|Detection of LAG‑3 in Human CD3+ PBMCs by Flow Cytometry. CD3+ human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were either (A) untreated or (B) treated with 1 μg/mL PHA for 5 days were stained with Goat Anti-Human LAG‑3 PerCP‑conjugated Antigen Affinity-purified Polyclonal Antibody (Catalog # FAB2319C) and Mouse Anti-Human CD3 epsilon Fluorescein‑conjugated Monoclonal Antibody (Catalog # FAB100F). Quadrant markers were set based on control antibody staining (Catalog # IC108C). View our protocol for Staining Membrane-associated Proteins.|
LAG-3 (Lymphocyte Activation Gene-3), also known as CD223, is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF). The mature LAG-3 protein is a 496 amino acid (aa) membrane protein with a 421 aa extracellular region which contains four IgSF domains, a 21 aa transmembrane region and a 54 aa cytoplasmic region. LAG-3 and CD4 molecules share < 20% aa sequence homology but have a similar structure (1, 2). Both molecules bind to MHC class II. LAG-3 binds to MHC class II with higher affinity compared to CD4. Both LAG-3 and CD4 genes are located on the distal part of the short arm of chromosome 12.
LAG-3 is an activation-induced molecule, expressed on activated T cells and NK cells, but not on resting T cells. Studies using LAG-3 -/- mice have shown significant delay of T cell apoptosis following antigen stimulation and increased size of memory T cells pool following infection (3, 4). It also has been reported that anti-LAG-3 antibodies up-regulate T cell activation by blocking interaction of LAG-3 and MHC class II. The study has demonstrated that LAG-3 is selectively expressed on activated CD4+CD25+ TReg cells and plays a role in their suppressive activity (5). This evidence indicated, unlike the interaction of CD4 with MHC class II that plays a positive role in T cell activation, LAG-3 binds to MHC class II and negatively regulates T cell activation through LAG-3 signaling. On the other hand, studies have shown that binding of LAG-3 to MHC class II molecules on antigen presenting cells induce maturation of dendritic cells and cytokine secretion by monocytes through MHC class II signal transduction (6). Taken together, LAG-3 may have two major functions, it negatively regulates T cells activation through LAG-3 signaling and stimulates antigen presenting cells which express MHC class II.