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CD1a molecule
Symbol CD1A
Alt. symbols CD1
Entrez 909
HUGO 1634
OMIM 188370
RefSeq NM_001763
UniProt P06126
Other data
Locus Chr. 1 q22-q23
CD1b molecule
Symbol CD1B
Alt. symbols CD1
Entrez 910
HUGO 1635
OMIM 188360
RefSeq NM_001764
UniProt P29016
Other data
Locus Chr. 1 q22-q23
CD1c molecule
Symbol CD1C
Alt. symbols CD1
Entrez 911
HUGO 1636
OMIM 188340
RefSeq NM_001765
UniProt P29017
Other data
Locus Chr. 1 q22-q23
CD1d molecule
Symbol CD1D
Entrez 912
HUGO 1637
OMIM 188410
RefSeq NM_001766
UniProt P15813
Other data
Locus Chr. 1 q22-q23
CD1e molecule
Symbol CD1E
Entrez 913
HUGO 1638
OMIM 188411
RefSeq NM_030893
UniProt P15812
Other data
Locus Chr. 1 q22-q23

CD1 (cluster of differentiation 1) is a family of glycoproteins expressed on the surface of various human antigen-presenting cells. They are related to the class I MHC molecules, and are involved in the presentation of lipid antigens to T cells. However their precise function is unknown.[1]



CD1 glycoproteins can be classified primarily into two groups which differ in their lipid anchoring.[2]

CD1a, CD1b and CD1c (group 1 CD1 molecules) are expressed on cells specialized for antigen presentation.[3]

CD1d (group 2 CD1) is expressed in a wider variety of cells.

CD1e is an intermediate form, expressed intracellularly, the role of which is currently unclear.[4]

In humans


Group 1

Group 1 CD1 molecules have been shown to present foreign lipid antigens, and specifically a number of mycobacterial cell wall components, to CD1-specific T cells.

Group 2

The natural antigens of group 2 CD1 are not well-characterized, but a synthetic glycolipid, alpha-galactosylceramide, originally isolated from a compound found in a marine sponge, has strong biologic activity.

Group 2 CD1 molecules activate a group of T cells, known as Natural killer T cells because of their expression of NK surface markers such as CD161. Natural Killer T (NKT) cells are activated by CD1d-presented antigens, and rapidly produce Th1 and Th2 cytokines, typically represented by interferon-gamma and IL-4 production.

The group 2 (CD1d) ligand alpha-galactosylceramide is currently in phase I clinical trials for the treatment of advanced non-hematologic cancers.

In cows and mice

Mice lack the group 1 CD1 molecules, and instead have 2 copies of CD1d. Thus, mice have been used extensively to characterize the role of CD1d and CD1d-dependent NKT cells in a variety of disease models.

It has recently been shown that cows lack the group 2 CD1 molecules, and have an expanded set of group 1 CD1 molecules.[5] Because of this and the fact that cows are a natural host of Mycobacterium bovis, a pathogen in humans as well, it is hoped that studying cows will yield insights into the group 1 CD1 antigen-presenting system.


  1. ^ Porcelli S, Brenner MB, Greenstein JL, Balk SP, Terhorst C, Bleicher PA (1989). "Recognition of cluster of differentiation 1 antigens by human CD4-CD8-cytolytic T lymphocytes". Nature 341 (6241): 447–50. doi:10.1038/341447a0. PMID 2477705.  
  2. ^ Zajonc DM, Wilson IA (2007). "Architecture of CD1 proteins". Curr. Top. Microbiol. Immunol. 314: 27–50. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-69511-0_2. PMID 17593656.  
  3. ^ Sköld M, Behar SM (2005). "The role of group 1 and group 2 CD1-restricted T cells in microbial immunity". Microbes Infect. 7 (3): 544–51. doi:10.1016/j.micinf.2004.12.012. PMID 15777730.  
  4. ^ Angenieux C, Salamero J, Fricker D, Cazenave JP, Goud B, Hanau D, de La Salle H (2000). "Characterization of CD1e, a third type of CD1 molecule expressed in dendritic cells". J. Biol. Chem. 275 (48): 37757–64. doi:10.1074/jbc.M007082200. PMID 10948205.  
  5. ^ Van Rhijn I, Koets AP, Im JS, Piebes D, Reddington F, Besra GS, Porcelli SA, van Eden W, Rutten VP (2006). "The bovine CD1 family contains group 1 CD1 proteins, but no functional CD1d". J. Immunol. 176 (8): 4888–93. PMID 16585584.  

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