The interaction of the T cell glycoprotein CD2 with one ligand, CD58, contributes to T cell function. We have identified CD59, a glycoprotein with complement-inhibitory function, as a second physiological ligand for CD2. Antibodies to CD59 inhibit CD2-dependent T cell activation in murine T cell hybridomas expressing human CD2. In an in vitro binding assay with purified CD58 and CD59, CD2+ cells bind not only immobilized CD58 but also CD59. With two complementary approaches, it was demonstrated that the binding sites on CD2 for CD58 and CD59 are overlapping but nonidentical. These observations suggest that direct interactions between CD2 and both CD58 and CD59 contribute to T cell activation and adhesion.
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