The potential of CD4+ T cells for cross-recognition of self and foreign Ags has important implications for the understanding of thymic selection, lymphocyte survival, and the occurrence of autoimmune diseases. Here, we define the extensive flexibility of Ag recognition for three human CD4+ autoreactive T cell clones (TCC) by using ligands with single and multiple amino acid (aa) substitutions. Our results demonstrate that the spectrum of tolerated ligands and the resulting stimulatory potency of peptides for a TCC can be predicted by the relative influence of each aa. Using this approach, we have identified stimulatory ligands not sharing a single aa in corresponding positions with the Ag used to establish the TCC. These results argue for an independent contribution of each aa in the peptide sequence to the affinity of the MHC/peptide complex to the TCR.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Journal of Immunology|
|State||Published - Apr 15 1998|
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