Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

CD8(+) cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) are key determinants of immunity to intracellular pathogens and neoplastic cells. Recognition of specific antigens in the form of peptide-MHC class I complexes (pMHCI) presented on the target cell surface is mediated by T cell receptor (TCR) engagement. The CD8 coreceptor binds to invariant domains of pMHCI and facilitates antigen recognition. Here, we investigate the biological effects of a Q115E substitution in the alpha2 domain of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A*0201 that enhances CD8 binding by approximately 50% without altering TCR/pMHCI interactions. Soluble and cell surface-expressed forms of Q115E HLA-A*0201 exhibit enhanced recognition by CTL without loss of specificity. These CD8-enhanced antigens induce greater CD3 zeta chain phosphorylation in cognate CTL leading to substantial increases in cytokine production, proliferation and priming of naive T cells. This effect provides a fundamental new mechanism with which to enhance cellular immunity to specific T cell antigens.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





1323 - 1333


Amino Acid Sequence, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, CD8, Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte, HLA-A Antigens, HLA-A2 Antigen, Humans, Lymphocyte Activation, Molecular Sequence Data, Mutation, Protein Structure, Quaternary, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Surface Plasmon Resonance, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic, Transfection