The murine pre-B cell-specific genes VpreB and lambda 5, as well as the murine gene for mu heavy chain, were introduced into Ltk- fibroblast cells which normally do not express these genes. Stable transfectants carrying these genes produced the corresponding proteins of 15.5, 21.5, and 75 kD. They secreted the three proteins as a triple complex that could be immunoprecipitated by mu heavy chain-specific antibodies, consisting of one VpreB, one lambda 5, and one mu heavy chain. The mu heavy chain and lambda 5 were disulfide-bonded with each other, while the VpreB protein was noncovalently associated. These experiments proved that the VpreB, lambda 5 and mu H chain proteins can form a heavy/light chain-like heterocomplex.

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