Essential flexibility in the T-cell recognition of antigen

Nature. 1996 Apr 11;380(6574):495-8. doi: 10.1038/380495a0.


alpha beta T cells specifically recognize a ligand composed of a peptide bound to a self-major-histocompatibility-complex molecule, but the recognition of slightly altered ligands by T cells can lead to a partial activation. This flexibility is crucial for T-cell development and can have both beneficial and harmful effects on peripheral T cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens / immunology*
  • Ligands
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Major Histocompatibility Complex
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / agonists
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology*
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*


  • Antigens
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell