Greater specificity: The patented α3 mutation
The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) system is the name of the major histocompatibility complex in humans. CD8 molecules are known to assist binding of HLA to CTL in vivo and thus HLA molecules have binding sites for CD8 molecules. Bodinier et al. reported that introducing a mutation (A245V) in the HLA class I heavy chain α3 domain minimized unwanted binding to CD8 molecules and dramatically improved specificity (Nat. Med. 2000, 6: 707). MBL has incorporated the patented mutation of the α3 domain in their HLA class I tetramers and is the only manufacturer of MHC multimers with this technology to enhance specificity for the antigen-specific T cell receptor.