Using a subtractive cDNA cloning strategy, we isolated previously five novel genes that were expressed abundantly by the murine dendritic cell (DC) line XS52, but not by the J774 macrophage line. One of these genes encoded a unique, DC-associated C-type lectin, termed 'dectin-1.' Here we report the characterization of a second novel gene that was also expressed in a DC- specific manner. Clone 1B12 encoded a type H membrane-integrated polypeptide of 209 amino acids containing a single carbohydrate recognition domain motif in the COOH terminus. The expression pattern of this molecule, termed 'dectin-2,' was almost indistinguishable from that for dectin-1; that is, both were expressed abundantly at mRNA and protein levels by the XS52 DC line, but not by non-DC lines, and both were detected in spleen and thymus, as well as in skin resident DC (i.e. Langerhans cells). Interestingly, reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunoblotting revealed multiple bands of dectin-2 transcripts and proteins suggesting molecular heterogeneity. In fact, we isolated additional cDNA clones encoding two distinct, truncated dectin-2 isoforms. Genomic analyses indicated that a full-length dectin-2 (α isoform) is encoded by 6 exons, whereas truncated isoforms (β and γ) are produced by alternative splicing. We propose that dectin-2 and its isoforms, together with dectin-1, represent a unique subfamily of DC-associated C-type lectins.
ASJC Scopus subject areas