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TCR-Mediated Internalization of Peptide-MHC Complexes Acquired by T Cells

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Science  29 Oct 1999:
Vol. 286, Issue 5441, pp. 952-954
DOI: 10.1126/science.286.5441.952

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Abstract

Peptide–major histocompatibility complex protein complexes (pMHCs) on antigen-presenting cells (APCs) are central to T cell activation. Within minutes of peptide-specific T cells interacting with APCs, pMHCs on APCs formed clusters at the site of T cell contact. Thereafter, these clusters were acquired by T cells and internalized through T cell receptor–mediated endocytosis. During this process, T cells became sensitive to peptide-specific lysis by neighboring T cells (fratricide). This form of immunoregulation could explain the “exhaustion” of T cell responses that is induced by high viral loads and may serve to down-regulate immune responses.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: zcai{at}prius.jnj.com

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