Reference work entry
CD3ζ is a homodimer-forming type 1 transmembrane (TM) protein and is part of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) complex along with TCRαβ, CD3γε, and CD3δε dimers expressed on the surface of T cells (Figs. 1 and 2). T cells are an important component of the vertebrate adaptive immune system that are activated via TCR by the peptides generated from infectious agents and presented on major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules on the surface of cells. CD3ζ possesses a small extracellular part, a TM region, and a long cytoplasmic part that contains three immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs), which correspond to the six tyrosines that get phosphorylated upon antigen binding to the extracellular part of TCRαβ. Phosphorylation subsequently activates several downstream signaling cascades. Hence, CD3ζ plays a vital role in the activation of a T cell. CD3ζ is also part of the pre-TCR in pre-T cells and the γδTCR in γδ T cells that...
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