Cutaneous lymphocyte antigen is a specialized form of PSGL-1 expressed on skin-homing T cells

Nature. 1997 Oct 30;389(6654):978-81. doi: 10.1038/40166.


T cells play a pathogenic role in many inflammatory and certain malignant skin diseases, including psoriasis, atopic and allergic contact dermatitis, and cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Memory T cells that infiltrate the skin express a unique skin-homing receptor called cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA), a carbohydrate epitope that facilitates the targeting of T cells to inflamed skin. CLA is defined by both its reactivity with a unique monoclonal antibody, HECA-452, and its activity as a ligand for E-selectin, but the structure of the protein component of CLA has not previously been defined. Here we report that CLA is an inducible carbohydrate modification of P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1), a known surface glycoprotein that is expressed constitutively on all human peripheral-blood T cells. Cultured peripheral-blood T cells can be differentiated into CLA-bearing cells, which bind both E-selectin and P-selectin, or CLA-negative cells, which bind P-selectin but do not bind E-selectin, suggesting that there is independent regulation of selectin-binding phenotypes. We propose that differential post-translational modification of a single cell-surface receptor, PSGL-1, mediated by fucosyltransferase VII, serves as a mechanism for regulating tissue-specific homing of memory T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / chemistry
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Immunologic Memory
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / biosynthesis*
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing / chemistry
  • Skin / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • CTAGE1 protein, human
  • Culture Media, Serum-Free
  • Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • P-selectin ligand protein
  • Receptors, Lymphocyte Homing