CD4 is an approximately 55 kDa type I membrane glycoprotein that is expressed predominantly on most thymocytes and a subset of mature T lymphocytes. In humans, CD4 is also expressed to a lesser extent on monocytes and macrophage related cells. Human CD4 cDNA encodes a 458 amino acid (aa) precursor protein with a 25 aa signal peptide, a 371 aa extracellular region containing four immunoglobulin homology domains, a 24 aa transmembrane domain and a 38 aa cytoplasmic domain. CD4 is a coreceptor required for T cell recognition of antigens that are presented by class II major histocompatibility complexes. CD4 has been shown to be a coreceptor of HIV entry and specifically binds gp120, the external envelope glycoprotein of HIV.
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