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Res Immunol. 1993 Mar-Apr;144(3):198-201; discussion 214-22.

Roles of superantigens in microbial infections?

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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Lausanne Branch, Epalinges, Switzerland.


Superantigens have been defined in a variety of infectious particles such as bacteria and viruses. These superantigens have the capacity to stimulate a large percentage of the host T cells by interacting specifically with the T-cell receptor V beta chain which is shared by about 1-20% of mature T cells. The recent discovery that mammary tumour viruses express such superantigens enabled the analysis of the retroviral life cycle and led to questions about the role of superantigen in amplification of the infection.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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