2B4 is a member of the CD2 subset of the immunoglobulin superfamily molecules expressed on natural killer (NK) cells and other leukocytes. It is the high affinity ligand for CD48. Engagement of 2B4 on NK-cell surfaces with specific antibodies or CD48 can trigger cell-mediated cytotoxicity, interferon-gamma secretion, phosphoinositol turnover and NK-cell invasiveness. The function of 2B4 in CD8+ T cells and myeloid cells remains unknown. The cytoplasmic domain of 2B4 contains unique tyrosine motifs (TxYxxV/I) that associate with src homology 2 domain-containing protein or signaling lymphocyte activation molecule (SLAM)-associated protein, whose mutation is the underlying genetic defect in the X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLPD). Impaired signaling via 2B4 and SLAM is implicated in the immunopathogenesis of XLPD. CS1 is a novel member of the CD2 subset that contains two of the unique tyrosine motifs present in 2B4 and SLAM. Signaling through 2B4, CS1 and other members of the CD2 subset may play a major role in the regulation of NK cells and other leukocyte functions.