We have identified and biochemically characterized an antigen, 8A3, which is expressed on activated T lymphoblasts and activated platelets. Monoclonal antibodies to 8A3 were raised against the primitive lymphoid/myeloid cell line KG1a and additionally bound to the erythroleukemia-derived cell line HEL, whilst exhibiting little or no reactivity with a panel of other hematopoietic cell lines. The 8A3 antigen was expressed on poorly differentiated T-cell leukemias and on phytohemagglutinin-activated T-cells maintained in interleukin-2 (7,000 sites/cell). This antigen, though not detected on resting platelets, was expressed on thrombin-activated platelets (2,000 sites/platelet). Antibodies to 8A3 identified polypeptides of Mr 170,000 and 150,000 in lysates of surface-iodinated KG1a cells, T lymphoblasts, and activated platelets under both reducing and nonreducing conditions. However, peptide mapping and susceptibily to glycosidases indicated that the 8A3 antigen was a monomeric glycoprotein of Mr 170,000 which contained two N-linked endoglycosidase H-sensitive glycans, and that the Mr 150,000 structure was derived from it by proteolytic degradation. The 8A3 antigen was not detectably phosphorylated in KG1a cells in vivo, nor did immune complexes containing it exhibit kinase activity in vitro. Structural and serologic characteristics of the 8A3 antigen indicate that it is different from other previously described leukocyte activation antigens including transferrin receptors, interleukin-2 receptors, members of the integrin family of adhesion molecules, or “restricted” members of the leukocyte-common antigen/CD45 cluster. Furthermore, the 8A3 antigen does not appear to be related to the other previously described activation-specific platelet molecule, GMP140/PADGEM. This antibody may be useful in monitoring T-cell activation status in some clinical situations and in characterizing clinically relevant activation-associated platelet membrane alterations.

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