"Superantigens" is a descriptor in the National Library of Medicine's controlled vocabulary thesaurus,
MeSH (Medical Subject Headings). Descriptors are arranged in a hierarchical structure,
which enables searching at various levels of specificity.
Microbial antigens that have in common an extremely potent activating effect on T-cells that bear a specific variable region. Superantigens cross-link the variable region with class II MHC proteins regardless of the peptide binding in the T-cell receptor's pocket. The result is a transient expansion and subsequent death and anergy of the T-cells with the appropriate variable regions.
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