The CD59 Ag is a 20-kDa protein that is widely expressed on most leukocytes and RBC, is coupled to the membrane by a phosphatidylinositol-glycan anchoring structure, plays a role in cell interaction between monocytes and T cells, and also functions as an inhibitor of cytolysis by the terminal C components C5b-9. Because this molecule is structurally related to the murine Ly-6 family of Ag, we have investigated whether anti-CD59 mAb might be capable of activating human T lymphocytes in a manner similar to that described for antibodies to the murine Ly-6 Ag. In the presence of the appropriate co-stimulators, mAb to one of the two epitopes on CD59 were capable of inducing both a rise in intracytoplasmic free Ca2+, inositol phosphate production, IL-2 production, and T cell proliferation. Anti-CD59-induced inositol phosphate turnover and IL-2 production were dependent on co-expression of the CD3/TCR complex. CD59-loss mutants of the Jurkat cell line were completely responsive to stimulation by anti-CD3 thereby demonstrating that CD59 does not play a role as a signal transducer downstream from the TCR. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the CD59 Ag can play multiple distinct roles in the regulation of the immune response.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.