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Eur J Immunol. 1992 Jun;22(6):1621-5.

Cloning and sequencing of the cDNA encoding the human homologue of the murine immunoglobulin-associated protein B29.

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  • 1Division of Immunology, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA 02215.


Membrane-bound immunoglobulins (Ig) on the surface of murine B cells are noncovalently associated with a heterodimeric protein complex of MB-1 and B29 (also called Ig-alpha and Ig-beta). The Ig-associated proteins are predicted to regulate the assembly and transport of the Ig complex to the cell surface and to couple membrane-bound Ig to intracellular signal transduction pathways. We have isolated and sequenced a full-length cDNA clone encoding the human homologue of the B29 protein. The predicted amino acid sequence was compared to its murine counterpart, to MB-1 and to the human T cell receptor (TcR)-associated CD3 proteins. The alignment of the human B29 protein with its murine counterpart revealed 90% homology in the C-terminal portion comprising the cytoplasmic tails, the transmembrane regions and the adjacent 26 amino acids of the extracellular regions. Only 59% homology was found in the rest of the Ig-like extracellular domains. The high degree of conservation observed for the C-terminal amino acids suggested that these domains of the proteins play important functional roles for the Ig complex. Indicative of this was the conservation of the antigen receptor tail motif D-(X)7-E/D-(X)2-Y-(X)2-L-(X)7-Y-(X)2-L/I which is thought to be a component of signal transduction pathways. This motif is also found in the human and murine MB-1 proteins as well as in the TcR-associated CD3 molecules. Further regions of homology between B29, MB-1 and the CD3 proteins included extracellular residues which were predicted to maintain the Ig-like structure, and hydrophilic residues within the transmembrane regions which may be utilized during the intracellular assembly and transport of the oligomeric Ig/MB-1/B29 or TcR/CD3 complexes. Thus the similarities found between B29, MB-1 and the CD3 proteins suggest conserved functions for both the Ig- and TcR-associated proteins.

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