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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Oct 15;88(20):8987-90.

Extensive conservation of alpha and beta chains of the human T-cell antigen receptor recognizing HLA-A2 and influenza A matrix peptide.

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Institute of Molecular Medicine, John Radcliffe Hospital, Headington, Oxford, United Kingdom.


The major histocompatibility complex class I molecule HLA-A2.1 presents the influenza A virus matrix peptide 57-68 to cytotoxic T lymphocytes in all individuals with this common HLA type and is among the most thoroughly studied immune responses in humans. We have studied the T-cell receptor (TCR) heterogeneity of T cells specific for HLA-A2 and influenza A matrix peptide using the polymerase chain reaction. The usage of V alpha and V beta sequences seen on these T cells is remarkably conserved as are certain junctional sequences associated with alpha and beta chains. Furthermore, two unrelated HLA-A2 individuals have a similar pattern of TCR usage, implying that this is a predominant response in HLA-A2 populations. Analysis in one individual showed that the conserved TCR V alpha and V beta genes are minor members of the peripheral blood TCR repertoire. The sequences provide important information on the TCR necessary for the final structural analysis of this ternary complex.

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