Current understanding of the roles of cd1a-restricted t cells in the immune system

Hyun Jung Yoo, Na Young Kim, Ji Hyung Kim

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Cluster of differentiation 1 (CD1) is a family of cell-surface glycoproteins that present lipid antigens to T cells. Humans have five CD1 isoforms. CD1a is distinguished by the small volume of its antigen-binding groove and its stunted A′ pocket, its high and exclusive expression on Langerhans cells, and its localization in the early endosomal and recycling intracellular trafficking compartments. Its ligands originate from self or foreign sources. There are three modes by which the T-cell receptors of CD1a-restricted T cells interact with the CD1a:lipid complex: they bind to both the CD1a surface and the antigen or to only CD1a itself, which activates the T cell, or they are unable to bind because of bulky motifs protruding from the antigen-binding groove, which might inhibit autoreactive T-cell activation. Recently, several studies have shown that by producing TH2 or TH17 cytokines, CD1a-restricted T cells contribute to inflammatory skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, allergic contact dermatitis, and wasp/bee venom allergy. They may also participate in other diseases, including pulmonary disorders and cancer, because CD1a-expressing dendritic cells are also located in non-skin tissues. In this mini-review, we discuss the current knowledge regarding the biology of CD1a-reactive T cells and their potential roles in disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)310-317
Number of pages8
JournalMolecules and cells
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education (2018R1D-1A1B07048813) and Korea University Grant K1807481.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Korean Society for Molecular and Cellular Biology. All rights reserved.


  • CD1 molecules
  • CD1a
  • Inflammatory skin diseases
  • Lipid antigens
  • Lipid-reactive T cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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