Standardizing scavenger receptor nomenclature

Mercy Prabhudas, Dawn Bowdish, Kurt Drickamer, Maria Febbraio, Joachim Herz, Lester Kobzik, Monty Krieger, John Loike, Terry K Means, Soren K Moestrup, Steven Post, Tatsuya Sawamura, Samuel Silverstein, Xiang-Yang Wang, Joseph El Khoury

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Scavenger receptors constitute a large family of proteins that are structurally diverse and participate in a wide range of biological functions. These receptors are expressed predominantly by myeloid cells and recognize a variety of ligands, including endogenous and modified host-derived molecules and microbial pathogens. There are currently eight classes of scavenger receptors, many of which have multiple names, leading to inconsistencies and confusion in the literature. To address this problem, a workshop was organized by the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health to help develop a clear definition of scavenger receptors and a standardized nomenclature based on that definition. Fifteen experts in the scavenger receptor field attended the workshop and, after extensive discussion, reached a consensus regarding the definition of scavenger receptors and a proposed scavenger receptor nomenclature. Scavenger receptors were defined as 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. Based on this definition, nomenclature and classification of these receptors into 10 classes were proposed. The discussion and nomenclature recommendations described in this report only refer to mammalian scavenger receptors. The purpose of this article is to describe the proposed mammalian nomenclature and classification developed at the workshop and to solicit additional feedback from the broader research community.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1997-2006
Publication statusPublished - 1. Mar 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Scavenger
  • Terminology as Topic


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