Biochemical study of thymus leukemia antigen (TL) from thymocytes of various Tla genotypes and from leukemia cells revealed features that, given present evidence, are peculiar to TL among class I products of the H-2:Qa:Tla region of chromosome 17. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) of TL from thymocytes of all TL+ mouse strains, precipitated by anti-TL antiserum or monoclonal antibodies, showed two closely migrating bands of equal intensity in the heavy (H) chain position (45-50,000 mol wt). Comparison of these two bands by two-dimensional isoelectric focusing (2D IEF)-SDS-PAGE and 2D chymotryptic peptide mapping showed no differences indicative of protein dissimilarity. Thus, the two components of the H chain doublet may differ only in a feature of glycosylation that does not affect charge. The two leukemias studied gave only a single band in the H chain position. On 2D peptide mapping and 2D IEF-SDS-PAGE, the patterns for TL of Tlaa and Tlae thymocytes, which are closely related serologically, were broadly similar, but clearly different from the pattern typical of Tlac and Tlad thymocytes. 2D peptide maps of TL from Tlaa thymocytes and Tlaa leukemia cells did not differ. Leukemia cells of Tlab origin (thymocytes TL-) gave 2D peptide and 2D IEF-SDS-PAGE patterns of a third type. With the exception of Tlaa, thymocytes of TL+ mice yielded additional TL products of higher molecular weight than the TL H chain.

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