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Immunity. 2001 May;14(5):591-602.

A novel approach to antigen-specific deletion of CTL with minimal cellular activation using alpha3 domain mutants of MHC class I/peptide complex.

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MRC Human Immunology Unit, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, OX3 9DS, Oxford, United Kingdom.


In this study, we have compared the effector functions and fate of a number of human CTL clones in vitro or ex vivo following contact with variant peptides presented either on the cell surface or in a soluble multimeric format. In the presence of CD8 coreceptor binding, there is a good correlation between TCR signaling, killing of the targets, and FasL-mediated CTL apoptosis. Blocking CD8 binding using alpha3 domain mutants of MHC class I results in much reduced signaling and reduced killing of the targets. Surprisingly, however, FasL expression is induced to a similar degree on these CTLs, and apoptosis of CTL is unaffected. The ability to divorce these events may allow the deletion of antigen-specific and pathological CTL populations without the deleterious effects induced by full CTL activation.

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