CD8 molecule is composed of two chains termed alpha and beta. CD8 is found on a T cell subset of normal cytotoxic / suppressor cells which make up approximately 20 to 35 % of human peripheral blood lymphocytes. The CD8 antigen is also detected on natural killer cells, 80% of thymocytes, on a subpopulation of 30% of peripheral blood null cells and 15 to 30% of bone marrow cells. CD38 (T10) is a single chain 46 kDa type II integral glycoprotein with a short N terminal cytoplasmic tail. CD38 is highly expressed on thymocytes. It is also expressed by early cells of B and T lineages, NK cells, plasma cells, monocytes and macrophages and may be detected on cells from multiple myeloma, ALL (B and T) and some AML. In normal lymph nodes and tonsils the antigen is detected mainly on B cells in germinal centers and in plasma cells. The extracellular domain of the molecule shares a high homology sequence with Aplysia ADP ribosyl cyclase. CD38 functions as a multicatalytic ectoenzyme serving as ADP ribosyl cyclase, ADPR hydrolase and possibly NAD+ glycohydrolase, or as a surface receptor.
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