The glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored transmembrane glycoprotein CD160 (cluster of differentiation 160) is a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily. Four isoforms, which differ by the presence or absence of an immunoglobulin-like domain and the mode of anchoring in the cell membrane, have been identified. CD160 has a significant impact on the proper functioning of the immune system by activating natural killer cells and inhibiting T cells. CD160 is a natural ligand for herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM), a member of the tumor necrosis factor superfamily. The CD160-HVEM complex is a rare example of direct interaction between the two different superfamilies. The interaction of these two proteins leads to the inhibition of CD4 T cells which, in consequence, leads to the inhibition of the correct response of the immune system. Available research articles indicate that CD160 plays a role in various types of cancer, chronic viral diseases, malaria, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, atherosclerosis, autoimmune diseases, skin inflammation, acute liver damage and retinal vascular disease. We present here an overview of the CD160 protein, the general characteristics of the receptor and its isoforms, details of structural studies of CD160 and the CD160-HVEM complex, as well as a description of the role of this protein in selected human diseases.
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