MHC class I

MHC class II a Chain



MHC class II ß Chain

Figure 1 Intron-exon organization of CD1 and MHC class I and II genes. Open boxes are coding for exons. 5' UT, 5' untranslated region; L, leader sequence; TM, transmembrane domain; C, cytoplasmic domain; 3' UT, 3' untranslated region. (Reproduced with permission from Porcelli (1995).)

Table 1 CD1 molecules are classified into two groups according to their structure and tissue distribution CD1 group Known members Tissue distribution

Group 1 Human CD1 a, CD1b, CD1c and CD1e Professional antigen-presenting cells such as Langerhans cells,

Sheep CD1b dendritic cells, dermal and lymph node cells, mantle zone B cells and cytokine-activated monocytes Group 2 Human CD1d Intestinal epithelium, cortical and medullary thymocytes, circulating

Mouse CD1.1 and CD1.2 and splenic B cells, and hepatocytes

Rabbit CD1d and is very limited in the a2 domain (especially with respect to class I proteins) (Figure 2). In the a3 domain, detectable homology is seen between CD1 and both MHC class I and class II proteins. The highest similarity scores in this region are with HLA-F (34%), HLA-A2 (27.8%), and HLA-DRp (25.8%). Indeed, the a3 domain of CD1 proteins falls within the CI group of immunoglobulin (Ig) superfamily members.

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