My watch list  

Mannan-binding lectin

Mannose-binding lectin (protein C) 2, soluble (opsonic defect)
PDB rendering based on 1hup.
Available structures: 1hup
Symbol(s) MBL2; COLEC1; HSMBPC; MBL; MBP; MBP1; MGC116832; MGC116833
External IDs OMIM: 154545 MGI: 96924 Homologene: 88328
RNA expression pattern

More reference expression data

Human Mouse
Entrez 4153 17195
Ensembl ENSG00000165471 ENSMUSG00000024863
Uniprot P11226 Q3UEK1
Refseq NM_000242 (mRNA)
NP_000233 (protein)
NM_010776 (mRNA)
NP_034906 (protein)
Location Chr 10: 54.2 - 54.2 Mb Chr 19: 30.3 - 30.31 Mb
Pubmed search [1] [2]

Mannose binding lectin (MBL), also named mannose- or mannan-binding protein (MBP), is an important factor in innate immunity.



MBL belongs to the class of collectins in the C-type lectin superfamily, whose function appears to be pattern recognition in the first line of defense in the pre-immune host.

MBL recognizes carbohydrate patterns, found on the surface of a large number of pathogenic micro-organisms, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa and fungi.

Binding of MBL to a micro-organism results in activation of the lectin pathway of the complement system.


MBL has an oligomeric structure (400-700 kDa), built of subunits that contain three identical peptide chains of 32 kDa each.

Although MBL can form several oligomeric forms, there are indications that dimers and trimers are not biologically active and at least a tetramer form is needed for activation of complement.


The complement system can be activated through three pathways the classical pathway, the alternative pathway, and the mannose-binding (MB) lectin pathway. The most-recently discovered mannose-binding lectin pathway activates complement through the mannose-binding lectin protein. MBL binds to carbohydrates found on the surface of many pathogens.

For example, MBL has been show to bind to:


MBL in the blood is complexed with (bound to) another protein, a serine protease called MASP-2 (MBL-associated serine protease).

In order to activate the complement system when MBL binds to its target (for example, mannose on the surface of a bacterium), the MASP protein functions to cleave the blood protein C4 into C4a and C4b. The C4b fragments can then bind to the surface of the bacterium, and initiate the formation of a C3 convertase.

The subsequent complement cascade catalyzed by C3 convertase results in creating a membrane attack complex, which causes lysis of the pathogen that MBL bound to.

Clinical significance

It is produced in the liver as a response to infection, and is part of many other factors termed acute phase proteins.


    Further reading

    • Fraser IP, Koziel H, Ezekowitz RA (1998). "The serum mannose-binding protein and the macrophage mannose receptor are pattern recognition molecules that link innate and adaptive immunity.". Semin. Immunol. 10 (5): 363-72. doi:10.1006/smim.1998.0141. PMID 9799711.
    • Ji X, Gewurz H, Spear GT (2005). "Mannose binding lectin (MBL) and HIV.". Mol. Immunol. 42 (2): 145-52. doi:10.1016/j.molimm.2004.06.015. PMID 15488604.
    • Worthley DL, Bardy PG, Mullighan CG (2005). "Mannose-binding lectin: biology and clinical implications.". Internal medicine journal 35 (9): 548-55. doi:10.1111/j.1445-5994.2005.00908.x. PMID 16105157.
    • Worthley DL, Bardy PG, Gordon DL, Mullighan CG (2007). "Mannose-binding lectin and maladies of the bowel and liver.". World J. Gastroenterol. 12 (40): 6420-8. PMID 17072973.

    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Mannan-binding_lectin". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
    Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE