The production, purification and crystallization of a soluble heterodimeric form of a highly selected T-cell receptor in its unliganded and liganded state

Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 2002 Dec;58(Pt 12):2131-4. doi: 10.1107/s0907444902015482. Epub 2002 Nov 23.


T-cell antigen receptors (TcRs) are heterodimeric cell-surface receptors that play a pivotal role in the cellular immune response. The TcR interacts specifically with a peptide-laden major histocompatability complex (pMHC). A human TcR has been characterized that interacts with an immunodominant epitope, FLRGRAYGL, from the Epstein-Barr virus, a ubiquitous human pathogen, in complex with HLA-B8. Despite the vast TcR repertoire, this TcR is found in up to 10% of the total T-cell population in seropositive HLA-B8+ individuals. In this report, this highly selected TcR is characterized by expressing in Escherichia coli, refolding, purifying and crystallizing the receptor. In addition, the HLA-B8-FLRGRAYGL complex has been expressed in E. coli, refolded and shown to be functionally active. Using native gel electrophoresis, the refolded TcR is shown to be capable of binding specifically to the refolded HLA-B8-FLRGRAYGL and this TcR has been crystallized in complex with the pMHC. The crystals of the unliganded and liganded TcR diffract to 1.5 and 2.5 A, respectively.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Crystallization
  • DNA Primers
  • Dimerization
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / isolation & purification
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / isolation & purification
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • DNA Primers
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Recombinant Proteins