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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2012, Article ID 931386, 11 pages
Review Article

Evolution of the C-Type Lectin-Like Receptor Genes of the DECTIN-1 Cluster in the NK Gene Complex

1Department of Vascular Biology and Thrombosis Research, Medical University of Vienna, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2Division of Immunology and Infection, Department of Medicine, CCIR, Imperial College London, London W12 0NN, UK

Received 31 October 2011; Accepted 29 November 2011

Academic Editors: J. Deakin, A. A. Manfredi, and S. Rose-John

Copyright © 2012 Susanne Sattler et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pattern recognition receptors are crucial in initiating and shaping innate and adaptive immune responses and often belong to families of structurally and evolutionarily related proteins. The human C-type lectin-like receptors encoded in the DECTIN-1 cluster within the NK gene complex contain prominent receptors with pattern recognition function, such as DECTIN-1 and LOX-1. All members of this cluster share significant homology and are considered to have arisen from subsequent gene duplications. Recent developments in sequencing and the availability of comprehensive sequence data comprising many species showed that the receptors of the DECTIN-1 cluster are not only homologous to each other but also highly conserved between species. Even in Caenorhabditis elegans, genes displaying homology to the mammalian C-type lectin-like receptors have been detected. In this paper, we conduct a comprehensive phylogenetic survey and give an up-to-date overview of the currently available data on the evolutionary emergence of the DECTIN-1 cluster genes.