Kinetics and affinity of reactions between an antigen-specific T cell receptor and peptide-MHC complexes

Immunity. 1994 Apr;1(1):15-22. doi: 10.1016/1074-7613(94)90005-1.


We show here that the net rate of accumulation of complexes formed by the antigen-specific receptor of T cells (TCR) of a T cell clone with its natural ligand, an octapeptide in association with Ld, a class I protein of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC), approaches the maximal value determined by the affinity of the TCR for this peptide-MHC ligand in 1-2 min, which is well within the lifetime of transient T cell-target cell conjugates. Consistent with this finding, we also found that the widely divergent affinity values (equilibrium constants) of this TCR for six related peptide-MHC complexes correlate well with the extent of specific lysis of target cells bearing various level of these complexes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Clone Cells
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Kinetics
  • Ligands
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Oligopeptides / genetics
  • Oligopeptides / immunology
  • Oligopeptides / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism*
  • Solubility


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Ligands
  • Oligopeptides
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell