The macrophage mannose receptor is an integral membrane protein expressed on the surface of tissue macrophages. After ligation of mannose-rich glycoconjugates or pathogens, the receptor mediates endocytosis and phagocytosis of the bound ligands by macrophages. The cDNA-derived primary structure of the mannose receptor predicts a cysteine-rich NH2-terminal domain, followed by a fibronectin type II region. The remainder of the ectodomain is comprised of eight carbohydrate recognition-like domains, followed by a transmembrane region, and a cytoplasmic tail. Transfection of the mannose receptor cDNA into Cos-I cells is necessary for receptor-mediated endocytosis of mannose-rich glycoconjugate as well as phagocytosis of yeasts. Deletion of the cytoplasmic tail results in a mutant receptor that is able to bind but not ingest the ligated pathogens, suggesting that the signal for phagocytosis is contained in the cytoplasmic tail.

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