We present here the molecular characterization of a new activation-induced surface structure on human T lymphocytes, termed LA45, with high homology (93% at protein level) to MHC class I molecules. Antigen modulation and sequential immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that LA45 and HLA class I proteins do not crossreact with the corresponding antibodies. Furthermore, LA45 is not associated with beta 2-m. On the other hand, we could show that the separation of HLA-A,B,C and beta 2m molecules, induced by SDS-denaturation, leads to a conformational change in the heavy chain in such a way that it becomes reactive with LA45. The 90/45 kD LA45 proteins thus appear to be non-beta 2m-associated MHC class I alpha chains that are selectively expressed by activated but not by resting human T lymphocytes.

This content is only available as a PDF.