it induced G-CSF production, through p38 and ERK MAPK, and NF-κB pathways. In vivo examination showed that the oral administration of AGAF mitigated the side effects of leukopenia caused by 5-FU in colon-cancer-bearing mice. In conclusion, the botanic type II AGAF in this study was a potent G-CSF inducer in vivo and in vitro.
PMCID: PMC3804054  PMID: 24191166
23.  Candida albicans β-Glucan Exposure Is Controlled by the Fungal CEK1-Mediated Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase Pathway That Modulates Immune Responses Triggered through Dectin-1 ▿ †  
Infection and Immunity  2010;78(4):1426-1436.
Innate immunity to Candida albicans depends upon the recognition of molecular patterns on the fungal cell wall. However, the masking of major components such as β-glucan seems to be a mechanism that fungi have evolved to avoid immune cell recognition through the dectin-1 receptor. Although the role of C. albicans mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways as virulence determinants has been established previously with animal models, the mechanism involved in this behavior is largely unknown. In this study we demonstrate that a disruption of the C. albicans extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)-like 1 (CEK1)-mediated MAPK pathway causes enhanced cell wall β-glucan exposure, triggering immune responses more efficiently than the wild type, as measured by dectin-1-mediated specific binding and human dendritic cell (hDC)- and macrophage-mediated phagocytosis, killing, and activation of intracellular signaling pathways. At the molecular level, the disruption of CEK1 resulted in altered spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk), Raf-1, and ERK1/2 activations together with IκB degradation on hDCs and increased dectin-1-dependent activator protein 1 (AP-1) activation on transfected cells. In addition, concurring with these altered pathways, we detected increased reactive oxygen species production and cytokine secretion. In conclusion, the CEK1-mediated MAPK pathway is involved in β-glucan exposure in a fungal pathogen, hence influencing dectin-1-dependent immune cell recognition, thus establishing this fungal intracellular signaling route as a promising novel therapeutic target.
PMCID: PMC2849429  PMID: 20100861
24.  CLEC-2 is a phagocytic activation receptor expressed on murine peripheral blood neutrophils1 
CLEC-2 is a member of the ‘Dectin-1 cluster’ of C-type lectin-like receptors and was originally thought to be restricted to platelets. Here we demonstrate that murine CLEC-2 is also expressed by peripheral blood neutrophils, but only weakly by bone-marrow or elicited inflammatory neutrophils. On circulating neutrophils, CLEC-2 can mediate phagocytosis of antibody-coated beads and the production of proinflammatory cytokines, including TNFα, in response to the CLEC-2 ligand, rhodocytin. CLEC-2 possesses a tyrosine-based cytoplasmic motif similar to that of Dectin-1, and we show using chimeric analyses that the activities of this receptor are dependent on this tyrosine. Like Dectin-1, CLEC-2 can recruit the signalling kinase Syk in myeloid cells, however, stimulation of this pathway does not induce the respiratory burst. These data therefore demonstrate that CLEC-2 expression is not restricted to platelets and that it functions as an activation receptor on neutrophils.
PMCID: PMC2727695  PMID: 19299712
neutrophils; phagocytosis; signal transduction; cell activation
25.  Role of Dectin-2 for Host Defense against Systemic Infection with Candida glabrata 
Infection and Immunity  2014;82(3):1064-1073.
Although Candida glabrata is an important pathogenic Candida species, relatively little is known about its innate immune recognition. Here, we explore the potential role of Dectin-2 for host defense against C. glabrata. Dectin-2-deficient (Dectin-2−/−) mice were found to be more susceptible to C. glabrata infections, showing a defective fungal clearance in kidneys but not in the liver. The increased susceptibility to infection was accompanied by lower production of T helper 1 (Th1) and Th17-derived cytokines by splenocytes of Dectin-2−/− mice, while macrophage-derived cytokines were less affected. These defects were associated with a moderate yet significant decrease in phagocytosis of the fungus by the Dectin-2−/− macrophages and neutrophils. Neutrophils of Dectin-2−/− mice also displayed lower production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) upon challenge with opsonized C. glabrata or C. albicans. This study suggests that Dectin-2 is important in host defense against C. glabrata and provides new insights into the host defense mechanisms against this important fungal pathogen.
PMCID: PMC3957982  PMID: 24343653

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