Roles and regulation of Thy-1, a context-dependent modulator of cell phenotype

Biofactors. May-Jun 2009;35(3):258-65. doi: 10.1002/biof.41.


Thy-1 or CD90 is a glycophosphatidylinositol-linked glycoprotein expressed on the surface of neurons, thymocytes, subsets of fibroblasts, endothelial cells, mesangial cells and some hematopoietic cells. Thy-1 is evolutionarily conserved, developmentally regulated, and often has dramatic effects on cell phenotype; however, the effects vary between and in some cases within cell types and tissues, and between similar tissues in different species, indicating that the biological role of Thy-1 is context-dependent. Thy-1 exists in soluble form in some body fluids; however, the mechanisms of its shedding are unknown. In addition, Thy-1 expression can be regulated by epigenetic silencing. Because Thy-1 modulates many basic cellular processes and is involved in the pathogenesis of a number of diseases, it is important to better understand its regulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / genetics
  • Epigenesis, Genetic / physiology
  • Gene Expression Regulation / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation / physiology
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Thy-1 Antigens / genetics
  • Thy-1 Antigens / metabolism
  • Thy-1 Antigens / physiology*


  • Thy-1 Antigens