C-Type Lectin Receptors in Antifungal Immunity

  • Christina Nikolakopoulou
  • Janet A. Willment
  • Gordon D. BrownEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1204)


Most fungal species are harmless to humans and some exist as commensals on mucocutaneous surfaces. Yet many fungi are opportunistic pathogens, causing life-threatening invasive infections when the immune system becomes compromised. The fungal cell wall contains conserved pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs), which allow the immune system to distinguish between self (endogenous molecular patterns) and foreign material. Sensing of invasive microbial pathogens is achieved through recognition of PAMPs by pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). One of the predominant fungal-sensing PRRs is the C-type lectin receptor (CLR) family. These receptors bind to structures present on the fungal cell wall, eliciting various innate immune responses as well as shaping adaptive immunity. In this chapter, we specifically focus on the four major human fungal pathogens, Candida albicans, Aspergillus fumigatus, Cryptococcus neoformans and Pneumocystis jirovecii, reviewing our current understanding of the CLRs that are involved in their recognition and protection of the host.


Pathogenic fungi Antifungal immunity PRRs CLRs 



We thank the Wellcome Trust (102705) and the Medical Research Council Centre for Medical Mycology and the University of Exeter (MR/N006364/1) for funding.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christina Nikolakopoulou
    • 1
    • 2
  • Janet A. Willment
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gordon D. Brown
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Medical Research Council Centre for Medical MycologyUniversity of ExeterExeterUK
  2. 2.Previous address: MRC Centre for Medical MycologyUniversity of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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