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Eur J Immunol. 1994 Sep;24(9):2115-23.

Lateral organization of the ICAM-1 molecule at the surface of human lymphoblasts: a possible model for its co-distribution with the IL-2 receptor, class I and class II HLA molecules.

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Department of Biophysics, Medical University School, Debrecen, Hungary.


Lateral distribution of the ICAM-1 molecule and its topological relationship (mutual proximity) to the heavy and light chains of class I HLA molecules, HLA-DR and interleukin-2 receptor alpha-chain (IL-2R alpha) were studied in the plasma membrane of HUT-102B2 T and JY B lymphoblastoid cell lines by the technique of flow cytometric energy transfer (FCET). Effects of adherency and treatments with recombinant interferon-gamma or tumor necrosis factor-alpha on the relative expression level of ICAM-1 to the above cell surface proteins were also investigated. While the cytokines did not significantly affect the ICAM-1 level of either cell line, an increased ICAM-1 expression was found on adherent JY cells. The ICAM-1 expression varied significantly with the cell cycle and culture conditions, as well. The statistical analysis of the differences observed in the energy transfer efficiency histograms resulted in a possible model of lateral co-distribution of these proteins in the plasma membrane. These two-dimensional patterns proved to be different for T and B lymphoma lines. ICAM-1 molecules showed a high degree of self-association on HUT-102B2 (T) cells, while they were mainly expressed as monomers on the surface of JY (B) cells. Both cells showed a significant (ca. 30%) difference between densities of the heavy and light chains of class I HLA antigen, suggesting a substantial amount of beta 2-microglobulin free heavy chains on these cell lines. The class I HLA molecules also showed partial self-association, but on both cell lines. The beta 2-microglobulin and the heavy chain of the class I HLA showed strongly different proximities to the IL-2R alpha, HLA-DR and ICAM-1 molecules, indicating that their orientations relative to the other proteins are dissimilar. IL-2R alpha molecules of the HUT-102B2 (T) cells are located mostly in the vicinity of the beta 2-microglobulin. In contrast, the local density of HLA-DR antigens is higher in the proximity of the heavy chain than in the vicinity of the beta 2-microglobulin. The possible functional significance of these protein patterns is also discussed herein.

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