CD100 was originally described as an activation molecule on the surface of human T lymphocytes. Its triggering through distinct epitopes leads to different signals of costimulation with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) or with CD3 and CD2. Interestingly, CD100 was shown to associate with different partner molecules in T cells. First, CD100 can associate with CD45, a key molecule with protein tyrosine phosphatase activity involved in T-cell transduction this association is physical and has functional consequences for both partners. Second, CD100 interacts in its cytoplasmic domain with a Ser/Thr kinase for which it represents a preferential substrate. Recently, CD100 was identified as a member of the semaphorin gene family. This family comprises approximately 20 structurally related proteins. The first semaphorins were identified in the developing nervous system. Function has been shown for only some of them and involves repulsion during growth cone guidance. Since CD100 was the first semaphorin identified in the immune system, this raises the possibility of the involvement of members of the semaphorin family in other physiological phenomena outside the nervous system.
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