CTLA-4 (Cytotoxic T-Lymphocyte Antigen 4) is also known as CD152 (Cluster of differentiation 152), is a protein receptor that downregulates the immune system. CTLA4 is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily, which is expressed on the surface of Helper T cells and transmits an inhibitory signal to T cells. The protein contains an extracellular V domain, a transmembrane domain, and a cytoplasmic tail. Alternate splice variants, encoding different isoforms. CTLA4 is similar to the T-cell co-stimulatory protein, CD28, and both molecules bind to CD80 and CD86, also called B7-1 and B7-2 respectively, on antigen-presenting cells. CTLA4 transmits an inhibitory signal to T cells, whereas CD28 transmits a stimulatory signal. Intracellular CTLA4 is also found in regulatory T cells and may be important to their function. T cell activation through the T cell receptor and CD28 leads to increased expression of CTLA-4, an inhibitory receptor for B7 molecules. Fusion proteins of CTLA4 and antibodies (CTLA4-Ig) have been used in clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis.
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