SIGLEC1 (sialic acid binding Ig-like lectin 1, sialoadhesin)
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Siglec-1/Sialoadhesin is a conserved sialic acid recognizing protein that is expressed in subsets of rodent and primate macrophages. As it does not bind well to the non-human sialic acid Neu5Gc, humans have an increased density of ligands for this molecule. Human Sialoadhesin show enhanced expression and a wider distribution in splenic macrophages, in comparison to chimpanzees. Further studies are needed to ascertain if this expression difference is due to changes in the promoter region of this gene or due to other systemic factors. Sialoadhesin is capable of mediating phagocytosis of pathogens than express the sialic acid Neu5Ac (the precursor of Neu5Gc, which accumulates in humans), and humans are prone to infections by such pathogens. Thus, the wider distribution of Sialoadhesin in human spleen may reflect an evolutionary response to the selection pressure of these pathogens.
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