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Curr Opin Immunol. 2005 Feb;17(1):88-94.

CD1 assembly and the formation of CD1-antigen complexes.

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Lymphocyte Biology Section, Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, 1 Jimmy Fund Way, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The CD1 antigen presentation system presents lipid antigens to effector T cells, which have diverse roles in antimicrobial responses, antitumor immunity and in regulating the balance between tolerance and autoimmunity. The trafficking of CD1 molecules and lipid antigens facilitates their intersection and binding in specific intracellular compartments. Recent studies have now identified unexpected accessory molecules that are critical to CD1 assembly and lipid loading. The atomic structures of CD1-antigen complexes have defined both the orientation of polar headgroups between the alpha1 and alpha2 helices of CD1 and the manner in which distinct CD1 isoforms bind a range of lipids that have different lengths and numbers of hydrocarbon chains.

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