Activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM) was recently identified as a ligand for CD6, a signaling receptor expressed on T cells, a subset of B cells, and some cells in the brain. Receptor-ligand binding assays, antibody blocking experiments, and examination of the tissue distribution of these two cell surface proteins suggest that CD6-ALCAM interactions play an important role in mediating the binding of thymocytes to thymic epithelial cells and of T cells to activated leukocytes. Presently, the details of CD6-ALCAM interactions and of signaling through CD6 are unknown. A series of truncated human ALCAM and CD6 immunoglobulin fusion proteins were produced and tested in different binding assays to analyze ALCAM-CD6 interactions in more detail. In this study, we report that the amino-terminal Ig-like domain of human ALCAM specifically binds to the third membrane-proximal scavenger receptor cysteine-rich (SRCR) domain of human CD6. Using thrombin-cleaved Ig fusion proteins containing single or multiple ALCAM or CD6 domains, we were able to determine that the stoichiometry of the interaction between the amino-terminal ALCAM domains and the membrane-proximal CD6 SRCR domain is 1:1. These results provide the first example of an Ig-like domain mediating an interaction with an SRCR domain.
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