Early Studies of the TCell Receptor

By the early 1980s, investigators had learned much about T-cell function but were thwarted in their attempts to

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Interaction of aß TCR with Class II MHC-Peptide

■ Early Studies of the T-Cell Receptor

■ aß and y8 T-Cell Receptors: Structure and Roles

■ Organization and Rearrangement of TCR Genes

■ T-Cell Receptor Complex: TCR-CD3

■ T-Cell Accessory Membrane Molecules

■ Three-Dimensional Structures of TCR-Peptide-MHC Complexes

■ Alloreactivity of T Cells identify and isolate its antigen-binding receptor. The obvious parallels between the recognition functions of T cells and B cells stimulated a great deal of experimental effort to take advantage of the anticipated structural similarities between immunoglobulins and T-cell receptors. Reports published in the 1970s claimed discovery of immunoglob-ulin isotypes associated exclusively with T cells (IgT) and of antisera that recognize variable-region markers (idio-types) common to antibodies and T-cell receptors with similar specificity. These experiments could not be reproduced and were proven to be incorrect when it was demonstrated that the T-cell receptor and immunoglobulins do not have common recognition elements and are encoded by entirely separate gene families. As the following sections will show, a sequence of well-designed experiments using cutting-edge technology was required to correctly answer questions about the structure of the T-cell receptor, the genes that encode it, and the manner in which it recognizes antigen.

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