The extent of allelic variation of the Eα and Eβ polypeptide chains of the I-E antigens from the H-2> d, H-2k, H-2p, H-2r, and H-2u haplotypes is described. Eα and Eβ chains were individually labeled with arginine or lysine and compared by tryptic peptide analysis. The results indicate minimum variability among the Eα polypeptides encoded by the d, k, p, and r haplotypes. However, the Eαuchain differed significantly from the other allelic Eα gene products. On the other hand, the Eβ alleles demonstrated substantial variability with the Eβdbeing notably less similar to the other alleles than they are to each other. These findings are consistent with a number of observations regarding the serology and functions of the I-E antigens.
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