The RP105 Ag is a murine B cell surface molecule that transmits an activation signal into B cells following ligation with anti-RP105 mAb. The activation leads to protection of B cells from irradiation- or dexamethasone-induced apoptosis, and to B cell proliferation. A cDNA encoding the RP105 Ag was isolated. An encoded protein is a type I transmembrane protein consisting of 641 amino acids in a mature form. Northern hybridization with a probe specific for the cDNA clone detected a transcript with a size of approximately 3 kb. The transcript was observed in spleen, but not in thymus, kidney, muscle, heart, brain, or liver. Stable transfection of the cDNA clone conferred the expression of the RP105 Ag on a pro-B cell line, which was confirmed by immunofluorescence staining and immunoprecipitation with anti-RP105 mAb. The RP105 molecule possesses 22 tandem repeats of a leucine-rich motif. These repeated motifs are observed in members of the leucine-rich repeat protein family, and have been implicated in protein-protein interactions, such as cell adhesion or receptor-ligand binding. Amino- and carboxyl-flanking regions that are characteristically conserved among members of the family are located on both sides of tandemly repeated leucine-rich motifs in RP105 molecule. These results demonstrate that RP105 is a novel member of the leucine-rich repeat protein family, and the first member that is specifically expressed on B cells.

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