45-1 Ramsey Road, Shirley, NY 11967, USA
USA: 1-631-381-2994
Europe: 44-207-097-1828
Fax: 1-631-207-8356

MHC-peptide Tetramer

Creative Biolabs offers many kinds of MHC-peptide tetramers, which have become the useful tools for studying specific T cell populations of interest.

CTLs recognize antigenic peptides expressed in the MHC class I molecules on the cell surface, via their T-cell receptor and upon recognition, lyse these target cells. Thus, it is important to measure antigen-specific T cells. And tetramers have emerged as a key tool for determining the frequency of antigen-specific T cells, particularly in viral infections and after vaccination.

MHC-peptide tetramer

MHC-peptide tetramers are complexes consisting of four fluorophore-labeled major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, the individual monomer of which binds a specific peptide respectively, are usually used in MHC tetramer assay for direct visualization and quantification of antigen-specific T cells. Due to its tetramer structure, it can bind a T-cell with at most 3 of its 4 MHCs monomeric units, which can increase its total binding avidity to the targets. According to the different binding modes with T cell receptors (TCR), there are two types of tetramers: Class I, which binds to a distinct population of CD8+ T cells; Class II, which binds to a subset of CD4+ T cells. Samples like PBMCs or whole blood mixed with MHC-peptide tetramers can be analyzed via flow cytometer to detect and sortCD4+ or CD8+ T cells that are specific for peptide antigen of interest, meanwhile, the flow cytometric signal can also determine the existence and the strength of some cell-mediated immune response to a certain pathogen from which the antigen peptide derives.

Tetramers will provide a wider base of HLA molecules and enable them to be combined better with functional assays. The use of combinational approaches both for production of tetramers and for flow cytometric analysis will provide in-depth characterization, breadth and functional data.

Our MHC-peptide tetramers include:
• Class I MHC tetramers for antigen-specific CD8+ T cells detection ex vivo
• Class II MHC tetramers for antigen-specific CD4+ T cells detection ex vivo
• Fluorophore-labeledtetramers for flow cytometry or fluorescence microscopy
• CD1d tetramers for detection of natural killer T (NKT) cells
• Human alleles
• Non-Human alleles
• Negative tetramers as a negative control for Class I Tetramer staining

Creative Biolabs can provide different MHC-peptide tetramers specific targeting various antigens in infectious diseases, cancer, autoimmune diseases and transplantation, or other antigens according to customer’s special requirements.


Stuart Sims, et al. MHC–peptide tetramers for the analysis of antigen-specific T cells. Expert Rev Vaccines. 2010 Jul;9(7):765-74.

See a full list of our MHC-peptide tetramer products

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45-1 Ramsey Road, Shirley, NY 11967, USA
Tel: 1-631-381-2994
Fax: 1-631-207-8356

Tel: 44-207-097-1828


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