T cell antigen receptors (TCRs) expressed on cytotoxic or helper T cells can only see their specific target antigen as short sequences of peptides bound to the groove of proteins of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I, and class II respectively. In addition to the many steps, several participating proteins, and multiple cellular compartments involved in the processing of antigens, the MHC structure, with its dynamic and flexible groove, has perfectly evolved as the underlying instrument for epitope selection. In this review, I have taken a step-by-step, and rather historical, view to describe antigen processing and determinant selection, as we understand it today, all based on decades of intense research by hundreds of laboratories.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)