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Int Immunol. 1992 Aug;4(8):869-74.

Peptide-conjugated hapten groups are the major antigenic determinants for trinitrophenyl-specific cytotoxic T cells.

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1
Max-Planck-Institut für Immunbiologie, Freiburg, Germany.

Abstract

Several trinitrophenyl (TNP)-specific mouse cytotoxic T cell (CTL) clones recognize TNP-conjugated peptides in association with class I MHC molecules ('hapten-peptide determinants'). However, cell modification with trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS) also leads to the formation of TNP determinants covalently attached to MHC molecules ('altered self'). To determine the importance of 'peptide' versus 'altered self' determinants, we used the mutant cell line RMA-S which expresses peptide-free ('empty') Kb and Db molecules at 26 degrees C. Additionally, we stabilized Kb molecules on RMA-S cells at 37 degrees C using the Kb binding heptapeptide N53-59 derived from the vesicular stomatitis virus nucleoprotein. Lacking lysine, this peptide remains unmodified by TNBS and, therefore, only allows the formation of 'altered self' TNP determinants on occupied Kb molecules. RMA-S targets, pretreated or untreated with N53-59, upon TNBS modification were only lysed poorly or not at all by four different TNP-specific CTL. In contrast, all of these clones efficiently lysed TNBS-treated, unmutated RMA cells, and three of them strongly reacted with RMA or RMA-S cells in the presence of tryptic TNP-BSA peptides. Moreover, the clone unreactive for TNP-BSA peptides also recognized TNP self-peptides extracted from TNBS-treated syngeneic spleen cells. Taken together, these data clearly show that TNP residues linked to MHC via associated peptides but not by covalent bondage represent the dominant antigenic epitopes for class I MHC-restricted, hapten-specific T cells.

PMID:
1384686
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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