Molecular Nature of the T3 Antigen of Human T Lymphocytes
T-lymphocytes are normally quiescent but are stimulated by contact with antigen to grow, divide and differentiate into immunocompetent cells. A particular antigen, however, stimulates only the small proportion of antigen-specific T cells (usually <0.1% of the total population). Various polyclonal mitogens stimulate the majority of human T-lymphocytes, irrespective of their antigen specificity, to respond in an apparently identical manner with that induced by specific antigen. Such mitogens include the lectins Concanavalin A (Con A) and phytohaemagglutinin (PHA), and monoclonal antibodies (MAb’s) of the OKT3 series (viz. OKT3, Leu-4 and UCH-T1). One explanation for their mitogenicity is that they react with the T-cell antigen receptor, thereby promoting biochemical responses identical with those initiated by the interaction of antigen with its specific receptor.
KeywordsAntigen Receptor Combine Site Imperial Cancer Research Fund London WC2A Lectin Concanavalin
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