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Immunity. 2002 Oct;17(4):487-99.

TCR specificity dictates CD94/NKG2A expression by human CTL.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.

Erratum in

  • Immunity 2002 Dec;17(6): 835.


Activating and inhibitory CD94/NKG2 receptors regulate CTL responses by altering TCR signaling, thus modifying antigen activation thresholds set during thymic selection. To determine whether their expression was linked to TCR specificity, we examined the TCR repertoire of oligoclonal CTL expansions found in human blood and tissues. High-resolution TCR repertoire analysis revealed that commitment to inhibitory NKG2A expression was a clonal attribute developmentally acquired after TCR expression and during antigen encounter, whereas actual surface expression depended on recent TCR engagement. Further, CTL clones expressing sequence-related TCR, and therefore sharing the same antigen specificity, invariably shared the same NKG2A commitment. These findings suggest that TCR antigenic specificity dictates NKG2A commitment, which critically regulates subsequent activation of CTL.

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