The H-2, Qa, and Tla genes of the murine major histocompatibility complex are related to each other by DNA sequence homology. The H-2 genes encode ubiquitously expressed transplantation antigens that serve as recognition structures for cytotoxic T cells. The identities of the Qa and Tla products, their sites of expression, and their functions are largely unknown. We report here that the Qa region gene Q7 encodes a membrane-bound as well as a secreted form of the serologically defined antigen Qa-2. The Q7 gene introduced into liver-derived cells is expressed as a membrane-bound and as a secreted molecule. In transfected L cells it is expressed only as a soluble protein. Biochemical analysis suggests that the Q7 product is anchored to the liver cell membranes by a phospholipid tail. This feature may be responsible for cell type-specific expression of the two forms of the Qa-2 molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology