This gene encodes a membrane glycoprotein of T lymphocytes that interacts with major histocompatibility complex class II antigenes and is also a receptor for the human immunodeficiency virus. This gene is expressed not only in T lymphocytes, but also in B cells, macrophages, and granulocytes. It is also expressed in specific regions of the brain. The protein functions to initiate or augment the early phase of T-cell activation, and may function as an important mediator of indirect neuronal damage in infectious and immune-mediated diseases of the central nervous system. Multiple alternatively spliced transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been identified in this gene.
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