SV40-transformed cells of C57BL/6 (B6) mouse origin (H-2b) express four distinct predominant antigenic sites, I, II, III, and IV, on SV40 large tumor (T) Ag that are recognized by SV40 T Ag-specific CTL clones. In this study, we selected SV40 T Ag-positive cell lines which had lost one or more of the antigenic sites, by in vitro cocultivation of a SV40-transformed B6 mouse kidney cell line (K-0) with SV40 T Ag site-specific CTL clones, Y-1 (site I specific), Y-2 (site II specific), Y-3 (site III specific), and Y-4 (site IV specific). All of the CTL-resistant cell lines expressed large quantities of cell surface H-2 class I Ag. K-1 cells selected by CTL clone Y-1 lost the expression of antigenic sites I, II, and III, but not site IV. K-2 and K-3 cells selected by CTL clones Y-2 and Y-3, respectively, were found to be negative for sites II and III but expressed sites I and IV. K-4 cells selected by CTL clone Y-4 lost the expression of only site IV. K-1,4 cells (sites I-, II-, III-, IV-) were selected from K-1 cells by cocultivation with CTL clone Y-4, K-2,4 cells (sites I+, II-, III-, IV-) were selected from K-2 cells by CTL clone Y-4. K-3,1 cells (sites I-, II-, III-, IV+) were selected from K-3 cells by CTL clone Y-1, and K-3,1,4 cells (sites I-, II-, III-, IV-) were selected from K-3,1 cells by CTL clone Y-4. From K-4 cells, K-4,1 cells (sites I-, II-, III-, IV-) and K-4,3 cells (sites I+, II-, III-, IV-) were selected by CTL clone Y-1 and Y-3, respectively. The antigenic site loss variant cell lines K-1, K-1,4, K-3,1 K-3,1,4, K-4,1, and K-4,3 synthesized SV40 T Ag molecules of 75, 75, 78, 78, 81, and 88 kDa, respectively. Expression of wild-type SV40 T Ag in the antigenic site loss variants by infection with SV40 or transfection with cloned SV40 DNA restored the CTL recognition sites on the variant cells.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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