Major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted recognition of antigen by T lymphocytes involves the formation of a complex composed of the T cell receptor, antigen, and restricting MHC molecule. To elucidate the interactions occurring within the antigen recognition complex, we have evaluated the ability of a panel of cell lines expressing mutated I-Ak molecules to function in the recognition by T hybridoma cells of two distinct peptide antigens. Our results indicate that while alterations along the entire length of the proposed helical structure in the carboxyterminal half of the beta 1 domain interfere with the I-Ak-restricted recognition of human fibrinopeptide B, mutations which affect recognition of hen egg lysozyme/I-Ak fall almost exclusively in the central portion of the helix. On the basis of these and previous results, we propose a "T cell receptor-mediated peptide exchange model" for formation of the antigen recognition complex.
In a recent report we described the identification of physical associations between Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) Class II (Ia) antigens and other structures of Mr 67,000, which were significantly enhanced following brief T-B cell co-culture (1). To further investigate this 67K Ia-associated product, monoclonal antibodies (MAb) were produced against isolated 67K material and their reactivity examined. Cell surface binding by these MAb was detected only after perturbation of the membrane by cellular adherence or following aldehyde fixation, which indicates that the determinant recognized by these mAb is retained in the plasma membrane in a covert fashion. All lymphoid cells tested showed reactivity with the MAb as determined by immunofluorescence and by ELISA, but no binding was detected on bone marrow or peritoneal macrophages. Expression of the antigen reactive with these antibodies followed a similar pattern with established murine cell lines, with T and B cell lines and a pre-B cell line showing reactivity, while no antigen was detected on macrophage-like and fibroblast cell lines. The intensity of antigen expression by normal lymphoid cells was ordered: thymocytes greater than splenic T cells greater than or equal to bone marrow lymphocytes greater than splenic B cells. No correlation was observed between expression of Ia antigens by non-lymphoid cells and expression of the 67K molecule. These observations suggest that this antigen is primarily a marker of lymphoid cells, with the highest expression on cells of the T lymphocyte lineage. Finally, inhibition of antigen-specific, MHC-restricted T-cell activation by the MAb directed against the 67K structure suggests an important functional role for this interesting molecule originally identified by its physical association with Ia following T-B cell interactions.
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