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Immunology. 2009 Feb;126(2):165-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2567.2008.03015.x.

T-cell receptor binding affinities and kinetics: impact on T-cell activity and specificity.

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Department of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA.


The interaction between the T-cell receptor (TCR) and its peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pepMHC) ligand plays a critical role in determining the activity and specificity of the T cell. The binding properties associated with these interactions have now been studied in many systems, providing a framework for a mechanistic understanding of the initial events that govern T-cell function. There have been various other reviews that have described the structural and biochemical features of TCR : pepMHC interactions. Here we provide an overview of four areas that directly impact our understanding of T-cell function, as viewed from the perspective of the TCR : pepMHC interaction: (1) relationships between T-cell activity and TCR : pepMHC binding parameters, (2) TCR affinity, avidity and clustering, (3) influence of coreceptors on pepMHC binding by TCRs and T-cell activity, and (4) impact of TCR binding affinity on antigenic peptide specificity.

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