The rat MHC class Ia molecule RT1-Aa has the unusual capacity to bind long peptides ending in arginine, such as MTF-E, a thirteen-residue, maternally transmitted minor histocompatibility antigen. The antigenic structure of MTF-E was unpredictable due to its extraordinary length and two arginines that could serve as potential anchor residues. The crystal structure of RT1-Aa-MTF-E at 2.55 A shows that both peptide termini are anchored, as in other class I molecules, but the central residues in two independent pMHC complexes adopt completely different bulged conformations based on local environment. The MTF-E epitope is fully exposed within the putative T cell receptor (TCR) footprint. The flexibility demonstrated by the MTF-E structures illustrates how different TCRs may be raised against chemically identical, but structurally dissimilar, pMHC complexes.