Antigen Processing and Presentation at a Molecular Level

  • Paul M. Allen
  • Emil R. Unanue
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 225)


The recognition of antigen by helper T-cells through their antigen specific receptor has been the center of intense investigation by many different researchers. Helper T-cells recognize antigen in association with a class II molecule on the surface of an antigen presenting cell. Unlike B-cells which generally recognize determinants found in the native form of the antigen, most T-cells recognize a non-native form of the antigen. It is this conversion of antigen from a native form to the form recognized by T-cells which has been operationally defined as antigen processing. Over the past four years, we have developed a system which utilizes the antigen hen egg-white lysozyme to determine at a molecular level 1) what antigen processing is, 2) how the determinant recognized by the T-cell is formed, and 3) what precisely is the ligand of the T-cell receptor. In this manuscript, we would like to initially review the concept of antigen processing at a molecular level and then present our results on the formation and recognition by the T-cell receptor of an antigenic determinant of HEL.


Antigen Processing Immunogenic Peptide Antigen Specific Receptor Wild Type Residue Space Residue 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul M. Allen
    • 1
  • Emil R. Unanue
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyWashington University School of MedicineSt. LouisUSA

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