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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2012 Apr;1253:58-67. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06304.x. Epub 2012 Jan 30.

T cells modulate glycans on CD43 and CD45 during development and activation, signal regulation, and survival.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, UCLA School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, USA.


Glycosylation affects many essential T cell processes and is intrinsically controlled throughout the lifetime of a T cell. CD43 and CD45 are the two most abundant glycoproteins on the T cell surface and are decorated with O- and N-glycans. Global T cell glycosylation and specific glycosylation of CD43 and CD45 are modulated during thymocyte development and T cell activation; T cells control the type and abundance of glycans decorating CD43 and CD45 by regulating expression of glycosyltransferases and glycosidases. Additionally, T cells regulate glycosylation of CD45 by expressing alternatively spliced isoforms of CD45 that have different glycan attachment sites. The glycophenotype of CD43 and CD45 on T cells influences how T cells interact with the extracellular environment, including how T cells interact with endogenous lectins. This review focuses on changes in glycosylation of CD43 and CD45 occurring throughout T cell development and activation and the role that glycosylation plays in regulating T cell processes, such as migration, T cell receptor signaling, and apoptosis.

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