A soluble form of the human T cell differentiation antigen CD27 is released after triggering of the TCR/CD3 complex

J Immunol. 1991 Jul 1;147(1):29-35.


The human T cell Ag CD27 belongs to a recently defined family of cell surface receptors, including the nerve growth factor receptor, two distinct tumor necrosis factor receptors, and the B cell specific molecule CD40. On resting T cells, CD27 is a transmembrane homodimer with subunits of 50 to 55 kDa (p55). T cell activation via the TCR/CD3 complex causes a strong enhancement of p55 expression. Concomitantly, an alternative form of the CD27 molecule with a molecular mass of 28 to 32 kDa (p32) appears at the cell surface. With the use of ELISA, we here show that a soluble form of CD27 (sCD27) can be detected in the supernatant of T cells activated with anti-CD3 or combinations of anti-CD2 mAb. Moreover, sCD27 is found in both serum and urine from healthy donors. sCD27, purified from either culture supernatant or urine, has a molecular mass of 28 to 32 kDa and is, according to peptide mapping, structurally homologous to the p55 membrane form of CD27. Quantification of sCD27 levels may be used as a marker for T lymphocyte activation in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, CD / chemistry
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Antigens, CD / physiology*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / chemistry
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / metabolism*
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte / physiology*
  • CD3 Complex
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Two-Dimensional
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism
  • Molecular Weight
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Peptide Mapping
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • Solubility
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7


  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • CD3 Complex
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor Superfamily, Member 7