Calcium-dependent (C-type) lectins are a family of lectins which share structural homology in their high-affinity carbohydrate-recognition domains. The C-type lectin family, includes CL-P1, the monocyte mannose receptor (MMR), mannose binding lectin (MBL), ficolins, and others. These C-type lectins are active in immune-system functions such as pathogen recognition. In addition, dendritic cell C-type lectins, such as DC-SIGN, DC-SIGNR, DCAR, DCIR, Dectins, and DLEC, are important in dendritic cell trafficking and formation of the immunological synapse.
C-type lectin-like domain-containing (CLEC) family members constitute a large and diverse group of extracellular proteins. In addition, the Reg family constitutes a subset of the calcium-dependent C-type lectin superfamily. The Reg family are small, secreted proteins which have been implicated in a range of physiological processes including acting as acute phase reactants, lectins, survival/growth factors for insulin-producing pancreatic beta-cells, neural cells, and epithelial cells of the digestive system. Studies also indicate a role for Reg family members in tumor formation and indicate their potential for use as biomarkers of carcinogenesis.