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Biological NMR Spectroscopy$
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John L. Markley and Stanley J. Opella

Print publication date: 1997

Print ISBN-13: 9780195094688

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195094688.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 23 October 2021

The Interaction of Antigens and Superantigens with the Human Class II Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule HLA-DR1

The Interaction of Antigens and Superantigens with the Human Class II Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule HLA-DR1

(p.216) 16 The Interaction of Antigens and Superantigens with the Human Class II Major Histocompatibility Complex Molecule HLA-DR1
Biological NMR Spectroscopy

T. Jardetzky

Oxford University Press

The initiation and maintenance of an immune response to pathogens requires the interactions of cells and proteins that together are able to distinguish appropriate non-self targets from the myriadof self-proteins (Janeway and Bottomly, 1994). This discrimination between self and non-self is in part accomplished by three groups of proteins of the immune system that have direct and specific interactions with antigens: antibodies, T cell receptors (TcR) and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins. Antibodies and TcR molecules are clonally expressed by the B and T cells of the immune system, respectively, defining each progenitor cell with a unique specificity for antigen. In these cell types both antibodies and TcR proteins undergo similar recombination events to generate a variable antigen combining site and thus produce a nearly unlimited number of proteins of different specificities. TcR molecules are further selected to recognize antigenic peptides bound to MHC proteins, during a process known as thymic selection, restricting the repertoire of T cells to the recognition of antigens presented by cells that express MHC proteins at their surface. Thymic selection of TcR and the subsequent restricted recognition of peptide-MHC complexes by peripheral T cells provides a fundamental molecular basis for the discrimination of self from non-sell and the regulation of the immune response (Allen, 1994; Nossal, 1994; von Boehmer, 1994). For example, different classes of T cells are used to recognize and kill infected cells (cytotoxic T cells) arid to provide lymphokiries that induce the niajority of soluble antibody responses of B cells (helper T cells). In contrast to the vast combinatorial and clonal diversity of antibodies and TcRs, a small set of MHC molecules is used to recognize a potentially unlimited universe of foreign peptide antigens for antigen presentation to T cells (Germain, 1994). This poses the problem of how each MHC molecule is capable of recognizing enough peptides to insure an immune response to pathogens. In addition, the specificity of the TcR interaction with MHC-peptide complexes is clearly crucial to the problem of self :non-self discrimination, with implications for both protective immunity and auto-immune disease.

Keywords:   HLA, MHC proteins, T cell receptor, antigen, electron density, immunoglobulin, peptide, superantigen, toxic shock syndrome toxin, x-ray crystallography

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