The results presented provide evidence that the HLA specificity known as MT3, BR4, or Hon7 can serve as a restriction epitope for the proliferation of certain T cells responding to mumps viral antigen. This restriction determinant was found to be HLA-linked in family studies, and to segregate centromeric to a crossover between HLA-B and DR in one family. In the population studied, the specificity was found to be associated with the DR antigens DR4, DR7, and DRw9, which are known to be associated with MT3. The ability of accessory cells to present mumps antigen in the context of this supertypic restriction determinant was blocked by a monoclonal antibody specific for MT3. Since MT3 (BR4, Hon7) has been shown to be expressed on molecules distinct from DR, our experiments suggest that such molecules are functionally important in antigen presentation to T cells.
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