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Immunity. 1994 Apr;1(1):15-22.

Kinetics and affinity of reactions between an antigen-specific T cell receptor and peptide-MHC complexes.

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Center for Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139.


We show here that the net rate of accumulation of complexes formed by the antigen-specific receptor of T cells (TCR) of a T cell clone with its natural ligand, an octapeptide in association with Ld, a class I protein of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), approaches the maximal value determined by the affinity of the TCR for this peptide-MHC ligand in 1-2 min, which is well within the lifetime of transient T cell-target cell conjugates. Consistent with this finding, we also found that the widely divergent affinity values (equilibrium constants) of this TCR for six related peptide-MHC complexes correlate well with the extent of specific lysis of target cells bearing various level of these complexes.

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