CD43 is an abundantly expressed molecule on the T-cell surface that shows distinct localization to the migrating T-cell uropod and the distal pole complex (DPC) opposite the immunological synapse via association with the ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) family of actin regulatory proteins. CD43 has a 235-amino acid (aa) extracellular domain, a 23-aa transmembrane domain, and a 123-aa cytoplasmic domain, all encoded by a single exon. The intracytoplasmic region of the protein is necessary to transduce signals; it is rich in potentially phosphorylable threonines and serines but lacks tyrosine residues as well as catalytic activity. CD43 engagement on human peripheral blood T cells and monocytes leads to cell activation and proliferation through the generation of second messengers such as diacylglycerol and inositol phosphates, protein kinase C (PKC) activation and Ca2+ mobilization. In addition, CD43 ligation on human T cells induces the association of CD43 with Src family kinases, presumably through the interaction of their Src homology 3 domain with a proline-rich region of the CD43 intracytoplasmic tail. This molecule has been implicated in T cell activation, enhancing T cell response to allogeneic or mitogenic stimulation and CD43-specific signals have been reported to be sufficient to activate T cells in the absence of T cell receptor (TCR) engagement. In summary, CD43 regulates multiple T-cell functions, including T-cell activation, proliferation, apoptosis, and migration.
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