Specificity and functional characteristics of anti-HLA-A mAbs LGIII-147.4.1 and LGIII-220.6.2

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Only three anti-HLA-A monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been described in the literature. Two of them recognize determinants shared by only a few HLA-A allospecificities. The third one, mAb 3G11, recognizes a determinant shared by most HLA-A allospecificities. Being an IgM, the latter mAb is not likely to be a useful probe in immunohistochemical reactions and in functional assays. Therefore, in the present study we have characterized the specificity of the mAbs LGIII-147.4.1 and LGIII-220.6.2. The two mAbs that do not share idiotypic determinants recognize distinct but spatially close antigenic determinants expressed on most of the gene products of the HLA-A locus. Specifically, the determinant recognized by mAb LGIII-220.6.2 is expressed on HLA-A1, -A2, -A3, -A26, -A28, -A29, -A30, -A33, -A36, -A74 and -A80 allospecificities. The determinant recognized by mAb LGIII-147.4.1, which appears to be located on the amino-acid residues 79–83 of the heavy chain, is expressed on all HLA-A allospecificities but HLA-A23, -A24, -A25 and -A32. Because of its broad reactivity, the mAb LGIII-147.4.1 was characterized in a number of assays. It was found to be a useful probe to measure the HLA-A antigen level in serum, to assess the HLA-A restriction of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) and to monitor HLA-A antigen expression in normal and malignant lesions.

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