Editors' ChoiceReview

The Role of CD1 in Infection

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Science's STKE  22 Aug 2000:
Vol. 2000, Issue 46, pp. tw8
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2000.46.tw8

Whereas MHC proteins present peptides to T cells, the CD1 family of proteins, comprising CD1a through CD1e, is thought to present lipids (foreign and self) to T cells. Park and Bendelac review the recent advances in solving the enigma of CD1 functions. Evidence suggests that CD1-lipid-binding specificity is conferred by the lipid polar head group and perhaps up to four branched carbohydrate chains. Although each CD1 family member appears to bind different lipids (e.g., CD1b recognizes phosphatidylinositolmannosides, and CD1c recognizes hexose-1-phosphoisoprenoids), in some cases, different CD1 proteins can overlap with regard to binding specificity--ceramide-incorporating lipids are bound by CD1b and CD1d. CD1 proteins apparently localize to different parts of the endocytic pathway; proper cycling of these proteins to the plasma membrane requires a COOH-terminal tyrosine. Park and Bendelac also discuss the potential use of CD1 proteins as receptors for lipid vehicle vaccines.

Park, S.-H., and Bendelac, A. (2000) CD1-restricted T-cell responses and microbial infection. Nature 406: 788-792. [Online Journal]

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