The mAb MR9-4 and MR9-8 react with T cells expressing the V beta 5.1 and -5.2 chains of the TCR. T cells expressing V beta 5.1 TCR were stained by both antibodies with similar surface fluorescence intensity. For the T cell clones and hybridomas expressing V beta 5.2 TCR, staining intensity with MR9-8 varied from negative to comparable to that stained with the anti-pan V beta 5 mAb MR9-4, whereas every V beta 5-positive T cell can be activated with either MR9-4 or -9-8 mAb, suggesting a differential binding affinity of MR9-8 mAb to V beta 5 TCR molecules. Analysis of J beta segment and V alpha chain usage in the V beta 5-positive T cell hybridomas revealed that a differential binding of MR9-8 mAb to the V beta 5.2 chain is not dependent on either the J beta segment usage or the associating V alpha chain alone. These results suggest that the differential binding of MR9-8 mAb to V beta 5.2 TCR is due to the conformational change of the V beta chain created by a combination of the V alpha (possibly J alpha) and D beta-J beta segment associating with the V beta 5.2 chain.

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