CD59 glycoprotein, also known as 2 kDa homologous restriction factor, HRF2, MAC-inhibitory protein, Membrane attack complex inhibition factor, Membrane inhibitor of reactive lysis, MIC11, MIRL and CD59, is a cell membrane protein which contains one UPAR/Ly6 domain. CD59 is a small, highly glycosylated, GPI-linked protein, with a wide expression profile. The soluble form of CD59 from urine retains its specific complement binding activity, but exhibits greatly reduced ability to inhibit MAC assembly on cell membranes. CD59 is a potent inhibitor of the complement membrane attack complex (MAC) action. CD59 was first identified as a regulator of the terminal pathway of complement. It acts by binding to the C8 and/or C9 complements of the assembling MAC, thereby preventing incorporation of the multiple copies of C9 required for complete formation of the osmolytic pore. This inhibitor appears to be species-specific. CD59 is involved in signal transduction for T-cell activation complexed to a protein tyrosine kinase. Defects in CD59 are the cause of CD59 deficiency (CD59D).
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