Physical association between the CD8 and HLA class I molecules on the surface of activated human T lymphocytes
Antigens, Differentiation, T-Lymphocyte
Immune recognition by cytotoxic effector T cells requires participation of the CD8 and major histocompatibility complex class I antigens. We found that the CD8 molecule is noncovalently associated with the HLA class I heavy chain on the surface of human T cells activated by Con A. Accordingly, anti-CD8 monoclonal antibodies precipitated a heterodimer containing polypeptides of 32 and 43 kDa from the lysates of activated T cells. The 43-kDa chain of this heterodimer can be adsorbed from cell lysates with anti-HLA-A, -B, and -C antibodies. Endoglycosidase F treatment and chymotryptic peptide mapping identified a structural similarity between this 43-kDa molecule and the HLA class I heavy chain precipitated by the anti-HLA-A, -B, and -C antibody W6/32. Analysis of anti-CD8 precipitates under nonreducing and reducing conditions indicated a lack of interchain disulfide bonding between the CD8 and HLA heavy chain molecules. The CD8-HLA heavy chain complex was also detected in mixed lymphocyte cultures and a cloned cytotoxic T-lymphocyte line but not in purified natural killer cells. The present study indicates that CD8 is complexed with HLA heavy chain on the same cells, and the complex may have functional relevance in the T-cell recognition process.