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Dcir (dendritic cell immunoreceptor) is a type II Ca++-dependent C-type lectin localized in the NK (natural killer) gene complex in the telomeric region of mouse chromosome 6. It is a 237 amino acid-long membrane glycoprotein with a single C-terminal carbohydrate recognition domain. The N-terminal cytoplasmic tail contains a consensus immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM). Dcir mRNA has been predominantly detected in hematopoietic tissues, and its expression is down-regulated by signals inducing dendritic cell maturation.

Based on the genomic structure and the predicted functional domains, a targeting vector was designed where exons 1 to 4 were floxed by cre-recombinase recognition sites, removing the cytoplasmic, trans-membrane and neck domains.