CD8 beta

CD8a molecule
Symbol CD8A
Alt. symbols CD8
Entrez HUGO OMIM RefSeq UniProt Locus p12
CD8b molecule
Symbol CD8B
Alt. symbols CD8B1
Entrez HUGO OMIM RefSeq UniProt Locus p12

CD8 (cluster of differentiation 8) is a transmembrane glycoprotein that serves as a co-receptor for the T cell receptor (TCR). Like the TCR, CD8 binds to a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule, but is specific for the class I MHC protein.[2] There are two isoforms of the protein, alpha and beta, each encoded by a different gene. In humans, both genes are located on chromosome 2 in position 2p12.

Tissue distribution

The CD8 co-receptor is predominantly expressed on the surface of cytotoxic T cells, but can also be found on natural killer cells, cortical thymocytes, and dendritic cells. It is expressed in T cell lymphoblastic lymphoma and hypo-pigmented mycosis fungoides, but is frequently lost in other T-cell neoplasms.[3]


To function, CD8 forms a dimer, consisting of a pair of CD8 chains. The most common form of CD8 is composed of a CD8-α and CD8-β chain, both members of the immunoglobulin superfamily with an immunoglobulin variable (IgV)-like extracellular domain connected to the membrane by a thin stalk, and an intracellular tail. Less-common homodimers of the CD8-α chain are also expressed on some cells. The molecular weight of CD8 is about 13,463.2 Da. The structure of the CD8 molecule was determined by Leahy, D.J., Axel, R., and Hendrickson, W.A. by X-ray Diffraction at a 2.6A resolution.[1] The structure was determined to have an immunoglobulin-like beta-sandwich folding and 114 amino acid residues. 2% of the protein is wound into α-helices and 46% into β-sheets, with the remaining 52% of the molecules remaining in the loop portions.


The extracellular IgV-like domain of CD8-α interacts with the α3 portion of the Class I MHC molecule.[4] This affinity keeps the T cell receptor of the cytotoxic T cell and the target cell bound closely together during antigen-specific activation. Cytotoxic T cells with CD8 surface protein are called CD8+ T cells. The main recognition site is a flexible loop at the a3 domain of an MHC molecule. This was discovered by doing mutational analyses. The flexible a3 domain is located between residues 223 and 229 in the genome.[1]


External links

  • T-cell Group - Cardiff University]
  • Mouse CD Antigen Chart
  • Human CD Antigen Chart

Template:Immune receptors

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.