Understanding the CD4 molecule: Surface expression and function

W. J. Morriso, H. Offner, A. A. Vandenbark

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Surface expression of the CD4 glycoprotein molecule is postulated to facilitate antigen recognition through the T cell receptor (TCR) and is itself a receptor for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)‐gp120 glycoprotein. Both antigen‐stimulated TCR activation and HIV infectivity can be blocked by whole anti‐CD4 antibodies. Although selective modulation of CD4 from the surface by gangliosides (GM1) blocks HIV infectivity, it enhances associated TCR function. Enhanced TCR function has also been observed after intracellular delivery of synthetic CD4 mRNA‐antisense oligodeoxynucleotides (ODN) that block de novo synthesis of CD4. These specific CD4 modulations were mechanistically different from one another yet they both selectively removed the CD4 molecule from the T cell surface and enhanced antigen‐stimulated function through the TCR. The proposed role of CD4 during TCR function and HIV infectivity was developed, in part, according to decreases following CD4 antagonism by whole antibody or down‐modulation of CD4 by phorbol‐stimulated protein kinase C activity. Selective CD4 modulations have independently redefined the specific contributions of CD4 surface expression during T cell activation and may establish a role for CD4 receptor subtypes during HIV‐1 infenction of CD4+ cells. © 1994 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-5
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1 1994


  • CD4
  • HIV
  • antisense
  • gangliosides
  • protein kinases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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