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Semin Immunol. 1998 Feb;10(1):43-55.

B cell superantigens: possible roles in immunodeficiency and autoimmunity.

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1
University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093, USA.

Abstract

Lymphocyte antigen receptors have evolved for the discrimination of self and non-self structures and consequently the unconventional binding activities of superantigens pose a special set of potential hazards and opportunities for the immune system. This review presents recent evidence that certain naturally occurring proteins have the properties of B cell superantigens by virtue of their unconventional variable-region mediated interactions with soluble and membrane-bound immunoglobulins. The implications for B lymphocyte activation and clonal selection are discussed and we speculate how superantigens may influence the development of lymphocyte repertoires and the immune responses associated with certain autoimmune and immunodeficiency diseases.

PMID:
9529655
DOI:
10.1006/smim.1997.0104
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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