Flow Cytometric Detection of MMTV Superantigens

  • Gary Winslow
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology™ book series (MIMB, volume 214)


Mouse mammary tumor viral superantigens (vSAgs) are produced by germline-encoded proviruses and infectious viruses (for reviews see refs. 1,2. Like other superantigens, they interact with class II major histocompatiblity complex (MHC) proteins and trigger T-cell proliferation via recognition of particular variable elements (Vβ) of the T-cell receptor (TCR). Prior to the discovery of their viral origin, the provirus-encoded vSAgs were referred to as Mls (minor lymphocyte stimulatory) antigens (3). Unlike the bacterial superantigens, which are produced as small soluble proteins, the vSAgs are produced as membrane glycoproteins that transit the exocytic pathway and undergo partial proteolytic processing by cellular endoproteases (4). Proteolytic processing appears to be necessary for vSAgs to activate T cells (5-7), and available data suggest that a soluble carboxy terminal processing product may be sufficient for vSAg function (8). The vSAgs require class II MHC proteins to be presented to T cells (9, although not necessarily for surface expression (8).


Major Histocompatiblity Complex Major Histocompatiblity Complex Class Invitrogen Life Technology Inbred Mouse Strain Flow Cytometric Detection 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gary Winslow
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.New York State Department of HealthWadsworth CenterAlbany
  2. 2.Department of Biomedical SciencesState University of New York at AlbanyAlbany

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