T cell receptor engagement by peptide - MHC ligands induces a conformational change in the CD3 complex of thymocytes

Diana Gil, Adam G. Schrum, Balbino Alarcón, Ed Palmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

100 Scopus citations

Abstract

The T cell receptor (TCR) can recognize a variety of cognate peptide/major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) ligands and translate their affinity into distinct cellular responses. To achieve this, the nonsignaling αβ heterodimer communicates ligand recognition to the CD3 signaling subunits by an unknown mechanism. In thymocytes, we found that both positive- and negative-selecting pMHC ligands expose a cryptic epitope in the CD3 complex upon TCR engagement. This conformational change is induced in vivo and requires the expression of cognate MHC. We conclude that TCR engagement with a cognate pMHC ligand induces a conformational change in the CD3 complex of thymocytes and propose that this marks an initial event during thymic selection that signals the recognition of self-antigen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-522
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume201
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 21 2005

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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