- CD4+ T-cells recognize peptide antigens, in the context of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules (HLA-II), which through peptide-flanking residues (PFRs) can extend beyond the limits of the HLA binding. The role of the PFRs during antigen recognition is not fully understood; however, recent studies have indicated that these regions can influence T-cell receptor (TCR) affinity and pHLA-II stability. Here, using various biochemical approaches including peptide sensitivity ELISA and ELISpot assays, peptide-binding assays and HLA-II tetramer staining, we focused on CD4+ T-cell responses against a tumor antigen, 5T4 oncofetal trophoblast glycoprotein (5T4), which have been associated with improved control of colorectal cancer.
- T-cell cross-reactivity is essential for effective immune surveillance but has also been implicated as a pathway to autoimmunity. Previous studies have demonstrated that T-cell receptors (TCRs) that focus on a minimal motif within the peptide are able to facilitate a high level of T-cell cross-reactivity. However, the structural database shows that most TCRs exhibit less focused antigen binding involving contact with more peptide residues. To further explore the structural features that allow the clonally expressed TCR to functionally engage with multiple peptide-major histocompatibility complexes (pMHCs), we examined the ILA1 CD8+ T-cell clone that responds to a peptide sequence derived from human telomerase reverse transcriptase.