Polyspecificity of T cell and B cell receptor recognition

Kai W. Wucherpfennig, Paul M. Allen, Franco Celada, Irun R. Cohen, Rob De Boer, K. Christopher Garcia, Byron Goldstein, Ralph Greenspan, David Hafler, Philip Hodgkin, Erik S. Huseby, David C. Krakauer, David Nemazee, Alan S. Perelson, Clemencia Pinilla, Roland K. Strong, Eli E. Sercarz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

166 Scopus citations


A recent workshop discussed the recognition of multiple distinct ligands by individual T cell and B cell receptors and the implications of this discovery for lymphocyte biology. The workshop recommends general use of the term polyspecificity because it emphasizes two fundamental aspects, the inherent specificity of receptor recognition and the ability to recognize multiple ligands. Many different examples of polyspecificity and the structural mechanisms were discussed, and the group concluded that polyspecificity is a general, inherent feature of TCR and antibody recognition. This review summarizes the relevance of polyspecificity for lymphocyte development, activation and disease processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-224
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in immunology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2007


  • MHC
  • Peptide
  • Polyspecificity
  • Recognition
  • T cell receptor


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