T-cell differentiation antigen CD6, also known as TP12 and CD6, is a single-pass type I membrane protein which contains threeSRCR domains. CD6 / TP12 is a cell surface glycoprotein expressed primarily on T cells, it may function as a costimulatory molecule and may play a role in autoreactive immune responses. CD6 / TP12 is expressed by thymocytes, mature T-cells, a subset of B-cells known as B-1 cells, and by some cells in the brain. CD6 ligand termed CD166 (previously known as activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule, ALCAM ) has been identified and shown to be expressed on activated T cells, B cells, thymic epithelium, keratinocytes, and in rheumatoid arthritis synovial tissue. CD6 / TP12 binds to activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule ( CD166 ), and is considered as a costimulatory molecule involved in lymphocyte activation and thymocyte development. CD6 / TP12 partially associates with the TCR / CD3 complex and colocalizes with it at the center of the mature immunological synapse (IS) on T lymphocytes. During thymic development CD6-dependent signals may contribute both to thymocyte survival, and to the overall functional avidity of selection in both man and mouse.
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