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Trends Immunol. 2008 Jun;29(6):295-301. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2008 May 2.

Revisiting an old acquaintance: CD26 and its molecular mechanisms in T cell function.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Immunology, Advanced Clinical Research Center, Institute of Medical Science, University of Tokyo, 4-6-1 Shirokanedai, Minato-ku, Tokyo 108-8639, Japan.


The role of CD26 in human T cell biology is puzzling. Despite being extensively characterized, it has been called 'a moonlighting protein' since it has multifunctional effects, but a definitive native ligand has not been identified. We summarize the current knowledge on the molecular mechanisms of CD26-mediated T cell costimulation and immune regulation. Work identifying a ligand for CD26 and elucidating the proximal signaling events associated with CD26-mediated T cell costimulation is also described. Finally, we discuss the involvement of CD26 in various pathophysiologic states as well as its suitability as a potential therapeutic target in selected immune diseases.

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