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Cell. 1986 Dec 26;47(6):1071-7.

Isolation and characterization of antigen-Ia complexes involved in T cell recognition.


Using equilibrium dialysis, it has been previously demonstrated that immunogenic peptides bind specifically to the Ia molecules serving as restriction elements in the immune response to these antigens. Using gel filtration to study the formation of ovalbumin (OVA) peptide-I-Ad complexes, it is herein demonstrated that the complexes, once formed, are very stable (kd approximately equal to 3 X 10(-6) s-1), but the rate of complex formation is very slow (ka approximately 1 M-1 s-1 explaining the overall low equilibrium constant of approximately 2 X 10(-6) M. Treating the complexes with glutaraldehyde revealed that the ovalbumin peptide was cross-linked solely to the alpha chain of I-Ad. Planar membranes containing I-Ad-OVA complexes stimulated a T cell response with 2 X 10(4) less antigen than required when uncomplexed antigen was used, thus demonstrating the biologic importance of these complexes in antigen recognition.

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