Isolation of cDNAs encoding the CD19 antigen of human and mouse B lymphocytes. A new member of the immunoglobulin superfamily.
The CD19 (B4) molecule is a m.w. 95,000 cell-surface protein of human B lymphocytes that is expressed before Ig and persists throughout differentiation. In this report, cDNA clones that encode the CD19 molecule were isolated and the amino acid sequence of CD19 was determined. A cDNA clone that selectively hybridized to RNA from CD19+ cell lines was selected from a human tonsilar cDNA library using differential hybridization. This cDNA was used to isolate additional cDNA clones. Four of the five longest cDNA clones isolated were sequenced and found to contain unique sequences presumed to be introns. One clone, pB4-19, was near full length (2.1 kb) and did not contain these putative introns. pB4-19 contained an 1685 bp open reading frame that could encode a protein of about 60 kDa. COS cells that were transfected with pB4-19 expressed a nascent cell surface structure reactive with the anti-B4 antibody. Immunoprecipitation of this structure from surface-iodinated COS cells with the anti-B4 antibody revealed a m.w. 85,000 protein. Northern blot analysis indicated that pB4-19 hybridized with a predominant mRNA species of 2.4 kb and a minor species of 1.5 kb, found in only CD19+ cells. The pre-B cell line, PB-697, also expressed four larger RNA species that hybridized with pB4-19. cDNA clones that encode the putative cytoplasmic portion (247 amino acids) of the mouse CD19 molecule were also isolated and found to be highly homologous (79 and 75%) with the human CD19 nucleotide and amino acid sequences. The deduced amino acid sequence of the CD19 cytoplasmic tail shared no significant homology with other known proteins but the putative extracellular region contained two Ig-like domains indicating that CD19 is a new member of the Ig superfamily.
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