The information on this page was automatically extracted from online scientific databases.
From NCBI Gene:
The CD8 antigen is a cell surface glycoprotein found on most cytotoxic T lymphocytes that mediates efficient cell-cell interactions within the immune system. The CD8 antigen acts as a coreceptor with the T-cell receptor on the T lymphocyte to recognize antigens displayed by an antigen presenting cell in the context of class I MHC molecules. The coreceptor functions as either a homodimer composed of two alpha chains or as a heterodimer composed of one alpha and one beta chain. Both alpha and beta chains share significant homology to immunoglobulin variable light chains. This gene encodes the CD8 alpha chain. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Nov 2011]
Identifies cytotoxic/suppressor T-cells that interact with MHC class I bearing targets. CD8 is thought to play a role in the process of T-cell mediated killing. CD8 alpha chains binds to class I MHC molecules alpha-3 domains.