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Volume 8 Supplement 2

Frontiers of Retrovirology 2011

Open Access

C-type lectins in HIV-1 infection

  • Teunis BH Geijtenbeek1
Retrovirology20118(Suppl 2):O27

Published: 3 October 2011

Adaptive immune responses by dendritic cells (DCs) are controlled by pattern recognition receptors such as Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and C-type lectins. C-type lectins interact with carbohydrate structures on pathogens. Upon pathogen binding, C-type lectins trigger signaling pathways that induce specific cytokines to dictate T cell polarization. Thus, C-type lectins are crucial in tailoring immune responses to pathogens. HIV-1 is recognized by the C-type lectin DC-SIGN. Previous data have shown that DC-SIGN is involved in HIV-1 transmission by DCs. DCs efficiently capture HIV-1 and transmit the virus to T cells. However, recent data show that DC-SIGN also induces signaling that shape adaptive immune responses. Here I will discuss the molecular signaling pathways induced by DC-SIGN that are involved in adaptive immunity to HIV-1. Notably, HIV-1 hijacks the signaling by DC-SIGN and TLR8 for its own replication and transmission. The subversion of these crucial immune signaling pathways by HIV-1 and the consequences for HIV-1 infection will also be discussed.

Authors’ Affiliations

Host Defense group, Center for Experimental and Molecular Medicine, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands


© Geijtenbeek; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2011

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.