Evolution of epitopes on human and nonhuman primate lymphocyte cell surface antigens.
The T- and B-cell surface polypeptides detected by an international workshop panel of 100 mouse monoclonal antibodies (M.Ab) were biochemically defined by radioimmunoprecipitation. Eight T-cell-associated molecules and eight B-cell-associated molecules were identified by multiple antibodies in the panel. Clusters of antibodies specific for the same polypeptide were then compared for their reactivity against peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from 11 nonhuman primate species. All the major T- and B-cell antigens present in humans were also expressed in some nonhuman primates. M.Ab to the same antigen were found to react with distinct epitope groups that differed in their phylogenetic distribution. Some epitopes were highly conserved, while other epitopes on the same molecule were only expressed in hominoids and were not detected in old world and new world monkeys. Our detailed analysis of the phylogeny of 37 T-cell antigen epitopes on ten different molecules revealed there was no clear correspondence between the number of epitopes shared and evolutionary distance. Rather the data suggest that parallelism with back mutation may be a common mechanism in the evolution of T-cell antigens. The data also show that the tissue distribution of T-cell antigens can differ between primate species; for example, M.Ab to human Tp45 Tla-Qa-like antigens that did not react with human PBMC did react with PBMC from new world monkeys.