T cells can be activated by peptides that are unrelated in sequence to their selecting peptide

Immunity. 1997 Aug;7(2):179-86. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(00)80521-x.


We tested the ability of CD4+ T cells, selected in the thymus by reaction with class II protein bound to a single peptide, to react with the same class II protein bound to other peptides. The T cells reacted with all peptides tested, including one that was quite unlike the selecting peptide in T cell receptor binding residues. The receptors on class II/peptide-reactive T cells from class II/single peptide mice were similar but not identical to some of those from normal animals. Thus, class II bound to a single peptide selects a subset of T cells that is related to that selected by class II bound to many peptides.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Separation
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Peptides / pharmacology*
  • Protein Binding / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta / metabolism


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