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2B4 is a cell surface glycoprotein related to CD2 and implicated in the regulation of natural killer and T lymphocyte function. A recombinant protein containing the extracellular region of mouse (m)2B4 attached to avidin-coated fluorescent beads bound to rodent cells, and binding was completely blocked by CD48 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Using surface plasmon resonance, we showed that purified soluble mCD48 bound m2B4 with a six- to ninefold higher affinity (Kd approximately 16 microM at 37 degreesC) than its other ligand, CD2. Human CD48 bound human 2B4 with a similar affinity (Kd approximately 8 microM). The finding of an additional ligand for CD48 provides an explanation for distinct functional effects observed on perturbing CD2 and CD48 with mAbs or by genetic manipulation.

Original publication




Journal article


J Exp Med

Publication Date





2083 - 2090


Animals, Antigens, CD, CD48 Antigen, Flow Cytometry, Humans, Immunoglobulins, Killer Cells, Natural, Ligands, Membrane Glycoproteins, Mice, Receptors, Immunologic, Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family, T-Lymphocytes