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Nat Rev Immunol. 2008 Mar;8(3):231-8. doi: 10.1038/nri2260.

The molecular basis for public T-cell responses?

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Complex Systems Biology Group, Centre for Vascular Research, University of New South Wales, Kensington New South Wales 2052, Australia.


Public T-cell responses, in which T cells bearing identical T-cell receptors (TCRs) are observed to dominate the response to the same antigenic epitope in multiple individuals, have long been a focus of immune T-cell repertoire studies. However, the mechanism that enables the survival of a specific TCR from the diverse repertoire produced in the thymus through to its involvement in a public immune response remains unclear. In this Opinion article, we propose that the frequency of production of T cells bearing different TCRs during recombination has an important role in the sharing of TCRs in an immune response, with variable levels of 'convergent recombination' driving production frequencies.

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