Structural Model of the Extracellular Assembly of the TCR-CD3 Complex Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Antigens, CD3
  • Models, Molecular
  • Receptor-CD3 Complex, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell


  • Antigen recognition of peptide-major histocompatibility complexes (pMHCs) by T cells, a key step in initiating adaptive immune responses, is performed by the T cell receptor (TCR) bound to CD3 heterodimers. However, the biophysical basis of the transmission of TCR-CD3 extracellular interaction into a productive intracellular signaling sequence remains incomplete. Here we used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy combined with mutational analysis and computational docking to derive a structural model of the extracellular TCR-CD3 assembly. In the inactivated state, CD3γε interacts with the helix 3 and helix 4-F strand regions of the TCR Cβ subunit, whereas CD3δε interacts with the F and C strand regions of the TCR Cα subunit in this model, placing the CD3 subunits on opposing sides of the TCR. This work identifies the molecular contacts between the TCR and CD3 subunits, identifying a physical basis for transmitting an activating signal through the complex.

publication date

  • March 29, 2016



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC4902171

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.02.081

PubMed ID

  • 26997265

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2833

end page

  • 45


  • 14


  • 12