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Int Rev Immunol. 1988 Apr;3(3):147-74.

The molecular basis of MHC-restricted antigen recognition by T cells.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, Maryland 20892.


In order to determine the contribution of the clonotypic T cell receptor (Ti) alpha beta heterodimer to the antigen/MHC specificity of mature T cells, we have transfected cloned Ti alpha and/or beta genes into either human or mouse T cells, and analyzed the transfectants for Ti-T3 expression and responses to antigen and Ia molecules. Our analysis establishes that a single receptor structure (the Ti alpha beta heterodimer) is necessary and sufficient to define the dual specificity of T cell antigen recognition and suggests that in at least certain instances Ti beta chains play a predominant role in MHC restriction specificity, raising the possibility of a "one receptor, two sites" model of T cell recognition.

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