UNIT 18.16 Generation of Peptide MHC Class I Monomers and Multimers Through Ligand Exchange

  1. Mireille Toebes,
  2. Boris Rodenko,
  3. Huib Ovaa,
  4. Ton N.M. Schumacher

Published Online: 1 NOV 2009

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im1816s87

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Toebes, M., Rodenko, B., Ovaa, H. and Schumacher, T. N. 2009. Generation of Peptide MHC Class I Monomers and Multimers Through Ligand Exchange. Current Protocols in Immunology. 87:18.16:18.16.1–18.16.20.

Author Information

  1. The Netherlands Cancer Institute, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 NOV 2009
  2. Published Print: NOV 2009


The recognition of defined antigen-MHC complexes by antigen-specific T cells forms the molecular basis of T cell immunity. It has been shown that fluorescently labeled recombinant MHC tetramers can be utilized to detect antigen-specific T cells by flow cytometry. Since this first description, MHC tetramers and other types of MHC multimers have become a core tool to monitor the development of disease- and therapy-induced antigen-specific T cell responses both in humans and in animal model systems. This unit describes a set of protocols that transform classical MHC multimer technology into a high-throughput platform, allowing one to produce large collections of MHC class I molecules charged with different peptides. This technology is based on the development of conditional MHC ligands that can be triggered to self-destruct while in the MHC-bound state. Curr. Protoc. Immunol. 87:18.16.1-18.16.20. © 2009 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc.


  • HLA class I;
  • MHC class I;
  • tetramer;
  • peptide;
  • refolding;
  • UV;
  • exchange