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Keywords:

  • circular dichroism;
  • class I MHC;
  • dissociation constant

Abstract

Class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules bind peptides derived from degraded proteins for display to T cells of the immune system. Peptides bind to MHC proteins with varying affinities, depending upon their sequence and length. We demonstrate that the thermal stability of the MHC-peptide complex depends directly on peptide binding affinity. We use this correlation to develop a convenient method to determine peptide dissociation constants by measuring MHC-peptide complex stability using thermal denaturation profiles monitored by circular dichroism.