American Journal of Immunology

Regulation of Gene Expression by β-Glucans

Mary O. Huff and Carolyn M. Klinge

DOI : 10.3844/ajisp.2017.1.10

American Journal of Immunology

Volume 13, Issue 1

Pages 1-10


β-D-glucans are diverse polysaccharides derived from plant cell walls, fungi and bacteria. β-D-glucans are composed of D-glucose monomers linked by (1-3) β-glycosidic bonds with varying amounts of (1-6) or (1-4) linked side chains that bind cell surface receptors ultimately triggering changes in intracellular pathways and gene transcription. β-D-glucans have anti-viral, immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities. This article reviews the current identity and putative function of genes regulated by β-glucans purified from various sources in human cancer and immune cells and in murine dendritic, macrophage cells and lungs. β-D-glucans increase the expression of numerous cytokines and immunomodulatory factors and their receptors in dendritic cells. Pathways and transcription factors involved in the cellular responses to β-glucans are summarized.


© 2017 Mary O. Huff and Carolyn M. Klinge. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.