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Genetics Home Reference: your guide to understanding genetic conditions     A service of the U.S. National Library of Medicine®

CD gene family

Reviewed February 2012

What are the CD genes?

The CD genes belong to a large family of genes called the cluster of differentiation. Many CD genes provide instructions for making proteins that are found on the surface of white blood cells (leukocytes) at various stages of their development. These proteins help the white blood cells interact with the body's tissues and attack bacteria, viruses, and other invaders.

Other members of the CD gene family work outside of the immune system. For example, some CD genes play a role in cell signaling and the development of the nervous system.

Most of the genes in this family are designated by the letters CD and a number corresponding to the specific gene within the family, such as CD132. Many of the genes in the CD gene family also have other names that may be more commonly used. For example, the CD132 gene is also called IL2RG.

Which genes are included in the CD gene family?

The HUGO Gene Nomenclature Committee (HGNC) provides an index of gene families ( and their member genes.

Genetics Home Reference summarizes the normal function and health implications of these members of the CD gene family: ACE, ALK, BMPR1A, CD40LG, CDH1, CSF1R, CXCR4, ENG, FAS, FGFR1, FGFR2, FGFR3, FGFR4, FLT3, FZD4, IL2RG, IL7R, ITGA2B, ITGA6, ITGB2, ITGB3, ITGB4, JAG1, KIT, L1CAM, LAMP2, MPL, MUC1, PDGFRA, PRNP, SLC4A1, TNFRSF1A, TNFRSF11A, and TNFRSF13B.

What conditions are related to genes in the CD gene family?

Genetics Home Reference includes these conditions related to genes in the CD gene family:

  • 8p11 myeloproliferative syndrome
  • achondroplasia
  • adult-onset leukoencephalopathy with axonal spheroids and pigmented glia
  • Alagille syndrome
  • Apert syndrome
  • autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome
  • Beare-Stevenson cutis gyrata syndrome
  • bladder cancer
  • breast cancer
  • common variable immune deficiency
  • core binding factor acute myeloid leukemia
  • Crouzonodermoskeletal syndrome
  • Crouzon syndrome
  • cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia
  • Danon disease
  • epidermal nevus
  • epidermolysis bullosa with pyloric atresia
  • essential thrombocythemia
  • familial exudative vitreoretinopathy
  • gastrointestinal stromal tumor
  • Glanzmann thrombasthenia
  • hereditary diffuse gastric cancer
  • hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia
  • hereditary spherocytosis
  • Huntington disease-like syndrome
  • hypochondroplasia
  • Jackson-Weiss syndrome
  • juvenile polyposis syndrome
  • Kallmann syndrome
  • L1 syndrome
  • lacrimo-auriculo-dento-digital syndrome
  • leukocyte adhesion deficiency type 1
  • lung cancer
  • medullary cystic kidney disease type 1
  • Muenke syndrome
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neuroblastoma
  • osteoglophonic dysplasia
  • osteopetrosis
  • ovarian cancer
  • Paget disease of bone
  • PDGFRA-associated chronic eosinophilic leukemia
  • Pfeiffer syndrome
  • piebaldism
  • primary myelofibrosis
  • prion disease
  • prostate cancer
  • pulmonary arterial hypertension
  • renal tubular dysgenesis
  • SLC4A1-associated distal renal tubular acidosis
  • thanatophoric dysplasia
  • tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated periodic syndrome
  • Waldenström macroglobulinemia
  • Wilson disease
  • X-linked hyper IgM syndrome
  • X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency

Where can I find additional information about the CD gene family?

You may find the following resources about the CD gene family helpful.

  • Human Cell Differentiation Molecules (
  • Immunobiology (2001, fifth edition): CD Antigens (
  • Medical Microbiology (1996, fourth edition): Immunology Overview (

What glossary definitions help with understanding the CD gene family?

adhesion molecule ; anion ; antigens ; bacteria ; carrier ; cell ; cell adhesion ; class ; differentiation ; enzyme ; FAS ; fibroblast ; gene ; growth factor ; immune system ; kinase ; ligand ; lymphoma ; molecule ; motif ; necrosis ; nervous system ; oncogene ; prion ; protein ; proto-oncogene ; receptor ; solute ; subunit ; tumor ; tyrosine ; white blood cells

You may find definitions for these and many other terms in the Genetics Home Reference Glossary.


These sources were used to develop the Genetics Home Reference summary for the CD gene family.

  • Zola H. Medical applications of leukocyte surface molecules--the CD molecules. Mol Med. 2006 Nov-Dec;12(11-12):312-6. Review. (
  • Zola H. Human leukocyte differentiation antigens as therapeutic targets: the CD molecules and CD antibodies. Expert Opin Biol Ther. 2001 May;1(3):375-83. Review. (


The resources on this site should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice. Users seeking information about a personal genetic disease, syndrome, or condition should consult with a qualified healthcare professional. See How can I find a genetics professional in my area? ( in the Handbook.

Reviewed: February 2012
Published: February 1, 2016