Natural killer T cells expressing invariant T cell receptor alpha-chains (TCRalpha chains) containing variable (V) and joining (J) region V(alpha)14-J(alpha)18 (V(alpha)14i) rearrangements recognize both endogenous and microbial glycolipids in the context of CD1d. How cells expressing an invariant TCRalpha chain and a restricted set of TCRbeta chains recognize structurally diverse antigens is not clear. Here we show that a V(alpha)14i TCR recognized many alpha-linked glycolipids by means of a hot-spot of germline-encoded amino acids in complementarity-determining regions 3alpha, 1alpha and 2beta. This hot-spot did not shift during the recognition of structurally distinct antigens, suggesting that the V(alpha)14i TCR functions as a pattern-recognition receptor, conferring on natural killer T cells the ability to sense and respond in an innate way to pathogens displaying antigenic alpha-linked glycolipids.
|Pages (from-to)||1105 - 1113|
|Number of pages||9|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|