Reddehase, Matthias J. and Rothbard, Jonathan B. and Koszinowski, Ulrich H.
A pentapeptide as minimal antigenic determinant for MHC class I-restricted T lymphocytes.
In: Nature, Vol. 337: pp. 651-653
Peptides that are antigenic for T lymphocytes are ligands for two receptors, the class I or II glycoproteins that are encoded by genes in the major histocompatibility complex, and the idiotypic / chain T-cell antigen receptor1–9. That a peptide must bind to an MHC molecule to interact with a T-cell antigen receptor is the molecular basis of the MHC restriction of antigen-recognition by T lymphocytes10,11. In such a trimolecular interaction the amino-acid sequence of the peptide must specify the contact with both receptors: agretope residues bind to the MHC receptor and epitope residues bind to the T-cell antigen receptor12,13. From a compilation of known antigenic peptides, two algorithms have been proposed to predict antigenic sites in proteins. One algorithm uses linear motifs in the sequence14, whereas the other considers peptide conformation and predicts antigenicity for amphipathic -helices15,16. We report here that a systematic delimitation of an antigenic site precisely identifies a predicted pentapeptide motif as the minimal antigenic determinant presented by a class I MHC molecule and recognized by a cytolytic T lymphocyte clone.