The biosynthesis and expression of the tissue-specific class I molecule Qa-2 have been studied in resting and activated T-cell populations. Polyclonal activation of T lymphocytes induces a 3- to 4-fold increase in the biosynthesis of Qa-2 molecules but no increase in cell-surface levels. Analysis of the biosynthetic pathway of the Qa-2 molecule in activated lymphocytes reveals that ≃70% of the newly synthesized Qa-2 molecules are secreted as soluble molecules. In resting-cell populations, Qa-2 remains entirely cell-associated. This process is unique to the Qa-2 molecule, since other class I molecules (e.g., H-2Kb and H-2Db) synthesized by activated cells remain cell-associated. The possibility that the secreted Qa-2 molecule is the product of a new Qa gene or an alternatively spliced mRNA is considered. These results indicate that the Qa-2 molecules may not just function as a cell-surface recognition structure but also may serve a role as a soluble factor synthesized by activated lymphoid cell populations.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - 1986
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