In this study we have found that the phosphoprotein doublet of 68,000 and 65,000 daltons (68/65 kD) in mouse T-lymphoma cells shares several structural and functional similarities with erythrocyte band 4.1. Our evidence for identifying the 68/65-kD doublet as a lymphoma 4.1-like protein is as follows: it displays an immunological cross-reactivity with anti-erythrocyte band 4.1 antibody; it exhibits a Svedberg unit of sedimentation coefficient of 4 S; it is phosphorylated in the presence of phorbol ester (phorbol-12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate) and its phosphorylation requires Ca2+; it is phosphorylated primarily at serine residues; and it can bind directly to fodrin (a spectrin-like actin-binding protein). In addition, this lymphoma 4.1-like protein can be both colocalized and coisolated with the major T-lymphocyte-specific glycoprotein, Thy-1 (gp 25). Therefore, all of these results strongly suggest that the lymphoma 4.1-like protein (68/65-kD doublet) may play a pivotal role in linking the Thy-1 (gp 25) glycoprotein to fodrin which, in turn, binds to the actin filaments that are responsible for recruiting Thy-1 antigens into cap structures.

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