Two categories of mammalian galactose-binding receptors distinguished by glycan array profiling

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Profiling of the four known galactose-binding receptors in the C-type lectin family has been undertaken in parallel on a glycan array. The results are generally consistent with those of previous assays using various different formats, but they provide a direct comparison of the properties of the four receptors, revealing that they fall into two distinct groups. The major subunit of the rat asialoglycoprotein receptor and the rat Kupffer cell receptor show similar broad preferences for GalNAc-terminated glycans, while the rat macrophage galactose lectin and the human scavenger receptor C-type lectin (SRCL) bind more restricted sets of glycans. Both of these receptors bind to Lewis x-type structures, but the macrophage galactose lectin also interacts strongly with biantennary galactose- and GalNAc-terminated glycans. Although the similar glycan-binding profiles for the asialoglycoprotein receptor and the Kupffer cell receptor might suggest that these receptors are functionally redundant, analysis of fibroblasts transfected with full-length Kupffer cell receptor reveals that they fail to endocytose glycosylated ligand.

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