Hapten addition to an MHC class I-binding peptide causes substantial adjustments of the TCR structure of the responding CD8(+) T cells.


Journal Article

T cell responses against hapten-modified peptides play an important role in the pathogenesis of certain diseases, including contact dermatitis and allergy. However, the structural features of TCRs recognizing bulky, potentially mobile hapten groups remain poorly defined. To analyze the structural basis of TCR recognition of defined hapten-modified peptides, the immunodominant octapeptide derived from vesicular stomatitis virus nucleoprotein (VSV8) was modified with a trinitrophenyl (TNP) group at the primary TCR contact residues (position 4 or 6) and used for immunization of mice carrying either the TCR alpha- or beta-chain of a VSV8 (unmodified)/H-2K(b)-specific CTL clone as a transgene. Such mice allow independent analysis of one TCR chain by maintaining the other fixed. The TCR V gene usage of the responding T cell population was specifically altered depending upon the presence of the TNP group and its position on the peptide. The CDR3 sequences of the TNP-modified peptide-specific TCRs showed a preferential J region usage in both the CDR3alpha and beta loops, indicating that the J regions of both CDR3s are critical for recognition of TNP-modified peptides. In contrast to our previous observations showing the prime importance of CDR3beta residues encoded by D-segment or N-addition nucleotides for recognition of position 6 of unmodified VSV8, our studies of TNP-modified peptides demonstrate the importance of the Jbeta region, while the Jalpha region was crucial for recognizing both TNP-modified and unmodified peptides. These data suggest that different structural strategies are utilized by the CDR3alpha and beta loops to allow interaction with a haptenated peptide.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Honda, S; Zhang, W; Kalergis, AM; DiLorenzo, TP; Wang, F; Nathenson, SG

Published Date

  • October 15, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 167 / 8

Start / End Page

  • 4276 - 4285

PubMed ID

  • 11591750

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11591750

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-1767

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.4049/jimmunol.167.8.4276


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States