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Human non-lineage antigen, CD46 (HuLy-m5): purification and partial sequencing demonstrates structural homology with complement-regulating glycoproteins


CD46, until recently known as HuLy-m5, is a non-lineage restricted surface antigen ubiquitously expressed by almost all human cells except erythrocytes. The CD46 antigen is identified by the E4.3 monoclonal antibody (mAb) and exists at the surface of human peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) as two acidic, non-disulfide bonded chains, α and β, ofM r 66 000 and 56 000. Receptor density analysis showed that CD46 was of moderately low abundance on PBLs with 7.5×103 molecules present on each cell. The two chains of CD46 were purified (144 000-fold) by immunoaffinity-chromatography with E4.3 mAb from the plasma membranes of a human spleen infiltrated with chronic myelogenous leukemia cells. Amino acid sequence analysis of the NH2-terminal of both α and β chains yielded the same sequence; XEEPPQ/TFEAMELIGKPKPYYEIGE. Peptide mapping studies confirmed that both CD46 chains were closely related, except for one peptide fragment. This amino acid sequence is identical to that of the NH2-terminal of the recently cloned membrane co-factor protein (MCP), a membrane protein that binds the C3b and C4b fragments of complement and acts as a co-factor for I protein-mediated decay of the complement convertases. CD46 shares a cross-reactive epitope with some primate retroviruses, and this may indicate that some retroviruses mimic the mechanisms used by autologous human cells to evade complement-mediated immune clearance.

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Purcell, D.F.J., Deacon, N.J., Andrew, S.M. et al. Human non-lineage antigen, CD46 (HuLy-m5): purification and partial sequencing demonstrates structural homology with complement-regulating glycoproteins. Immunogenetics 31, 21–28 (1990).

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  • Peripheral Blood Lymphocyte
  • Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia
  • Myelogenous Leukemia
  • Human Peripheral Blood
  • CD46 Antigen