Research at the Sir William Dunn School of Pathology has identified Dectin-1 as the beta-glucan receptor on immune cells.
This finding may be of use in the prophylactic prevention of a variety of infections, especially in surgical patients, and in the treatment of cancer. The identification of Dectin-1 as the beta-glucan receptor may also provide a novel strategy for combating fungal infections.
b-Glucans are glucose polymers which possess immunomodulatory activities, although until our invention, it was unclear how these carbohydrates mediate their effects. We have identified Dectin-1 as the major cellular receptor involved in the recognition and response to beta-glucans. The receptor is expressed on a variety of immune cells, including macrophages and neutrophils, which play a central role in the immune and inflammatory responses and provide the first line of defence against infections. The recognition of beta-glucan by Dectin-1 leads to cellular activation a proinflammatory response, and essential requirement for controlling infection. This invention will allow research into using the properties of Dectin-1 for the prevention and control of disease, as described above.
This invention comprises the identification of Dectin-1 as the beta-glucan receptor. This invention will allow research into the therapeutic potential of targets to this receptor.
The technology is currently the subject of a UK patent application and Isis Innovation Ltd, the technology transfer company for the University of Oxford would be happy to discuss this with organisations interested in taking the technology forward.