A mouse antiserum, anti-gp40,49 was obtained by immunizing BALB/c mice with the putative T cell antigen receptor isolated from HPB-MLT cells. This antiserum reacted with peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) and a panel of immunocompetent T cell lines and clones in each case precipitating from lysates of cells labeled by surface iodination, a disulfide-linked dimer consisting of an alpha subunit Mr (46,000-49,000) and a beta subunit Mr (40,000-45,000). Variability in Mr of the two subunits, particularly of the beta (light) subunit, was observed when the receptors of immunocompetent T cell lines with different antigen specificities were compared. Anti-gp40,49 serum reacted selectively with the alpha subunit after reduction and alkylation of the protein complex. These results confirm the relationship between the gp40,49 protein complex of HPB-MLT cells and the putative T cell antigen receptor on normal immunocompetent T cells and indicate that the alpha subunit of the human receptor expressed shared determinant(s) that are immunogenic in the mouse. Some features of the T cell antigen receptor appear to be unusual in that even with a xenoantiserum against the purified molecule, only antibodies against clonotypic determinants could be detected at the cell surface by quantitative immunofluorescence analysis.

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