Peptide antigen recognition by T-cells occurs because of the interaction of the epitope cradled within the peptide-binding groove of the major histocompatibility complex molecule on the surface of an antigen-presenting cell with the T-cell antigen receptor, a heterodimer whose chains belong to the immunoglobulin superfamily. Passage of the message from the receptor to the cell’s nucleus occurs via a complex choreography of kinases, calcium, and chemical combinations consisting of families of proteins described by arcane acronyms, numbers and letters that perplex the casual observer. However, taming the T-cell is crucial in transplantation and in controlling autoimmunity. Behind the jargon is a fascinating, albeit confusing, set of mechanisms that already offer therapeutic promise.
Division of Rheumatology and Connective Tissue Research, Department of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Department of Molecular Genetics & Microbiology, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Address correspondence to: Leonard H. Sigal, MD, 1 Robert Wood Johnson Place- MEB 484, New Brunswick, NJ 08903-0019. E-mail: email@example.com