CD45 is a family of single chain transmembraneous glycoproteins consisting of at least four isoforms which share a common large intracellular domain. Their extracellular domains are heavily glycosylated. The different isoforms are produced by alternative messenger RNA splicing of three exons of a single gene on chromosome 1. CD45 is expressed on cells of the human hematopoietic lineage with the exception of mature red cells. It is not detected on differentiated cells of other tissues. It is likely that CD45 plays an important role in signal transduction, inhibition or upregulation of various immunological functions.
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