University of Dundee

‘Non-canonical pattern recognition through immune lectin receptors’

Event Date: 
Wednesday, June 21, 2017 - 13:00
Event Location: 
CTIR Sir Kenneth and Lady Noreen Murray Seminar Room
Professor Paul Crocker FRSE
Event Speaker: 
Professor Luisa Martinez-Pomares
School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham
Event Type: 

Pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) bind molecular patterns linked to the health status of tissues. On one hand, PRRs in healthy organs inform the immune system of homeostatic cellular turn over through recognition of apoptotic cells. On the other hand, during infection PRRs induce activation of the immune system through recognition of microbial compounds in the context of tissue damage. Immune lectin receptors refer to carbohydrate-binding proteins that can fine tune immune activation by modulating signalling by canonical PRRs such as Toll-like receptors. The C-type lectin receptors (CLRs) contain a carbohydrate-recognition domain that in most cases binds sugars by ligation to Ca2+, making the sugar-binding activity Ca2+ dependent. CLRs have been implicated in recognition of a wide range of microorganisms as well as endogenous molecules. In this presentation I will provide an overview of two important C-type lectin receptors, the mannose receptor (MR, CD206) and DC-SIGN (CD209). MR and DC-SIGN lack conventional signaling motifs and tend to gear immunity away from Th1 responses. As such MR and/or DC-SIGN engagement may be exploited by pathogens as means for immunoevasion. I will describe our work towards the development of novel polymeric substances capable of inhibiting MR. These compounds have shown therapeutic potential in ischemia reperfusion injury. I will also describe our recent findings regarding the contribution of MR and DC-SIGN to recognition of bacterial biofilms which highlight the potential role of biofilm-derived carbohydrates as immune modulators. 

LUISA MARTINEZ-POMARES is an Associate Professor in the School of Life Sciences, University of Nottingham. She is internationally recognized for her research on lectin receptors expressed by immune cells and, in particular the mannose receptor (MR). The main focus of her work is to unravel the contribution of lectin receptors to the modulation of immune responses. 
Luisa combines expertise in molecular biology, biochemistry, cellular biology and immunochemistry to study the molecular characteristics of lectin receptors and identify ligands of endogenous and microbial origin. She also investigates the in vivo tissue distribution of receptors and their ligands as a mean to determine their contribution to immunity under steady state and inflammatory conditions. Luisa has recently developed novel reagents to specifically reduce MR function both in vitro and in vivo that are being evaluated in a therapeutic context for the control of ischemia-reperfusion injury.  
Furthermore, Luisa is exploiting her expertise in myeloid cells (macrophages, dendritic cells and neutrophils) to study the interaction of P. Aeruginosa with the host. The main theme of this work is the identification of cellular and soluble parameters that underpin P. Aeruginosa ability to colonise the immune compromised host. 
Luisa is Section Editor Journal of Leukocyte Biology and Associate Editor Molecular Antigen Presenting Cell Biology Section of Frontiers in Immunology.



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