Neural cell adhesion molecule (N-CAM) is a membrane glycoprotein expressed on neural and muscle tissues that is involved in homotypic adhesive interactions. We have demonstrated that N-CAM also is expressed on hematopoietic cells, and is recognized by the anti-Leu-19 mAb. Leu-19 is preferentially expressed on NK cells and T lymphocytes that mediate MHC-unrestricted cytotoxicity, but is also present on some myeloid leukemia cell lines. On NK cells, T cells, the KG1a.5 hematopoietic cell line, and a neuroblastoma cell line, Leu-19 is a approximately 140-kD polypeptide with N-linked carbohydrates and abundant sialic acid residues. Sequential immunoprecipitation and peptide mapping demonstrated that the Leu-19 and N-CAM molecules expressed on leukocyte and neuroblastoma cell lines are similar structures. These findings suggest that the Leu-19 antigen on leukocytes may be involved in cell adhesion, analogous to the function on N-CAM on neural cells.

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