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Eur J Immunol. 1997 Apr;27(4):891-7.

The Oka blood group antigen is a marker for the M6 leukocyte activation antigen, the human homolog of OX-47 antigen, basigin and neurothelin, an immunoglobulin superfamily molecule that is widely expressed in human cells and tissues.

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Bristol Institute for Transfusion Sciences, GB.


The high-frequency blood group antigen Ok(a) is carried on a red cell membrane glycoprotein (gp) of 35-69 kDa that is widely distributed on malignant cells of different origins. Immunostaining of hemopoietic cells and a range of normal human tissues demonstrated a wide distribution of the Ok(a) gp that appears to be nonlineage-restricted, although certain tissues show differentiation-related expression. Ok(a) gp was purified from red cell membranes by immunoaffinity chromatography using mAb A103 and amino acid sequence analysis was performed. The N-terminal 30 amino acids are identical to the predicted sequence of M6 leukocyte activation antigen (M6), a member of the Ig superfamily (IgSF) with two IgSF domains. There are homologs in rat (MRC OX-47 or CE9), in mouse (basigin or gp42), and in chicken (HT7 or neurothelin). The molecular basis of the Ok(a) mutation was established by sequencing M6 cDNA derived from normal and Ok(a-) EBV-transformed B cell lines. A point mutation in the translated portion of M6 cDNA, G331AG-->AAG gives rise to a predicted E92-->K amino acid change in the first Ig-like domain of the Ok(a-) form of the protein. Transfection of mouse NS-0 cells with normal or Ok(a-) cDNA confirmed the identity of the protein and only the Ok(a-) transfectants failed to react with monoclonal anti-Ok(a) Ab.

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