creating a
healthier future

Cell Activation & Gene Expression


Triggering of the T cell receptor (TCR) initiates a signaling cascade resulting in the activation of the T cell. TCR-mediated biochemical signals are integrated alongside those resulting from the stimulation of other receptors whose function is to modulate the overall response. CD5 and CD6 are receptors expressed at the surface of T lymphocytes that have key roles in regulating T cell signaling. They are members of the scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) superfamily of proteins, and during antigen presentation both molecules localize at the immunological synapse, interact with the TCR signaling machinery and help fine-tuning the activation signals. As CD5 and CD6 do not have enzymatic activity, their function is determined by molecular associations established with intracellular signaling effectors. Performing wide range screens, we are determining the signaling/structural mediators that define the receptors’ role, both in the regulation of signal transduction as well as in contributing to the architecture of the immunological synapse. We have extended our search for function to other members of the SRCR family. Through a systematic production of the extracellular domain of the receptors and detecting binding to a variety of cell targets, our aim is to discover the ligands of SRCR molecules and to determine their roles upon ligand binding.



We have recently proposed that CD6 is a negative regulator of TCR-mediated signaling. This represents a paradigm shift and may have implications on strategies for regulating CD6-dependent functions. The CD6 gene has very recently been established as a multiple sclerosis susceptibility gene, and immunotherapy using CD6 antibodies is being currently used in other inflammatory disorders such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis or Sjörgren’s syndrome. On the other hand, CD5 has long been known to functionally work as a signaling inhibitor, recruiting to the sites of antigen recognition the tyrosine phosphatase SHP-1, which dampens ongoing phosphorylation reactions. We have recently proposed an alternative mode of CD5 inhibitory signaling: stimulation of CD5 results in the tyrosine phosphorylation of the kinase Fyn at its C-terminal inhibitory tyrosine residue, thus inactivating the kinase. These inhibitory actions of CD5 are further amplified by an increased expression of CD5 upon T cell receptor triggering.

T cell labeled with CD3 (red) and CD5 (green) interacting with superantigen-loaded APC. Merge of the two markers is seen as yellow.


Selected Publications

Deng S., Kain L., Pereira C.S., Mata S., Macedo M.F., Bendelac A., Teyton L., Savage P.B.,
Psychosine variants as antigens for natural killer T cells. Chemical Science8(3):2204-2208, 2017. [Journal: Article] [CI: 6] [IF: 9,1]
DOI: 10.1039/c6sc04218j SCOPUS: 85014114931

Pereira C.B., Bocková M., Santos R.F., Santos A.M., de Araújo M.M., Oliveira L., Homola J., Carmo A.M.,
The scavenger receptor SSc5D physically interacts with bacteria through the SRCR-containing N-terminal domain. Frontiers in Immunology7(OCT):, 2016. [Journal: Article] [CI: 14] [IF: 6,4]
DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2016.00416 SCOPUS: 84997514499

Pereira C.S., Sa-Miranda C., De Libero G., Mori L., Macedo M.F.,
Globotriaosylceramide inhibits iNKT-cell activation in a CD1d-dependent manner. European Journal of Immunology46(1):147-153, 2016. [Journal: Article] [CI: 14] [IF: 4,2]
DOI: 10.1002/eji.201545725 SCOPUS: 84953835270

Nogueira E., Mangialavori I.C., Loureiro A., Azoia N.G., Sárria M.P., Nogueira P., Freitas J., Härmark J., Shimanovich U., Rollett A., Lacroix G., Bernardes G.J.L., Guebitz G., Hebert H., Moreira A., Carmo A.M., Rossi J.P.F.C., Gomes A.C., Preto A., Cavaco-Paulo A.,
Peptide Anchor for Folate-Targeted Liposomal Delivery. Biomacromolecules16(9):2904-2910, 2015. [Journal: Article] [CI: 35] [IF: 5,6]
DOI: 10.1021/acs.biomac.5b00823 SCOPUS: 84941584525

Da Glória V.G., De Araújo M.M., Santos A.M., Leal R., De Almeida S.F., Carmo A.M., Moreira A.,
T cell activation regulates CD6 alternative splicing by transcription dynamics and SRSF1. Journal of Immunology193(1):391-399, 2014. [Journal: Article] [CI: 24] [IF: 4,9]
DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1400038 SCOPUS: 84903626125

Oliveira M.I., Gonçalves C.M., Pinto M., Fabre S., Santos A.M., Lee S.F., Castro M.A.A., Nunes R.J., Barbosa R.R., Parnes J.R., Yu C., Davis S.J., Moreira A., Bismuth G., Carmo A.M.,
CD6 attenuates early and late signaling events, setting thresholds for T-cell activation. European Journal of Immunology42(1):195-205, 2012. [Journal: Article] [CI: 57] [IF: 5]
DOI: 10.1002/eji.201040528 SCOPUS: 84855225261

Rollett A., Reiter T., Nogueira P., Cardinale M., Loureiro A., Gomes A., Cavaco-Paulo A., Moreira A., Carmo A.M., Guebitz G.M.,
Folic acid-functionalized human serum albumin nanocapsules for targeted drug delivery to chronically activated macrophages. International Journal of Pharmaceutics427(2):460-466, 2012. [Journal: Article] [CI: 77] [IF: 3,5]
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijpharm.2012.02.028 SCOPUS: 84859105871

Bamberger M., Santos A.M., Gonçalves C.M., Oliveira M.I., James J.R., Moreira A., Lozano F., Davis S.J., Carmo A.M.,
A new pathway of CD5 glycoprotein-mediated T cell inhibition dependent on inhibitory phosphorylation of fyn kinase. Journal of Biological Chemistry286(35):30324-30336, 2011. [Journal: Article] [CI: 33] [IF: 4,8]
DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M111.230102 SCOPUS: 80052235105

Pinto P.A.B., Henriques T., Freitas M.O., Martins T., Domingues R.G., Wyrzykowska P.S., Coelho P.A., Carmo A.M., Sunkel C.E., Proudfoot N.J., Moreira A.,
RNA polymerase II kinetics in polo polyadenylation signal selection. EMBO Journal30(12):2431-2444, 2011. [Journal: Article] [CI: 102] [IF: 9,2]
DOI: 10.1038/emboj.2011.156 SCOPUS: 79958859723

Fernandes R.A., Yu C., Carmo A.M., Evans E.J., Anton van der Merwe P., Davis S.J.,
What Controls T Cell Receptor Phosphorylation?. Cell142(5):668-669, 2010. [Journal: Letter] [CI: 34] [IF: 32,4]
DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2010.08.018 SCOPUS: 77956167214

Ongoing Projects

A novel role for SRCR proteins at the interface of maternal-fetal infections associated with neonatal sepsis
Reference: 2022.04792.PTDC
Proponent: Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde - Universidade do Porto
Sponsor: FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
From 01-FEB-23 to 31-DEC-24
Characterization of invariant Natural Killer T cell phenotype and function in alpha-Galactosidase A deficiency
Reference: 2022.01788.PTDC
Proponent: Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde - Universidade do Porto
Sponsor: FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
From 01-MAR-23 to 28-FEB-25
Can Enzyme Replacement Therapy revert iNKT cell dysfunction in Acid Sphingomyelinase Deficiency patients?
Reference: Bolsa SPDM Dr. Aguinaldo Cabral 2023
Proponent: Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde - Universidade do Porto
Sponsor: Sociedade Portuguesa de Doenças Metabólicas - SPDM
From 01-SEP-23 to 31-AUG-24
CD5L as a new therapy for bacterial sepsis
Reference: ESCMID Research Grants 2024 - ImpactSep
Proponent: Instituto de Investigação e Inovação em Saúde - Universidade do Porto
Sponsor: Eur.Soc.Clinical Microb. Infect. Diseases (ESCMID)
From 01-APR-24 to 31-MAR-25