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J Immunol. 1991 Jun 15;146(12):4092-8.

CD59 functions as a signal-transducing molecule for human T cell activation.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The CD59 Ag is a 20-kDa protein that is widely expressed on most leukocytes and RBC, is coupled to the membrane by a phosphatidylinositol-glycan anchoring structure, plays a role in cell interaction between monocytes and T cells, and also functions as an inhibitor of cytolysis by the terminal C components C5b-9. Because this molecule is structurally related to the murine Ly-6 family of Ag, we have investigated whether anti-CD59 mAb might be capable of activating human T lymphocytes in a manner similar to that described for antibodies to the murine Ly-6 Ag. In the presence of the appropriate co-stimulators, mAb to one of the two epitopes on CD59 were capable of inducing both a rise in intracytoplasmic free Ca2+, inositol phosphate production, IL-2 production, and T cell proliferation. Anti-CD59-induced inositol phosphate turnover and IL-2 production were dependent on co-expression of the CD3/TCR complex. CD59-loss mutants of the Jurkat cell line were completely responsive to stimulation by anti-CD3 thereby demonstrating that CD59 does not play a role as a signal transducer downstream from the TCR. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the CD59 Ag can play multiple distinct roles in the regulation of the immune response.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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