We have recently generated a series of gamma/delta T cell clones able to kill, after in vitro immunization, an Epstein-Barr Virus-transformed B cell line (designated E418) in a non-major histocompatibility complex-requiring fashion. A monoclonal antibody, termed anti-10H3, produced against E418 was selected by its ability to block these cytotoxic interactions. Further analysis indicated that the inhibitory effects of anti-10H3 were highly selective (i.e., no blocking activity with multiple control clones used as effector cells; no alteration of the natural killer-like function mediated by the relevant gamma/delta clones against 10H3+ tumor cells such as Rex). The molecule immunoprecipitated by anti-10H3, termed TCT.1, was characterized as a 43-kD protein broadly distributed in the hematopoietic system. The TCT.1 molecule has been further studied here by protein microsequencing. Results show that the TCT.1-derived peptide sequences are virtually identical to corresponding regions of Blast-1, a previously described surface protein with unknown function. The likely identity of the two molecules has been strengthened by analyzing the susceptibility of TCT.1 to phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C digestion in light of the known anchorage of Blast-1 to the cell membrane through a glycosyl-phosphatidylinositol-containing lipid. The TCT.1/Blast-1-encoding gene is well characterized; it belongs to the immunoglobulin gene superfamily and it is located in the same band of chromosome 1 as the CD1 gene cluster. Together, these data further support the view that proteins distinct from the conventional class I/II histocompatibility molecules are involved in specific T cell recognition.

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