CD45 alternative exon expression in murine and human CD4+ T cell subsets

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Program in Immunology and Virology; Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Leukocytes express a family of high m.w. glycoproteins called leukocyte common Ag (CD45), which are involved in phosphotyrosine signal transduction. Antibodies to different CD45 isoforms distinguish functionally different CD4+ T cell subsets in humans, rats, and mice. Selected protein isoforms are expressed through a process of exon splicing that is cell-type and differentiation-state specific. Splicing of the three variable exons, A, B, and C, which encode amino acids located near the extracellular amino terminus of the protein, potentially results in generation of eight different mRNA transcripts. The purpose of the present study was to determine the relative levels of all eight different CD45 transcripts present in a panel of murine CD4+ T cell lines and normal murine and human CD4+ T cell subsets separated with antibodies to CD45 variable exons. We show, as expected, that the broad features of CD45 surface isoform expression in these cells can be accounted for by the relative amounts of the eight differentially spliced transcripts. Unexpectedly, all the differences in CD45 isoform expression among the CD4+ T cell subpopulations that we measured could be accounted for by differences in the overall level of variable exon expression. We did not see differences among T cell populations in the relative expression of particular variable exons. Exon B was always found in greater abundance than exons C or A. Of the dual exon species, only AB and BC were found in CD4+ T cells. The AC species was undetectable. Human CD4+ T cells, especially those in the naive subset, express higher levels of CD45 variable exons than murine CD4+ T cells.


J Immunol. 1992 Jun 15;148(12):4054-65.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID