Research ArticleT CELLS

Empty peptide-receptive MHC class I molecules for efficient detection of antigen-specific T cells

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Science Immunology  19 Jul 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 37, eaau9039
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aau9039

Empty MHC reagents improve T cell detection

Recombinant MHC molecules displaying single peptides in their peptide-binding cleft are valuable reagents for identifying T cells that bind specific peptide-MHC complexes. Two studies in this week’s issue show that disulfide-stabilized (DS) class I MHC molecules offer a more efficient path to preparing large libraries of MHC-peptide reagents. Saini et al. developed DS versions of three class I MHC molecules and used a library of DS-HLA-A2-peptide multimers to rapidly screen T cells infiltrating human melanoma tumors for neoantigen reactivity. Moritz et al. prepared libraries of DS-HLA-A2-peptide complexes to screen an affinity-matured TCR for cross-reactivity with self–peptide-MHC complexes. Empty class I MHC molecules that are stable and easily loaded with peptide will facilitate the wider use of MHC-peptide reagents for T cell detection. See related Research Article by Moritz et al. in this issue.

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