The 53-6.7 monoclonal antibody specifically binds to the 38 kDa α and 34 kDa α' chains of the CD8 differentiation antigen (Ly-2 or Lyt-2) of all mouse strains tested. The CD8 α and α' chains (CD8a) form heterodimers with the CD8 β chain (CD8b, Ly-3, or Lyt-3) on the surface of most thymocytes. A subpopulation of mature T lymphocytes (i.e., MHC class I-restricted T cells, including most T suppressor/cytotoxic cells) expresses almost exclusively the CD8 αβ heterodimer. Subsets of γδ TCR-bearing T cells, intestinal intrapithelial lymphocytes, and dendritic cells express CD8a without CD8b. It has been suggested that the expression of the CD8a/CD8b heterodimer is restricted to T lymphocytes which matured in the thymus or in an extrathymic environment that had been influenced by thymus-initiated neuroendocrine signals. CD8 is an antigen coreceptor on the T-cell surface which interacts with MHC class I molecules on antigen-presenting cells or epithelial cells. It participates in T-cell activation through its association with the T-cell receptor complex and protein tyrosine kinase lck (p56 [lck]). The CD8 α and α' chains arise from alternatively spliced messengers of a single CD8a gene. The longer α form associates with p56 [lck] via a CXCP motif in its cytoplasmic domain, which it shares with CD4, but not with CD8b. The truncated α' chain is unable to associate with p56 [lck], and it may function to attenuate the CD8-mediated costimulatory signal during intrathymic T-cell maturation. In vivo and in vitro treatment with 53-6.7 mAb has reportedly been effective at depleting CD8+ peripheral T lymphocytes. The 53-6.7 antibody has also been reported to cross-react with CD8 α- and α'-like polypeptides on subsets of thymic and peripheral lymphocytes in the Egyptian toad, Bufo regularis.
The antibody was conjugated to BD Horizon Red 718, which has been developed exclusively for BD Biosciences as a better alternative to Alexa Fluor® 700. BD Horizon Red 718 can be excited by the red laser (628 – 640 nm) and, with an Em Max around 718 nm, it can be detected using a 730/45 nm filter. Due to similar excitation and emission properties, we do not recommend using R718 in combination with APC-R700 or Alexa Fluor® 700.