Biomembranes pp 221-222 | Cite as

Organization of Antigenic Structures on Cell Surfaces

  • Edward A. Boyse


Faced with the familiar problems of morphogenesis in all its aspects, including its breakdown in cancer, we are more and more forced to conclude that the cell surface must embody elaborate codes of recognition which regulate the orderly deployment of cells within multicellular organisms. The task of elucidating the organization of cell surface elements in terms that might help us to comprehend this can profitably be tackled as an exercise in immunogenetics. This is because serology provides the only general method for recognizing components of the cell surface as individual, discrete elements. Conventional immunogenetic techniques for studying cell surface antigens are somewhat inadequate in this context, dominated as they have been by the practicalities of delineating intraspecies antigen variation (allo-antigens) based on genetic polymorphism (allelism), for purposes of blood transfusion and tissue transplantation. Some progress is being made with new applications directed to the topography or regional distribution of antigens on the cell surface.


Cell Surface Discrete Element Regional Distribution Multicellular Organism Surface Display 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edward A. Boyse
    • 1
  1. 1.Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer ResearchNew YorkUSA

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