Efficient activation and regulation of the cellular immune response requires engagement of T cell accessory molecules as well as the antigen-specific T cell receptor. The lymphocyte function-associated antigen (LFA) 3 (CD58)/CD2 accessory pathway, one of the first discovered, has been extensively characterized in terms of structure and function of the CD2 molecule, which is present on all T lymphocytes and natural killer cells of the human immune system. The binding site of human CD2 for LFA-3 has been localized to two epitopes on one face of the first immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain of this two-domain, Ig superfamily molecule. Human LFA-3 is genetically linked and is 21% identical in amino acid sequence to CD2, suggesting that this adhesive pair may have evolved from a single ancestral molecule. We have aligned the amino acid sequences of LFA-3 and CD2 and mutagenized selected amino acids in the first domain of LFA-3 that are analogous to those implicated in the binding site of CD2. The data show that K30 and K34, in the predicted C-C' loop, and D84, in the predicted F-G loop of LFA-3, are involved in binding to CD2, suggesting that two complementary sites on one face of the first domain of each molecule bind to each other.

This content is only available as a PDF.