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Paper Chase

Cloning and expression of a cDNA for the T-cell-activating protein TAP.

Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.. 4 1, 1988;85(7):2255-9.
Reiser H, Coligan J, Palmer E, Benacerraf B, Rock KL.

Harvard Medical School, Department of Pathology, Boston, MA 02115.


The T-cell-activating protein TAP is a murine phosphatidylinositol-anchored glycoprotein whose expression is controlled by the Ly-6 locus. Previous studies have suggested an important role for this protein in physiological T-cell activation. Using oligonucleotide probes, we have now isolated a cDNA clone whose predicted sequence would encode a protein with an NH2-terminal sequence identical to that of the TAP molecule. Further analysis of the predicted protein sequence revealed a cysteine-rich protein with a hydrophobic domain at the COOH terminus and without N-linked glycosylation sites--all features consistent with our previous analysis of the TAP protein. In Southern blot analysis, the Ly-6.2 cDNA clone detects a multigene family and a restriction fragment length polymorphism that maps precisely to the Ly-6 locus. Expression of the cDNA clone in COS cells demonstrates that it codes for TAP and clarifies the relationship between the epitopes recognized by various alpha Ly-6 monoclonal antibodies. Finally, we have studied the expression of Ly-6 mRNA in a variety of cell lineages. Ly-6 transcripts were detected in all organs examined, including spleen, kidney, lung, brain, and heart. This demonstrates that the Ly-6 locus is transcriptionally active in a wide range of organs and suggests that the role of TAP or TAP-like proteins might extend to other tissues.