Rabbit antibodies to hsp58 (P1), the human homologue of the Escherichia coli stress protein groEL, react specifically in indirect immunofluorescence and complement-dependent microcytoxicity experiments with a cell surface antigen expressed constitutively by T cell lines bearing gamma/delta receptors. This anti-hsp58-reactive antigen is not demonstrable on T cells that express alpha/beta receptors or on various cells that lack T cell receptors. Certain evidence was obtained to suggest that the target antigen on the surface of gamma/delta T cells is a approximately 77-kD protein distinct from intracellular hsp58 and known members of the hsp70 stress protein family. While the exact nature and significance of this anti-hsp58-reactive protein remain to be determined, these data may help to clarify the roles of groEL-related stress proteins and gamma/delta cells that recognize groEL homologous in immunologic defense against infection and in autoimmune disease.

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