Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules associate with a variety of peptide ligands during biosynthesis and present these ligands on the cell surface for recognition by cytotoxic T cells. We have designed conditional MHC ligands that form stable complexes with MHC molecules but degrade on command, by exposure to a defined photostimulus. 'Empty MHC molecules' generated in this manner can be loaded with arrays of peptide ligands to determine MHC binding properties and to monitor antigen-specific T-cell responses in a high-throughput manner. We document the value of this approach by identifying cytotoxic T-cell epitopes within the H5N1 influenza A/Vietnam/1194/04 genome.

dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm1360, hdl.handle.net/1765/58422
Nature Medicine
Department of Virology

Toebes, M, Coccoris, M, Bins, A, Rodenko, B, Gomez, R, Nieuwkoop, N.J, … Schumacher, T.N. (2006). Design and use of conditional MHC class I ligands. Nature Medicine, 12(2), 246–251. doi:10.1038/nm1360