University of Dundee

Professor Paul Crocker FRSE

Glycan-dependent regulation of immune and inflammatory responses
Professor of Glycoimmunology and Head of the Division of Cell Signalling and Immunology
School of Life Sciences, University of Dundee, Dundee
Full Telephone: 
+44 (0) 1382 385781, int ext 85781


Our research is aimed at understanding how immune cells utilise host glycans to regulate immune and inflammatory respones and translating this to human disease.  All cells of the body are covered in a dense coating of glycans attached to proteins and lipids, some of which can act as ligands for lectin-like receptors expressed by cells of the innate and adaptive immune systems.  We focus on the siglec family of sialic acid binding Ig-like lectins, many of which were discovered in my laboratory .

There are 15 siglecs in humans and 9 in mice, most of which are expressed in the immune system where they are thought to interact with host glycans to modulate immune and inflammatory responses.  Our recent work has dissected in vivo functions of sialoadhesin (siglec-1/CD169) in (a) regulating autoimmune disease via interactions with activation-induced ligands on different T cell subsets and (b) promoting phagocytosis of the sialylated pathogen Campylobacter jejuni and triggering of MyD88-dependent cytokine and type I IFN responses .  We have also recently discovered that murine  siglec-E is an important negative regulator of beta2 integrin-dependent neutrophil inflammation in the lung.

Our current work is aimed at molecular dissection of the signalling pathways and identification of cis- and trans binding partners for siglecs involved in these biological functions.


Level 3 and Level 4 undergraduate lectures in Immunology.


4D01-Molecular Biology of Infection & Immunity


Nagala, M, McKenzie, E, Richards, H, Sharma, R, Thomson, S, Mastroeni, P & Crocker, P 2018, 'Expression of Siglec-E alters the phenotype of macrophages but does not affect LPS-driven cytokine production or TLR4 endocytosis' Frontiers in Immunology, vol. 8, 1926, pp. 1-17.

van Dinther, D, Veninga, H, Iborra, S, Borg, EGF, Hoogterp, L, Olesek, K, Beijer, MR, Schetters, STT, Kalay, H, Garcia-Vallejo, JJ, Franken, KL, Cham, LB, Lang, KS, van Kooyk, Y, Sancho, D, Crocker, PR & den Haan, JMM 2018, 'Functional CD169 on Macrophages Mediates Interaction with Dendritic Cells for CD8+ T Cell Cross-Priming' Cell Reports, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 1484-1495.

Ercoli, G, Fernandes, VE, Chung, WY, Wanford, JJ, Thomson, S, Bayliss, CD, Straatman, K, Crocker, PR, Dennison, A, Martinez-Pomares, L, Andrew, PW, Moxon, ER & Oggioni, MR 2018, 'Intracellular replication of Streptococcus pneumoniae inside splenic macrophages serves as a reservoir for septicaemia' Nature Microbiology, vol. 3, pp. 600-610.

Shinde, PV, Xu, HC, Maney, SK, Kloetgen, A, Namineni, S, Zhuang, Y, Honke, N, Shaabani, N, Bellora, N, Doerrenberg, M, Trilling, M, Pozdeev, VI, van Rooijen, N, Scheu, S, Pfeffer, K, Crocker, PR, Tanaka, M, Duggimpudi, S, Knolle, P, Heikenwalder, M, Ruland, J, Mak, TW, Brenner, D, Pandyra, AA, Hoell, JI, Borkhardt, A, Häussinger, D, Lang, KS & Lang, PA 2018, 'Tumor Necrosis Factor-mediated survival of CD169+ cells promotes immune activation during vesicular stomatitis virus infection' Journal of Virology, vol. 92, no. 3, e01637-17, pp. 1-18.

Wu, G, Nagala, M & Crocker, PR 2017, 'Identification of lectin counter-receptors on cell membranes by proximity labelling' Glycobiology, vol. 27, no. 9, pp. 800-805.

Konishi, H, Kobayashi, M, Kunisawa, T, Imai, K, Sayo, A, Malissen, B, Crocker, PR, Sato, K & Kiyama, H 2017, 'Siglec-H is a microglia-specific marker that discriminates microglia from CNS-associated macrophages and CNS-infiltrating monocytes' Glia, vol. 65, no. 12, pp. 1927-1943.

Schofield, CL, Marín, MJ, Rejzek, M, Crocker, PR, Field, RA & Russell, DA 2016, 'Detection of mSiglec-E, in solution and expressed on the surface of Chinese hamster ovary cells, using sialic acid functionalised gold nanoparticles' Analyst, vol. 141, no. 20, pp. 5799-5809.

Brown, GD & Crocker, PR 2016, 'Lectin receptors expressed on myeloid cells' Microbiology Spectrum, vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 1-26.

Zhang, Y, Roth, TL, Gray, EE, Chen, H, Rodda, LB, Liang, Y, Ventura, P, Villeda, S, Crocker, PR & Cyster, JG 2016, 'Migratory and adhesive cues controlling innate-like lymphocyte surveillance of the pathogen-exposed surface of the lymph node' eLife, vol. 5, e18156, pp. 1-29.

Perdicchio, M, Ilarregui, JM, Verstege, MI, Cornelissen, LAM, Schetters, STT, Engels, S, Ambrosini, M, Kalay, H, Veninga, H, Den Haan, JMM, Van Berkel, LA, Samsom, JN, Crocker, PR, Sparwasser, T, Berod, L, Garcia-Vallejo, JJ, Van Kooyk, Y & Unger, WWJ 2016, 'Sialic acid-modified antigens impose tolerance via inhibition of T-cell proliferation and de novo induction of regulatory T cells' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 113, no. 12, pp. 3329-3334.

Crocker, PR & Mohan, B 2016, Sialylation and immune surveillance of cancer by siglecs. in Glycosignals in Cancer: Mechanisms of Malignant Phenotypes. Springer Japan, pp. 125-138.

Beatson, R, Tajadura-Ortega, V, Achkova, D, Picco, G, Tsourouktsoglou, T-D, Klausing, S, Hillier, M, Maher, J, Noll, T, Crocker, PR, Taylor-Papadimitriou, J & Burchell, JM 2016, 'The mucin MUC1 modulates the tumor immunological microenvironment through engagement of the lectin Siglec-9' Nature Immunology, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 1273-1281.

Griseri, T, Arnold, IC, Pearson, C, Krausgruber, T, Schiering, C, Franchini, F, Schulthess, J, McKenzie, BS, Crocker, PR & Powrie, F 2015, 'Granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor-activated eosinophils promote interleukin-23 driven chronic colitis' Immunity, vol. 43, no. 1, pp. 187-200.

Shao, B, Yago, T, Setiadi, H, Wang, Y, Mehta-D'Souza, P, Fu, J, Crocker, PR, Rodgers, W, Xia, L & McEver, RP 2015, 'O-glycans direct selectin ligands to lipid rafts on leukocytes' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 112, no. 28, pp. 8661-8666.

Crocker, PR & Kannagi, R 2014, 'Introduction to special issue: 'emerging roles of siglecs in health and disease'' Glycobiology, vol. 24, no. 9, pp. 784-784.

Pearce, OMT, Läubli, H, Verhagen, A, Secrest, P, Zhang, J, Varki, NM, Crocker, PR, Bui, JD & Varki, A 2014, 'Inverse hormesis of cancer growth mediated by narrow ranges of tumor-directed antibodies' Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 111, no. 16, pp. 5998-6003.

Bradford, BM, Crocker, PR & Mabbott, NA 2014, 'Peripheral prion disease pathogenesis is unaltered in the absence of sialoadhesin (Siglec-1/CD169)' Immunology, vol. 143, no. 1, pp. 120-129.

Stephenson, HN, Mills, DC, Jones, H, Milioris, E, Copland, A, Dorrell, N, Wren, BW, Crocker, PR, Escors, D & Bajaj-Elliott, M 2014, 'Pseudaminic acid on Campylobacter jejuni flagella modulates dendritic cell IL-10 expression via Siglec-10 receptor: a novel flagellin-host interaction' Journal of Infectious Diseases, vol. 210, no. 9, pp. 1487-1498.

Chang, Y-C, Olson, J, Louie, A, Crocker, PR, Varki, A & Nizet, V 2014, 'Role of macrophage sialoadhesin in host defense against the sialylated pathogen group B Streptococcus' Journal of Molecular Medicine, vol. 92, no. 9, pp. 951-959.

McMillan, SJ, Sharma, RS, Richards, HE, Hegde, V & Crocker, PR 2014, 'Siglec-E promotes β2-integrin-dependent NADPH oxidase activation to suppress neutrophil recruitment to the lung' Journal of Biological Chemistry, vol. 289, no. 29, pp. 20370-20376.

McMillan, SJ, Richards, HE & Crocker, PR 2014, 'Siglec-F-dependent negative regulation of allergen-induced eosinophilia depends critically on the experimental model' Immunology Letters, vol. 160, no. 1, pp. 11-16.

Macauley, MS, Crocker, PR & Paulson, JC 2014, 'Siglec-mediated regulation of immune cell function in disease' Nature Reviews Immunology, vol. 14, no. 10, pp. 653-666.

McMillan, S.J., Sharma, R.S., McKenzie, E.J., Richards, H.E., Zhang, J., Prescott, A., and Crocker, P.R. (2013). Siglec-E is a negative regulator of acute pulmonary neutrophil inflammation and suppresses CD11b beta2-integrin-dependent signaling. Blood 121, 2084-2094.

Kidder, D., Richards, H.E., Ziltener, H.J., Garden, O.A., and Crocker, P.R. (2013). Sialoadhesin ligand expression identifies a subset of CD4+Foxp3- T cells with a distinct activation and glycosylation profile. J Immunol 190, 2593-2602.

Klaas, M., Oetke, C., Lewis, L.E., Erwig, L.P., Heikema, A.P., Easton, A., Willison, H.J., and Crocker, P.R. (2012). Sialoadhesin promotes rapid proinflammatory and type I IFN responses to a sialylated pathogen, Campylobacter jejuni. J Immunol 189, 2414-2422.

Klaas M, Crocker PR. (2012) Sialoadhesin in recognition of self and non-self. Semin Immunopathol.  34:353-64.

Crocker PR, McMillan SJ, Richards HE. (2012) CD33-related siglecs as potential modulators of inflammatory responses. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1253:102-11.

Redelinghuys, P., Antonopoulos, A., Liu, Y., Campanero-Rhodes, M. A., McKenzie, E.,Haslam, S. M., Dell, A., Feizi, T. and Crocker, P. R. (2011) Early Murine T-lymphocyte Activation Is Accompanied by a Switch from N-Glycolyl- to N-Acetyl-neuraminic Acid and Generation of Ligands for Siglec-E. J Biol Chem. 286, 34522-34532.



Our research is expected to have impact on human immune and inflammatory diseases in terms of our basic understanding of the underlying pathologies.  In the long-term, this may lead to improved therapies.