Peptide antigens for gamma/delta T cells
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- Born, W.K., Zhang, L., Nakayama, M. et al. Cell. Mol. Life Sci. (2011) 68: 2335. doi:10.1007/s00018-011-0697-3
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γδ T cells express adaptive antigen receptors encoded by rearranging genes. Their diversity is highest in the small region of TCR V–J junctions, especially in the δ chain, which should enable the γδ TCRs to distinguish differences in small epitopes. Indeed, recognition of small molecules, and of an epitope on a larger protein has been reported. Responses to small non-peptides known as phospho-antigens are multi-clonal yet limited to a single γδ T cell subset in humans and non-human primates. Responses to small peptides are multi-clonal or oligo-clonal, include more than one subset of γδ T cells, and occur in rodents and primates. However, less effort has been devoted to investigate the peptide responses. To settle the questions of whether peptides can be ligands for the γδ TCRs, and whether responses to small peptides might occur normally, peptide binding will have to be demonstrated, and natural peptide ligands identified.