Role in T cell activation

Antibody cross-linking of CD59 on the surface of human T cells induces a rise in intracellular calcium, inositol phosphate production, release of cytokines and cell proliferation. These phenomena occur when any GPI-anchored proteins are cross-linked in the membrane, and the mechanisms by which their assembly in the outer layer of the membrane can transmit signals to the interior of the cell are currently under investigation. Whether or not the observed effects of experimentally cross-linking CD59 using antibody have any real significance depends upon there being a physiological ligand for CD59. There have been several claims that like CD58 (LFA-3) and CD48, CD59 is a ligand for CD2, a molecule involved in T cell activation, but an equal number of reports dispute this. As yet the role of CD59 in the processes of T cell activation remains equivocal.

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