MHC molecules as peptide receptors

Curr Opin Immunol. 1993 Feb;5(1):35-44. doi: 10.1016/0952-7915(93)90078-7.


The central unit for regulation of the specific immune system is a trimolecular complex made up of the T cell antigen receptor, the MHC molecule, and the MHC ligand. The third component is a peptide derived as a degradation product from a protein. During recent years there has been some progress in understanding the interaction between MHC molecules and their peptide ligands: MHC molecules are peptide receptors of peculiar specificity, being able to accommodate millions of different peptides provided they share some common features.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Alleles
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / metabolism
  • Binding Sites
  • Biological Transport
  • Epitopes / immunology*
  • Epitopes / metabolism
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology*
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • beta 2-Microglobulin / metabolism


  • Epitopes
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Peptide Fragments
  • beta 2-Microglobulin