Structural determinants of T-cell receptor bias in immunity

Nat Rev Immunol. 2006 Dec;6(12):883-94. doi: 10.1038/nri1977. Epub 2006 Nov 17.


Antigen-specific T-cell responses induced by infection, transplantation, autoimmunity or hypersensitivity are characterized by cells expressing biased profiles of T-cell receptors (TCRs) that are selected from a diverse, naive repertoire. Here, we review the evidence for these TCR biases, focusing on crystallographic analysis of the structural constraints that determine the binding of a TCR to its ligand and the persistence of certain TCRs in an immune repertoire. We discuss the ways in which diversity in a selected TCR repertoire can contribute to protective immunity and the implications of this for vaccine design and immunotherapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Immunity / genetics
  • Mice
  • Protein Conformation
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Viruses / immunology*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell