Conformational isomers of a class II MHC-peptide complex in solution

Department of Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, 94305, USA.
Journal of Molecular Biology (Impact Factor: 4.33). 03/1999; 286(1):207-18. DOI: 10.1006/jmbi.1998.2463
Source: PubMed


A number of kinetic measurements of peptide dissociation from class II MHC-peptide complexes provide compelling evidence for the existence of conformational isomers in solution. There is evidence that T-lymphocytes can distinguish such isomers. However, virtually nothing is known about the structure of these isomers. Accordingly, we have investigated a water-soluble version of the murine class II MHC molecule I-Ek complexed with an antigenic peptide derived from pigeon cytochrome c residues 89-104 (PCC) by 19F-NMR. Two fluorine labels were placed on the PCC peptide; one fluorine label was placed at a MHC contact site, the other at a position involved in T-cell receptor (TCR) recognition. Introduction of these labels did not alter the observed kinetics of the PCC/I-Ek complex. The NMR data show two conformational isomers of this immunogenic complex. The presence of conformational isomers at a TCR contact site suggests that these structures may be recognized differently by the TCR. The agreement between the dissociation kinetics and the 19F-NMR data demonstrate that kinetic heterogeneity is correlated with structural counterparts observed by NMR. Dissociations in the presence of dimethyl sulfoxide were used to show that the rate of interconversion of these conformational isomers at pH 7.0 is low, with a lifetime on the order of hours or more. Modification of a peptide residue of PCC occupying the minor MHC binding pocket P6 alters the 19F-NMR spectra of both labels. This demonstrates that distant changes of amino acid residues can influence the conformation of the whole antigenic peptide inside the MHC binding cleft.

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    • "The conformation of the MHC class II molecules plays an important role in peptide association [35-41]. Binding of peptide to MHC class II molecules involves several conformational changes, including a transient “peptide-receptive” conformation [41-43]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Based on binding of invariant chain (Ii) to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules to form complexes, Ii-segment hybrids, Ii-key structure linking an epitope, or Ii class II-associated invariant chain peptide (CLIP) replaced with an epitope were used to increase immune response. It is currently unknown whether the Ii-segment cytosolic and transmembrane domains bind to the MHC non-peptide binding region (PBR) and consequently influence immune response. To investigate the potential role of Ii-segments in the immune response via MHC II/peptide complexes, a few hybrids containing Ii-segments and a multiepitope (F306) from Newcastle disease virus fusion protein (F) were constructed, and their binding effects on MHC II molecules and specific antibody production were compared using confocal microscopy, immunoprecipitation, western blotting and animal experiments. Results One of the Ii-segment/F306 hybrids, containing ND (Asn–Asp) outside the F306 in the Ii-key structure (Ii-key/F306/ND), neither co-localized with MHC II molecules on plasma membrane nor bound to MHC II molecules to form complexes. However, stimulation of mice with the structure produced 4-fold higher antibody titers compared with F306 alone. The two other Ii-segment/F306 hybrids, in which the transmembrane and cytosolic domains of Ii were linked to this structure (Cyt/TM/Ii-key/F306/ND), partially co-localized on plasma membrane with MHC class II molecules and weakly bound MHC II molecules to form complexes. They induced mice to produce approximately 9-fold higher antibody titers compared with F306 alone. Furthermore, an Ii/F306 hybrid (F306 substituting CLIP) co-localized well with MHC II molecules on the membrane to form complexes, although it increased antibody titer about 3-fold relative to F306 alone. Conclusions These results suggest that Ii-segments improve specific immune response by binding to the non-PBR on MHC class II molecules and enabling membrane co-localization with MHC II molecules, resulting in the formation of relatively stable MHC II/peptide complexes on the plasma membrane, and signal transduction.
    BMC Immunology 09/2012; 13(1):55. DOI:10.1186/1471-2172-13-55 · 2.48 Impact Factor
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    • "Natural inter-chain interactions – sometimes including the transmembrane domains [51,52,65-67] sometimes excluding the transmembrane domains (i.e. truncating the chains after the α2 and β2 domains) [20,36,39,40,43,68,69] – have been tried. Alternatively, assembly of MHC α and β chains have been facilitated by phosphatidyl inositol membrane anchoring [61], by fusion to leucine zippers [46,49,50,53,63,70-74], by fusion to IgG chains [42,45,58,75,76], or enforced through the generation of single chain fusion constructs oriented either as α1 β1- or β1α1 [37,38,65]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Molecules of the class II major histocompability complex (MHC-II) specifically bind and present exogenously derived peptide epitopes to CD4+ T helper cells. The extreme polymorphism of the MHC-II hampers the complete analysis of peptide binding. It is also a significant hurdle in the generation of MHC-II molecules as reagents to study and manipulate specific T helper cell responses. Methods to generate functional MHC-II molecules recombinantly, and measure their interaction with peptides, would be highly desirable; however, no consensus methodology has yet emerged. We generated alpha and beta MHC-II chain constructs, where the membrane-spanning regions were replaced by dimerization motifs, and the C-terminal of the beta chains was fused to a biotinylation signal peptide (BSP) allowing for in vivo biotinylation. These chains were produced separately as inclusion bodies in E. coli , extracted into urea, and purified under denaturing and non-reducing conditions using conventional column chromatography. Subsequently, diluting the two chains into a folding reaction with appropriate peptide resulted in efficient peptide-MHC-II complex formation. Several different formats of peptide-binding assay were developed including a homogeneous, non-radioactive, high-throughput (HTS) binding assay. Binding isotherms were generated allowing the affinities of interaction to be determined. The affinities of the best binders were found to be in the low nanomolar range. Recombinant MHC-II molecules and accompanying HTS peptide-binding assay were successfully developed for nine different MHC-II molecules including the DPA1*0103/DPB1*0401 (DP401) and DQA1*0501/DQB1*0201, where both alpha and beta chains are polymorphic, illustrating the advantages of producing the two chains separately. We have successfully developed versatile MHC-II resources, which may assist in the generation of MHC class II -wide reagents, data, and tools.
    Immunome Research 06/2009; 5(1):2. DOI:10.1186/1745-7580-5-2
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    ABSTRACT: Class II MHC molecules are known to exist in conformational variants. "Floppy" and "compact" forms of murine MHC molecules, for example, are discriminated by their migration behavior on SDS/PAGE and represent empty and ligand-loaded forms. Here we show that formation of distinctly faster-migrating ligand complexes (F-forms) rather than the normal compact (C-) forms of HLA-DR1 or -DR4 results from extensions of minimal peptide epitopes (such as HA306-318 or IC106-120) by approximately 10 amino acids at either the N or the C terminus. Two similar but distinct F-forms (FI and FII) were detected, depending on the site of the extension. Both F-forms were characterized by increased surface hydrophobicity and reduced SDS-stability. Native gel separations and size exclusion chromatography indicated that the F-forms had increased hydrodynamic radii compared with the C-form and an apparent size similar to that of empty MHC molecules. The regions on the ligand overhangs responsible for the effect began at a distance of approximately 5 amino acids on either side of the epitopes, comprised 4-8 amino acids (i.e., a total overhang of 9-14), and did not have a particular sequence preference. The possible functional significance of these forms is discussed.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 07/1999; 96(13):7445-50. DOI:10.1073/pnas.96.13.7445 · 9.67 Impact Factor
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