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Immunity. 1998 Oct;9(4):475-83.

Peptide antagonism and T cell receptor interactions with peptide-MHC complexes.

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Center for Cancer Research and Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge 02139, USA.


We describe antagonist peptides that specifically inhibit cytolytic activity of T cell clones and lines that express the antigen-specific receptor of CD8+ T lymphocyte clone 2C, which recognizes peptides in association with syngeneic (Kb) and allogeneic (Ld) MHC proteins. Addition of an antagonist peptide that can bind to Kb on 2C cells decreased the tyrosine phosphorylation of CD3 zeta chains elicited by prior exposure of the cells to an agonist peptide-Kb complex. Contrary to previous agonist-antagonist comparisons, the 2C T cell receptor had higher affinity for an antagonist peptide-Kb complex than for a weak agonist peptide-Kb complex. This difference is considered in light of evidence that antigen-specific receptor affinity values can be substantially higher when determined with the receptor on live cells than with the receptor in cell-free systems.

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