Welcome to the  order page for MR1 tetramers.

Distribution agreement: The NIAID recently signed an agreement with the University of Melbourne permitting the NIH Tetramer Core Facility (TCF) to produce and distribute MR1 tetramers for the detection of MAIT cells.

Materials Transfer Agreements: All clients of the TCF—even investigators not requesting MR1 reagents—are required to fill out a new Material Transfer Agreement. If you have not yet submitted this new MTA, the Tetramer Facility Manager will contact you via email to solicit the completion of this document.

Species: We are currently providing mouse, human and rhesus macaque MR1 tetramers. Although the mouse MR1 completely cross-reacts with human MAIT cells, there are conflicting reports (some unpublished) about cross-reactivity of human MR1 tetramers on non-human primate MAIT cells.

MR1 sequences: All MR1 constructs incorporate the C261S mutation found in the reported crystal structures from McCluskey and Rossjohn (e.g. 4GUP). This mutation removes an unpaired thiol and is not expected to alter ligand or TCR binding interactions.

Ligands: We are currently providing mouse, human, and rhesus macaque MR1 tetramers loaded with 5-A-RU and methylglyoxal, resulting in the ligand 5-OP-RU. MR1 tetramers loaded with 6-FP are provided as a negative control, although we encourage all investigators to interpret results obtained with the 6-FP tetramers with caution. Adding MR1 5-A-RU requests will automatically add the associated 6-FP control reagent to your shopping cart. 5-A-RU was provided to the TCF by both Olivier Lantz (Institut Curie) and by Jeffrey Aubé (UNC); we are grateful to both. We are currently not able to distribute free 5-A-RU or other MR1 ligands for T cell stimulation assays.

Fluorophores: We have extensively tested human MR1 tetramers and determined that they work very well on any common fluorophore. We have performed more limited testing of mouse MR1 tetramers on mouse MAIT cells, and determined that they are less bright than human MR1 tetramer staining of human MAIT cells. Consequently, we currently recommend that investigators ordering mouse MR1 reagents choose them labeled with PE or APC.

Dilution: Each aliquot contains our standard 200 µg of MR1 protein. We strongly encourage investigators to perform a titration experiment when they first receive their MR1 tetramers. Based on our testing we recommend starting with a 1:500 or 1:1000 dilution depending on the fluorochrome and MR1 species. More detail is available on our Technical Support page.

Acknowledging use of MR1 reagents: Investigators receiving MR1 reagents from the TCF are encouraged to cite the material in any publication consistent with scientific convention and relevant journal policies (journal citation provided below, if needed).  However, for crediting the supply of material, the suggested form of any acknowledgment is: “The MR1 tetramer technology was developed jointly by Dr. James McCluskey, Dr. Jamie Rossjohn, and Dr. David Fairlie, and the material was produced by the NIH Tetramer Core Facility as permitted to be distributed by the University of Melbourne.”.  

MR1 publication citation information: “T-cell activation by transitory neo-antigens derived from distinct microbial pathways.” Corbett AJ, Eckle SB, Birkinshaw RW, Liu L, Patel O, Mahony J, Chen Z, Reantragoon R, Meehan B, Cao H, Williamson NA, Strugnell RA, Van Sinderen D, Mak JY, Fairlie DP, Kjer-Nielsen L, Rossjohn J, McCluskey J. (2014). Nature. 509, 361-5. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature13160  PMID: 24695216.



Each unit of quantity contains 200 µg of MHC protein.

The Tetramer Resource Committee (TRC) meets approximately every other Friday to review tetramer requests. Requests must be received before 12 noon EST on the Thursday before a scheduled TRC meeting in order to be considered. View TRC Schedule

Click here for technical support.

Protein (Allele) Ligand Order Options Info
Human MR1 5-OP-RU
Human MR1 6-FP
Mouse MR1 5-OP-RU
Mouse MR1 6-FP
Rhesus Macaque MR1 5-OP-RU
Rhesus Macaque MR1 6-FP

Disclaimer: Please note that the reagents listed on this page have been produced by the NIH Tetramer Facility with strict quality control (including gene sequencing, affinity purification, SDS PAGE analysis, and verification of biotinylation by immunoprecipitation), but many have not been confirmed to stain or activate specific T cells.