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International Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 749591, 13 pages
Review Article

Endogenous and Exogenous CD1-Binding Glycolipids

1School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, P.O. Box 600, Wellington 6012, New Zealand
2Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, P.O. Box 7060, Wellington 6242, New Zealand

Received 15 August 2010; Revised 24 December 2010; Accepted 9 February 2011

Academic Editor: Yuriy A. Knirel

Copyright © 2011 Janice M. H. Cheng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In the same way that peptide antigens are presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, glycolipid antigens can also activate the immune response via binding to CD1 proteins on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and stimulate CD1-restricted T cells. In humans, there are five members of the CD1 family, termed CD1a–e, of which CD1a–d are involved in glycolipid presentation at the cell surface, while CD1e is involved in the intracellular trafficking of glycolipid antigens. Both endogenous (self-derived) and exogenous (non-self-derived) glycolipids have been shown to bind to members of the CD1 family with varying degrees of specificity. In this paper we focus on the key glycolipids that bind to the different members of the CD1 family.