Research Article Open Access

Regulation of Gene Expression by β-Glucans

Mary O. Huff1 and Carolyn M. Klinge2
  • 1 Bellarmine University, United States
  • 2 University of Louisville School of Medicine, United States


β-D-glucans are diverse polysaccharides derived from plant cell walls, fungi and bacteria. β-D-glucans are composed of D-glucose monomers linked by (1-3) β-glycosidic bonds with varying amounts of (1-6) or (1-4) linked side chains that bind cell surface receptors ultimately triggering changes in intracellular pathways and gene transcription. β-D-glucans have anti-viral, immunomodulatory and anti-cancer activities. This article reviews the current identity and putative function of genes regulated by β-glucans purified from various sources in human cancer and immune cells and in murine dendritic, macrophage cells and lungs. β-D-glucans increase the expression of numerous cytokines and immunomodulatory factors and their receptors in dendritic cells. Pathways and transcription factors involved in the cellular responses to β-glucans are summarized.

American Journal of Immunology
Volume 13 No. 1, 2017, 1-10


Submitted On: 15 November 2016 Published On: 12 April 2017

How to Cite: Huff, M. O. & Klinge, C. M. (2017). Regulation of Gene Expression by β-Glucans. American Journal of Immunology, 13(1), 1-10.

  • 3 Citations



  • Glucan
  • Transcription
  • Cytokines