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Abstract

Spleen cells from mice immunized with Epstein-Barr virus-transformed lymphoblastoid cells (EB-LCL) were used to generate monoclonal antibodies to cell surface antigens associated with the EB virus-transformed state. Radioimmune and immunofluorescence binding assays identified two antibodies, MHM6 and AC2, which reacted consistently with all EB-LCL tested, with a subpopulation of cells in some but not all EB virus genome-positive Burkitt lymphoma lines, but with none of a range of EB virus genome-negative cell lines of lymphoma or leukaemia origin. While MHM6 appeared to bind an EB virus-related antigen, AC2 bound some other cell surface antigen which was also found on a small subpopulation of cells in lymphocyte cultures stimulated with phytohaemagglutinin or with pokeweed mitogen. MHM6 and AC2 recognized single polypeptides with apparent molecular weights of 45 kd and 80 kd respectively as shown by sodium dodecylsulphate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresb (SDS-PAGE) analysis of 125I-labelled cell surface polypeptides immunoprecipitated with these antibodies. These polypeptides were induced on experimentally-infected B cells within 24 h of the expression of the EB virus nuclear antigen, EBNA, at a time known to coincide with the appearance of the lymphocyte-detected membrane antigen, LYDMA. However, saturating concentrations of MHM6 and of AC2 were unable to protect EB-LCL target cells from lysis by LYDMA-specific cytotoxic T cells in a chromium-release assay.