ESAT-6, the 6 kDa early secretory antigenic target produced by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is a secretory protein and potent T cell antigen. It is used in tuberculosis diagnosis by the whole blood interferon γ test QuantiFERON-TB Gold, in conjunction with CFP-10 and TB7.7.
ESAT-6 has been shown to directly bind to the TLR2 receptor, inhibiting downstream signal transduction.
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- ^ Pathak SK, Basu S, Basu KK, Banerjee A, Pathak S, Bhattacharyya A, Kaisho T, Kundu M, Basu J (June 2007). "Direct extracellular interaction between the early secreted antigen ESAT-6 of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and TLR2 inhibits TLR signaling in macrophages". Nat. Immunol. 8 (6): 610–8. doi:10.1038/ni1468. PMID 17486091.