Genetics of the cell surface
Bodmer WF., Watkins WM., Stocker BAD.
The surface of a cell is one of its most important components through which it can communicate with the outside environment, and with other cells. The aim of this volume is to illustrate the contributions made by genetics to the understanding of some important cell surface phenomena. The first series of four contributions deals with a variety of examples of cell-surface genetics from bacteria through to man. The genetics of the bacterial surface provides an interesting model for higher organisms, including problems of transport and cellular interaction. The red cell blood groups, which provided the first example of a clearly defined genetic difference on any cell surface, were also the first such variations whose biochemical basis was clearly established. The remarkable cell surface variants of the trypanosomes must have a genetic basis, whose nature remains a challenge to the molecular geneticist. The last of these four contributions deals with plant incompatibility systems, whose physiology has long suggested mechanisms involving some form of surface recognition. The second set of four contributions concentrates on the functions, genetics, and biochemistry of the major histocompatibility systems of mouse (H-2) and man (HLA). These systems, which have their counterparts in many other species, are now known to encompass a large number of genes controlling cell surface determinants, immune response differences and components of the complement system.