An Unusual Mechanism for Ligand Antagonism

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Science  24 Jul 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5376, pp. 568-572
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5376.568

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The ratio of late to early events stimulated by the mast cell receptor for immunoglobulin E (IgE) correlated with the affinity of a ligand for the receptor-bound IgE. Because excess receptors clustered by a weakly binding ligand could hoard a critical initiating kinase, they prevented the outnumbered clusters engendered by the high-affinity ligands from launching the more complete cascade. A similar mechanism could explain the antagonistic action of some peptides on the activation of T cells.

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