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J Biol Chem. 1996 Mar 15;271(11):5965-7.

Human native soluble CD40L is a biologically active trimer, processed inside microsomes.

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  • 1Glaxo Institute for Molecular Biology, Geneva, Switzerland.


CD40 ligand (CD40L) is a glycoprotein expressed on the surface of activated helper T cells, basophils, mast cells, and eosinophils. Binding of CD40L to its receptor CD40 on the B cell surface induces B cell proliferation, adhesion, and immunoglobulin class switching. We have identified soluble cleavage products of human CD40L in the supernatant of a stimulated human T cell clone. Subcellular fractionation experiments have shown that the transmembrane CD40L is processed inside the microsomes and that its cleavage is stimulation-dependent. The native human soluble CD40L is trimeric and, when used in conjunction with interleukin-4, induces B cell proliferation.

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