Cutting edge: Evidence of direct TCR α-chain interaction with superantigen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Superantigens are known to activate a large number of T cells. The SAg is presented by MHC class II on the APC and its classical feature is that it recognizes the variable region of the β-chain of the TCR. In this article, we report, by direct binding studies, that staphylococcal enterotoxin (SE) H (SEH), a bacterial SAg secreted by Staphylococcus aureus, instead recognizes the variable α-chain (TRAV27) of TCR. Furthermore, we show that different SAgs (e.g., SEH and SEA) can simultaneously bind to one TCR by binding the α-chain and the β-chain, respectively. Theoretical three-dimensional models of the penta complexes are presented. Hence, these findings open up a new dimension of the biology of the staphylococcal enterotoxins.


External organisations
  • Avidex Limited
  • Active Biotech Research AB
  • SARomics Biostructures AB
  • University of Gothenburg
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2700-2704
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sep 1
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes