Control of MHC Restriction by TCR Vα CDR1 and CDR2

Science  16 Aug 1996:
Vol. 273, Issue 5277, pp. 963-966
DOI: 10.1126/science.273.5277.963


Individual T cell receptor (TCR) Vα elements are expressed preferentially in CD4 or CD8 peripheral T cell subsets. The closely related Vα3.1 and Vα3.2 elements show reciprocal selection into CD4 and CD8 subsets, respectively. Transgenic mice expressing site-directed mutants of a Vα3.1 gene were used to show that individual residues in either the complementarity-determining region 1 (CDR1) or CDR2 were sufficient to change selection from the CD4 subset to the CD8 subset. Thus, the germline-encoded Vα elements are a major influence on major histocompatibility class complex (MHC) restriction, most likely by a preferential interaction with one or the other class of MHC molecule.

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