Most hemopoietic cells express one or more members of the Ly-6 supergene family of small glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked proteins. Although levels of Ly-6 proteins vary with stages of differentiation and activation, their function largely remains unknown. To ascertain whether ligands for Ly-6 proteins exist, chimeric proteins were constructed in which Ly-6E, Ly-6C, and Ly-6I were fused to the murine IgM heavy chain. These chimeras specifically stained both developing and mature B lymphocytes, as assessed by flow cytometry. Analysis of variants of the CH27 B cell lymphoma revealed that Ly-6A/E and Ly-6I recognized different molecules. CH27 cells with low levels of Ly-6A/E ligand activity also lost expression of CD22, and cells transfected with CD22 gained the ability to bind the Ly-6A/E chimera and, to a lesser extent, the Ly-6C and Ly-6I chimeric proteins. As many mature B cells coexpress Ly-6A/E and CD22, the function of Ly-6 molecules may be to associate with other membrane proteins, possibly concentrating these ligands in lipid rafts, rather than acting directly as cell:cell adhesion molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy