Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS

, Volume 63, Issue 16, pp 1889–1898 | Cite as

Glycolipids and phospholipids as natural CD1d-binding NKT cell ligands

  • M. Tsuji


Natural killer T (NKT) cells have been shown by a number of studies to play a protective role against cancers, autoimmune diseases and infectious diseases. Several glycolipids and phospholipids derived from mammalian, bacterial, protozoan and plant species have recently been identified as natural ligands (antigens) for NKT cells. Some of these glycolipid/phospholipid ligands have now been crystallized in forms bound to CD1d molecules, and the tertiary structure of these complexes has finally been revealed. This review is intended to list natural NKT cell ligands identified to date, and discuss how their structures relate to their propensity to bind CD1d molecules and, as a consequence, stimulate NKT cells.


Glycolipid phospholipid CD1d NKT cell natural ligand 


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Verlag, Basel 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.HIV and Malaria Vaccine Program, Aaron Diamond AIDS Research CenterThe Rockefeller UniversityNew YorkUSA

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