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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Characterization of a T lymphocyte-derived, antigen-binding molecule with suppressive activity Chu, Nelson Randall


Regulation of the immune response is mediated, in part, by the action of suppressor T cells (Ts). One intriguing aspect of these cells is the description of T cell suppressor factor (TsF): a soluble analog of the cell that shares many of its properties, such as the ability to bind free antigen (Ag) and suppress an Ag-specific immune response. The exact molecular nature of TsF and the relationship of TsF to Ts are unknown. The immune response to the small, bacterial protein, ferredoxin (Fd), was used as a model system to study TsF. A Fd-specific suppressor cell network has been described in mice that are genetically nonresponsive to this Ag. Previously, a soluble mediator, known as Fd11F, was found in the culture supernatant (SN) of the Ts hybridoma, Fd11. Fd11F possessed both Ag-binding activity and the ability to suppress the anti-Fd Ab response in mice. The TsF-specific monoclonal antibody, B16G, was used for both the recovery of Fd11F-enriched material from SN and its detection by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. ' Further immunochemical, biological, and biochemical characterization of Fd11F was done with emphasis on describing the Ag-binding properties of Fd11F. It was found that Fd11F bound to solid- and liquid-phase Fd, and demonstrated preferential binding to the carrier determinant of the Ag. A spleen cell culture assay was devised which showed that Fd11F suppressed Ab production in a concentration-dependent manner. Additional experiments suggested that the suppressive effect was Ag-specific. The identification of the Ag-binding molecule was attempted by the fractionation of Fd11F-enriched material using high performance gel filtration or preparative SDS-PAGE (run under non-reducing conditions). Using SDS-PAGE, a unique, single polypeptide of about 30k relative molecular mass (Mr) was identified as the Ag-binding moiety of Fd11F. The possible relationship of this moiety to other identified materials is discussed.

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