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J Immunol. 1991 Aug 15;147(4):1230-7.

Lymphotoxin and an associated 33-kDa glycoprotein are expressed on the surface of an activated human T cell hybridoma.

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  • 1Department of Cell Biology, Biogen Inc., Cambridge, MA 02142.


A human T cell hybridoma, II-23.D7, was induced with phorbol ester to express a surface form of lymphotoxin (LT, TNF-beta) and an associated 33-kDa glycoprotein. The LT epitopes were detected by surface immunofluorescence staining and by immunoprecipitation from radioiodinated or biosynthetically labeled cells with the use of anti-rLT polyclonal and monoclonal antibodies. The epitopes detected by the antibody were related to LT because adsorption of the anti-rLT with PMA-activated II-23.D7 cells resulted in the removal of the neutralizing titer of the anti-rLT antiserum. Immunoprecipitation of surface radioiodinated II-23.D7 cells revealed two bands of 25 kDa and 33 kDa that were specifically precipitated with anti-rLT, but not anti-rTNF antibodies. Enzymatic digestion with glycanases showed both proteins to have N-linked carbohydrate, with O-linked sugar limited to the 25-kDa protein. To determine the biochemical relationship between these proteins, the two LT-like forms were purified from detergent-solubilized II-23.D7 cells by immunoaffinity chromatography. Peptide mapping using CNBr cleavage showed the 25-kDa surface form to be identical to rLT, whereas the 33-kDa protein was different. Biosynthetic labeling studies showed that p33 contained both methionine and cysteine, whereas the p25 contained only methionine. Thus, the surface LT form lacks a leader peptide indicating an anchoring mechanism distinct from that described for membrane TNF. The nature of the attachment of this LT form to the membrane surface is not clear, however, neither TNF receptor binding nor lipid linkages appear to be involved. The accessory protein, p33, may anchor LT to the surface. These findings identify a new characteristic of LT and point toward an additional pathway by which T lymphocytes may mediate cytolytic activity and regulate inflammatory processes.

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