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Author Notes:

Correspondence: Sean R. Stowell, srstowe@emory.edu

The authors would like to thank Richard Cummings, PhD for introducing them to the fascinating field of glycobiology and galectin biology in particular and for providing the opportunity and encouragement to continue working in this field.

We apologize for any references we may have missed owing to the limitations of the scope of an essay focused on one particular theme in galectin biology in addition to space restrictions.


Research Funding:

This work was supported in part by the National Blood Foundation, Hemophilia of Georgia, the Burroughs Wellcome Trust Career Award for Medical Scientists and the National Institutes of Health grant DP5OD019892 to SRS.


  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Biology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine - Other Topics
  • adaptive immunity
  • carbohydrates
  • galectins
  • innate immunity
  • lectins
  • microbes
  • Oyster crassostrea virginica
  • Promotes HIV-1 infectivity
  • Group B streptococcus
  • T-cell death
  • Sialic acids
  • Glycan microarrays
  • Host cells
  • Carbohydraye microarrays
  • recognition
  • Protein glycocsylation

Innate immunity against molecular mimicry: Examining galectin-mediated antimicrobial activity


Journal Title:



Volume 37, Number 12


, Pages 1327-1337

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review


Adaptive immunity provides the unique ability to respond to a nearly infinite range of antigenic determinants. Given the inherent plasticity of the adaptive immune system, a series of tolerance mechanisms exist to reduce reactivity toward self. While this reduces the probability of autoimmunity, it also creates an important gap in adaptive immunity: the ability to recognize microbes that look like self. As a variety of microbes decorate themselves in self-like carbohydrate antigens and tolerance reduces the ability of adaptive immunity to react with self-like structures, protection against molecular mimicry likely resides within the innate arm of immunity. In this review, we will explore the potential consequences of microbial molecular mimicry, including factors within innate immunity that appear to specifically target microbes expressing self-like antigens, and therefore provide protection against molecular mimicry.

Copyright information:

© 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.

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