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​Welcome to the Scavenger Receptor Nomenclature site!

Scavenger receptors were first described by Michael Brown and Joseph Goldstein in 1979 based on a finding that macrophages endocytosed and degraded acetylated low density lipoprotein (LDL) at a higher rate than native LDL.  Subsequent studies showed that they bound multiple ligands, ranging from bacteria, protozoa, self, and modified self targets.

There are currently eight classes of scavenger receptors, classes A-H.  Many of these receptors have multiple names, leading to some inconsistencies and confusion.

A workshop was organized by the NIAID, NIH to help develop a clear definition of scavenger receptors, and a standard nomenclature based on that definition.  Fifteen active members of the scavenger receptor field participated in this meeting and reached a consensus definition and a proposed nomenclature for scavenger receptors.

The working group has established a consensus definition of Scavenger Receptors:
Scavenger receptors are cell surface receptors that typically bind multiple ligands and promote the removal of non-self or altered self targets. They often function by mechanisms that include endocytosis, phagocytosis, adhesion, and signaling that ultimately lead to the elimination of degraded or harmful substances.

A paper describing the proposed nomenclature was recently published in the Journal of Immunology (The Journal of Immunology March 1, 2014 vol. 192 no. 5 1997-2006).

We would like to invite the wider scientific community to provide your comments in response to the proposed nomenclature. Please click on the gene list links below to log your comments or suggestions. 

Scavenger Receptor Gene Lists

National Meeting Discussion Sessions

NIAID is organizing several discussion sessions at the following national conferences in 2014.  These sessions are open to conference attendees to provide the scientific community with the opportunity to contribute their comments and recommendations on the proposed scavenger receptor nomenclature.  All are welcome to join us at these sessions.
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Last Updated April 29, 2014

Last Reviewed April 29, 2014