Also found in: Wikipedia.
any of a group of powerful antigens occurring in various bacteria and viruses that bind outside of the normal T cell receptor site and are able to react with multiple T cell receptor molecules, thus activating T cells nonspecifically. Included are staphylococcal enterotoxins and toxins causing toxic shock syndrome and exfoliative dermatitis.
An antigen that interacts with the T-cell receptor in a domain outside the antigen recognition site. This interaction induces the activation of larger numbers of T cells than are induced by antigens that are presented in the antigen recognition site leading to the release of numerous cytokines. A single superantigen may potentially activate as much as 15% of the lymphocytic repertoire.
See also: antigen.
See also: antigen.
superantigen/su·per·an·ti·gen/ (-an´tĭ-jen) any of a group of powerful antigens occurring in various bacteria and viruses that binds outside of the normal T cell receptor site, reacting with multiple T cell receptor molecules and activating T cells nonspecifically.
one of a family of related substances, including staphylococcal and streptococcal exotoxins, that can short-circuit the normal sequence of events leading to activation of helper T cells. Superantigens initiate an uncontrolled proliferation of T cells but do not require processing and presentation by macrophages. The result is either an acute and potentially life-threatening disease, such as toxic shock syndrome, or a chronic inflammatory process, such as rheumatic fever.
superantigenOne of a class of molecules that react with a substantial proportion of the whole population of T cells in the body. They include Staphylococcus aureus ENTEROTOXINS. Staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) is a powerful T-cell mitogen and can give rise to the release of large quantities of CYTOKINES and LEUKOTRIENES. This is believed to be one of the bases of the TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME.
molecules that are potent T lymphocyte mitogens and simultaneously bind to class II MHC molecules. They are often associated with staphylococcal products and are involved in enterotoxemias and toxic shock syndrome in humans.