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Mol Immunol. 1994 Nov;31(16):1285-93.

Minimal requirements for peptide mediated activation of CD8+ CTL.

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Department of Electrical, Computer and Systems Engineering, Boston University, MA 02215.


A physical chemical model of T cell stimulation by class I-peptide complexes was developed and used to analyse in vitro studies of gamma-interferon release as a function of the number of peptide and MHC molecules. The analysis provided reasonable estimates of well identified parameters, including equilibrium constants and the minimum number of T cell receptor-class I-peptide ternary complexes on a presenting cell required to activate T cells. The latter number was estimated as 3-5 per T cell. This is in distinct contrast to estimates in the literature of the number of peptide-MHC complexes required for activity, which is necessarily larger. The analysis also predicted that activity is potentiated by interaction between class I molecules, even if one member of the pair is not bound by antigen. The analytical approach used in this paper may be applicable to other activation systems.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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