Role of a C-Terminal Residue of an Immunodominant Epitopein T Cell Activation and Repertoire Diversity

John A. Mikszta, Yong Suk Jang, Byung S. Kim*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


In the present study, the extent of heterogeneity in the high responder T cell response to the predominant epitope region of hen egg white lysozyme (HEL46-61) was examined. Through analyses of T cell proliferation and precursor frequency, the C3H T cell response is shown not to be limited to peptides containing the previously defined minimal epitope of residues 52-61, but rather is quite heterogeneous, encompassing much of the 46-61 sequence. Further characterization using a panel of T cell hybridoma clones revealed T cell recognition of diverse minimal epitopes within this region. Interestingly, these T hybridomas could be grouped into three distinct categories based on the ability to respond to peptides with or without the native arginine residue at position 61 (61-required, 61-inhibitory, dual responders). Using analogue peptides containing single amino acid substitutions at position 61, further heterogeneity within these hybridoma groups was identified, suggesting the presence of an extremely diverse T cell repertoire for the epitope region. The charge and/or size of the C-terminal residue appears to be a critical factor for certain clones; replacement of the native arginine residue with aspartic acid or glutamic acid enabled a nonstimulatory ligand to specifically antagonize a T cell hybridoma response. Collectively, these results strongly suggest that the C-terminal residue of the predominant epitope in high responder mice plays a critical role in T cell diversity and activation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-135
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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