T-cell receptor V-region usage and antigen specificity. The cytochrome c model system

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 1995 Jul 7;756:1-11. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.1995.tb44477.x.


Investigations of the I-Ek-restricted, cytochrome c-specific T-cell response in mice show that both T-cell receptor V alpha and V beta CDR3 residues and the use of particular V alpha s and V beta s are necessary for recognition. Data strongly suggest that specific CDR3 residues are important in contacting the peptide. Other experiments indicate that the requirement for V alpha:V beta conservation is not the result of strong TCR-->MHC interactions, as no correlation was found between V beta usage and changes in the alpha-helixes of the I-Ek molecule. It is also apparent that changes in V alpha or V beta usage could be elicited by changes in the side chain size of single amino acids of the antigenic peptides, suggesting that V alpha or V beta conservation is important for peptide recognition, either directly or indirectly. We also show that we can follow the cytochrome c response in vivo even in nontransgenic mice, solely by staining with anti-V region antibodies as well as mAbs directed at the activation markers CD44 and L-selectin.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Columbidae
  • Cytochrome c Group / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / chemistry*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Structure-Activity Relationship
  • T-Lymphocytes, Helper-Inducer / metabolism*


  • Cytochrome c Group
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Peptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta