Dectin-1, the major β-glucan receptor in leukocytes, triggers an effective immune response upon fungal recognition. Here we use sortase-mediated transpeptidation, a technique that allows placement of a variety of probes on a polypeptide backbone, to monitor the behavior of labeled functional dectin-1 in live cells with and without fungal challenge. Installation of probes on dectin-1 by sortagging permitted highly specific visualization of functional protein on the cell surface and its subsequent internalization upon ligand presentation. Retrieval of sortagged dectin-1 expressed in macrophages uncovered a unique interaction between dectin-1 and galectin-3 that functions in the proinflammatory response of macrophages to pathogenic fungi. When macrophages expressing dectin-1 are exposed to Candida albicans mutants with increased exposure of β-glucan, the loss of galectin-3 dramatically accentuates the failure to trigger an appropriate TNF-α response
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