CD1 antigen presentation: how it works

Nat Rev Immunol. 2007 Dec;7(12):929-41. doi: 10.1038/nri2191.


The classic concept of self-non-self discrimination by the immune system focused on the recognition of fragments from proteins presented by classical MHC molecules. However, the discovery of MHC-class-I-like CD1 antigen-presentation molecules now explains how the immune system also recognizes the abundant and diverse universe of lipid-containing antigens. The CD1 molecules bind and present amphipathic lipid antigens for recognition by T-cell receptors. Here, we outline the recent advances in our understanding of how the processes of CD1 assembly, trafficking, lipid-antigen binding and T-cell activation are achieved and the new insights into how lipid antigens differentially elicit CD1-restricted innate and adaptive T-cell responses.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation / immunology*
  • Antigens, CD1 / chemistry
  • Antigens, CD1 / immunology*
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Crystallization
  • Dendritic Cells / metabolism
  • Endocytosis
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Killer Cells, Natural / immunology
  • Lipid Metabolism
  • Lipids / immunology
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Protein Transport
  • Saponins / pharmacology


  • Antigens, CD1
  • Carrier Proteins
  • Lipids
  • Saponins
  • microsomal triglyceride transfer protein