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Glycolipid targets of CD1-mediated T-cell responses

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Del Besra


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Members of the CD1 family of antigen-presenting molecules bind and present a variety of mammalian and microbial glycolipids for specific recognition by T cells. CD1 proteins accomplish their antigen-presenting function by binding the alkyl chains of the antigens within a deep, hydrophobic groove on the membrane distal surface of CD1, making the hydrophilic elements of the antigen available for contact with the variable regions of antigen-specific T-cell receptors. Most models of CD1-restricted T cells function in infectious, neoplastic, or autoimmune diseases and are based on the premise that CD1-restricted T-cell responses are initiated by alterations in cellular glycolipid content. Although a growing number of self, altered self and foreign glycolipid antigens have been identified, the cellular mechanisms that could lead to the generation of antigenic glycolipids within cells, or control the presentation of particular classes of altered self or microbial glycolipids in disease states have only recently come under investigation. Here we review the structures of known glycolipid antigens for T cells and discuss how the chemical nature of these antigens, which is quite different from that of peptides, influences their recognition by T cells.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Branch Moody D, Besra GS

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Immunology

Year: 2001

Volume: 104

Issue: 3

Pages: 243-251

ISSN (print): 0019-2805

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2567


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2567.2001.01326.x

PubMed id: 11722638