The use of MHC tetramers to identify antigen-specific T cells has become widespread among immunologists since the late 90s. Tetramers have become so ubiquitous that many companies and research facilities can ship and deliver some of the most commonly used tetramers within a matter of days. However, when it comes to the uncommon tetramers or tetramers with antigenic peptides that have only recently been identified, it may be quite a challenge to find the needed tetramer. In this case, most researchers are left with trying to produce their own tetramer or having another facility do it for them, which can become a lengthy process. In an effort to help those researchers, MBL International has developed the QuickSwitch™ MHC tetramer. This MHC tetramer comes loaded with a place-holder peptide (or exiting peptide) that can be exchanged for the most well-binding peptides of a given MHC allele. This way, researchers are able to make a tetramer with any peptide they have available in a matter of hours. More importantly, the MHC tetramer platform comes with a means to monitor how much of the available peptide has exchanged with the exiting peptide and quantify the MHC occupancy. This allows the user to not only determine if the peptide in question can make a viable MHC tetramer but also identify the strong and weak binding peptides for that MHC allele. This piece of information can be invaluable in future studies, in particular for vaccine development.
Yuri Poluektov, Ph.D.
Dr. Yuri Poluektov, Ph.D., is a R&D Laboratory Scientist at the MBL International Corporation. Dr. Poluektov received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his Ph.D. in Immunology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where his thesis was titled “A study of the mechanism behind the HLA-DO accessory molecule and its greater role in Class II antigen presentation.” Dr. Poluektov held previous roles as a postdoctoral fellow at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in the Center for Biomarker Discovery & Translation and as a postdoctoral ORISE Fellow at the FDA.