CD Markers

Topic Completed: 1 February 2002

Minor changes: 2 October 2020

Copyright: 2002-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: CD59[title]

Nat Pernick, M.D.
Page views in 2020: 205
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Cite this page: Pernick N. CD59. website. Accessed January 15th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Also called protectin, complement regulatory molecule
  • Regulates complement mediated cell lysis by inhibiting formation of membrane attack complex (MAC); binds to C8 or C9 components, preventing incorporation of multiple copies of C9 required for complete formation of osmolytic core
  • Also makes cells susceptible to NK cell mediated cytotoxicity (J Immunol 2006;176:2915)
  • Genetic defects that reduce both CD59 and CD55 on erythrocytes produce paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria (PNH); also cause defective platelets, granulocytes, erythrocytes and possibly lymphocytes
  • Low CD59 levels may also cause PNH-like symptoms after Campath therapy (Transplant Proc 2006;38:1750)
  • Not a particularly good marker for detecting PNH+ monocytes (Am J Clin Pathol 2006;126:781)
  • In diabetes, glycation may inhibit CD59, causing MAC deposition in vessels, leading to vascular complications (Diabetes 2004;53:2653)
  • Naegleria (Infect Immun 2006;74:1189), Borrelia (J Immunol 2003;170:3214) and HIV (J Gen Virol 1997;78:1907) may resist complement mediated lysis via a surface CD59 like protein
  • References: OMIM #107271
Uses by pathologists
  • No significant clinical use by pathologists
Microscopic (histologic) images

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Diabetic and nondiabetic:
kidneys (left), nerves (right)

Positive staining - normal
  • Most cells
Positive staining - disease
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