Antigen Recognition Determinants of γδ T Cell Receptors

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Science  08 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5719, pp. 252-255
DOI: 10.1126/science.1106480

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The molecular basis of γδ T cell receptor (TCR) recognition is poorly understood. Here, we analyze the TCR sequences of a natural γδ T cell population specific for the major histocompatibility complex class Ib molecule T22. We find that T22 recognition correlates strongly with a somatically recombined TCRδ complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) motif derived from germ line–encoded residues. Sequence diversity around these residues modulates TCR ligand-binding affinities, whereas V gene usage correlates mainly with tissue origin. These results show how an antigen-specific γδ TCR repertoire can be generated at a high frequency and suggest that γδ T cells recognize a limited number of antigens.

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