CD1 - A new paradigm for antigen presentation and T cell activation

Masahiko Sugita, D. Branch Moody, Robin M. Jackman, Ethan P. Grant, Jean Pierre Rosat, Samuel M. Behar, Peter J. Peters, Steven A. Porcelli, Michael B. Brenner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Despite identification of the CD1 family of molecules in the late 1970s, the function of CD1 was undetermined for more than a decade. Recent evidence has established that CD1 molecules comprise a novel lineage of antigen- presenting molecules, distinct from major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class H molecules. Unlike the MHC molecules, which bind short peptides in their antigen-binding groove for presentation to either CD4+ or CD8+ T cells bearing αβ T cell receptors, the CD1 molecules appear to accommodate lipid and glycolipid antigens in their hydrophobic cavity for presentation to a wide variety of T cells, including double-negative αβ and γδ T cells and CD8+ αβ T cells. By using a unique cytoplasmic signal, some CD1 molecules traffic to endosomal compartments for sampling mycobacteria-derived lipid antigens, and subsequently lipid antigen-loaded CD1 molecules are expressed on the cell surface to activate specific T cells. These CD1-restricted T cells kill mycobacteria-infected cells and secrete interferon-γ, indicating a potential role of CD1-mediated T cell responses in clearing mycobacterial infection. The identification of an MHC-independent antigen presentation pathway for nonpeptide antigens provides new insights into immunoregulation and host defense.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-14
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Immunology and Immunopathology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Immunology

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