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J Immunol. 1993 Mar 15;150(6):2281-94.

Transfer of putative complementarity-determining region loops of T cell receptor V domains confers toxin reactivity but not peptide/MHC specificity.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, Stanford University, CA 94305.


We have used multiple-amino acid replacement mutagenesis to examine the roles of the TCR homologues of Ig complementarity-determining regions (CDR) and framework sequences in Ag-MHC and Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin reactivity. In the three cases examined, transplantation of Ig CDR3 homologues between I-Ek-restricted TCR that recognize distinct peptides did not result in transfer of peptide reactivity. Thus the structural context of the CDR3 loops, e.g., both neighboring CDR and the V beta structure, must play a crucial, albeit supporting, role in ligand recognition. The extreme lability of this context was also shown by the fact that transplantation of the CDR1, -2, and -3 loops from the beta chain of 5C.C7 onto a V beta 1 framework failed to transfer MHC-peptide specificity even when the TCR-alpha chains were identical. In contrast, superantigen reactivity was readily transferred in several cases, with CDR2 transplants conferring strong staphylococcal enterotoxin B and A reactivity and CDR1 transplants yielding weak reactivities. This suggests that bacterial (and perhaps other) superantigens bind to many of the same regions of the TCR V beta that are believed to interact with MHC molecules. These regions of V beta may be ideal targets for superantigen binding precisely because they interact with MHC molecules and thus may be relatively conserved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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