What are the functions of somatic receptors

T cell receptor

Synonym: TCR
English: t-cell receptor

1 definition

The T cell receptor is the membrane-bound (difference to B cells) domain that primarily establishes contact between T cells and their specific antigens. In addition to establishing the contact between the two cells, it also plays a key role in recognizing the antigens.

2 structure

The T-cell receptor, which was isolated and explored individually for the first time in the 1980s, consists of two chains (alpha and beta) and in the chains, in turn, of a variable region (V region) and a constant region ( C region). The so-called stem segments span the plasma membrane of the T cell and end in the cytosol with a COOH group.

The chains are connected to one another by disulfide bridges.

The T cell receptor is a heterodimer.

Similarities to the antibody molecules of the B cells exist and are understandable if one takes a closer look at the very similar mechanisms of diversity of the respective receptors. (see gene rearrangement)

3 function

The receptor primarily serves to dock onto an antigen specific for the T cell. Since, contrary to the development in the B cells, in the T cells there is no somatic hypermutation, the T cell receptor has a lower affinity for its target cells and is supported by coreceptors: