CD48: A co-stimulatory receptor of immunity

Moran Elishmereni, Francesca Levi-Schaffer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalShort surveypeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The CD48 molecule is a glycosyl-phosphatidyl-inositol (GPI)-anchored cell-surface protein of the CD2 family of molecules. Originally described on virally-induced B cells, CD48 has been found on various hematopoietic cells, and its expression is regulated by viral and bacterial products and immune-associated proteins. CD48 binds CD2 and other molecules, yet its high-affinity ligand in both mouse and human systems is 2B4. Despite its lack of an intracellular domain, stimulation of CD48 induces rearrangement of signaling factors in lipid rafts, Lck-kinase activity, and tyrosine phosphorylation. As an adhesion and co-stimulatory molecule, CD48 induces numerous effects in B and T lymphocytes, natural killer cells, mast cells, and eosinophils. Some of these depend upon cell-cell interactions via 2B4-CD48 binding. The structural and phenotypic characteristics of CD48, and its role in physiological and pathophysiological processes, are reviewed herein. Possible CD48-based applications for immune-impaired and inflammatory disorders are discussed as well.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)25-28
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the support of the Israel Science Foundation (grant 213/05 ), the Aimwell Charitable Trust (London, UK), and the Adolph and Klara Brettler Center for Research in Molecular Pharmacology and Therapeutics at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


  • 2B4
  • CD2 family
  • CD48
  • Glycosyl-phosphatidyl-inositol (GPI)


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