Mouse class I antigens are the major targets of cytolytic T lymphocytes in both major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-restricted and allogeneic responses. Considerable evidence has recently accumulated demonstrating that MHC class I molecules encoded by genes whose α1 and α2 coding exons were interchanged are not recognized by T lymphocytes specific for parental class I products. Along with the loss of T -cell reactivity, there is a loss of recognition by some, but not all monoclonal antibodies. In this communication we report that the loss of reactivity by monoclonal antibodies is accompanied by the gain of new epitopes caused by the interaction of α1 and α2 domains. These epitopes are immunodominant. They are the major determinant recognized by polyclonal antisera raised by immunization with L cells transfected with exon-shuffled class I genes. Four new monoclonal antibodies have been produced which recognize at least two separate epitopes caused by the interaction of the α1P and α2d domains.
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