Specific associations of fluorescent β-2-microglobulin with cell surfaces. The affinity of different H-2 and HLA antigens for β-2-microglobulin

J. H. Hochman, Y. Shimizu, R. DeMars, M. Edidin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We prepared single-labeled FITC derivatives of β-2-microglobulin (b2m) and examined their interactions with class I MHC Ag H chains on living cells. Human b2m was reacted with FITC under mild conditions and separated by hydroxylapatite chromatography into three peaks containing single labeled derivatives of b2m peaks A, B, and C, and a peak containing the unmodified protein. The three fluorescent derivatives labeled the surfaces of cells bearing class I MHC Ag. The labeling was specific for class I MHC Ag as indicated by failure to label cells in the presence of excess unlabeled b2m and failure to label the HLA-negative cell lines Daudi and 721.221. Mouse cells labeled with fluorescent human b2m were recognized by mAb to the class I MHC Ag and by virus-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes, suggesting that labeling with the fluorescent b2m does not significantly alter the structure of class I MHC Ag or impair their ability to present viral antigens to cytotoxic lymphocytes. We determined the kinetic and equilibrium binding parameters for the fluorescent b2m derivatives associating with the class I H chains of mouse and human cells. Peaks B and C exhibited biphasic binding to the mouse lymphoma cells EL-4(G-CSA-) (K(d1) = 1 x 10-9 M; K2 = 1.5 to 3.0 x 10-8 M) whereas peak A bound to a small number of low affinity binding sites. In contrast to the biphasic binding observed with EL-4(G-CSA-), only monophasic binding was observed for peak C binding to RDM4 cells. Biphasic binding was also observed with the human B cell line LCL 721. Analysis of a series of LCL 721 class I MHC loss mutants and gene transferents revealed that the heterogeneity in binding is due to differences in the affinity of different class I encoded H chains for b2m.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2322-2329
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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