DC-SIGN, a related gene, DC-SIGNR, and CD23 form a cluster on 19p13.
DC-SIGN is a C-type lectin, expressed on a dendritic cell subset. It is able to bind ICAM3 and HIV gp120 in a calcium-dependent manner. Here we report the genomic organization of DC-SIGN and map it to chromosome 19p13 adjacent to the C-type lectin CD23 (FcepsilonRII). We also report a novel, closely linked gene, DC-SIGNR, which shows 73% identity to DC-SIGN at the nucleic acid level and a similar genomic organization. Proteins encoded by both genes have tracts of repeats of 23 aa, predicted to form a coiled coil neck region. They also possess motifs that are known to bind mannose in a calcium-dependent fashion. We show concomitant expression of the two genes in endometrium, placenta, and stimulated KG1 cells (phenotypically similar to monocyte-derived dendritic cells). The existence of a DC-SIGN-related gene calls for reinterpretation of the HIV data to consider possible DC-SIGN/DC-SIGNR hetero-oligomerization.