Kjer-Nielsen, L. et al. MR1 presents microbial vitamin B metabolites to MAIT cells. Nature 491, 717-723
ABSTRACT Antigen-presenting molecules, encoded by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and CD1 family, bind peptide- and lipid-based antigens, respectively, for recognition by T cells. Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are an abundant population of innate-like T cells in humans that are activated by an antigen(s) bound to the MHC class I-like molecule MR1. Although the identity of MR1-restricted antigen(s) is unknown, it is present in numerous bacteria and yeast. Here we show that the structure and chemistry within the antigen-binding cleft of MR1 is distinct from the MHC and CD1 families. MR1 is ideally suited to bind ligands originating from vitamin metabolites. The structure of MR1 in complex with 6-formyl pterin, a folic acid (vitamin B9) metabolite, shows the pterin ring sequestered within MR1. Furthermore, we characterize related MR1-restricted vitamin derivatives, originating from the bacterial riboflavin (vitamin B2) biosynthetic pathway, which specifically and potently activate MAIT cells. Accordingly, we show that metabolites of vitamin B represent a class of antigen that are presented by MR1 for MAIT-cell immunosurveillance. As many vitamin biosynthetic pathways are unique to bacteria and yeast, our data suggest that MAIT cells use these metabolites to detect microbial infection.
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- "Although the MR1 transcript is expressed widely (Hashimoto et al., 1995; Riegert et al., 1998), cell surface expression of MR1 is very low/absent, thereby indicating that other factors, including Ag supply, can determine the level of MR1 that egresses to the cell membrane (Huang et al., 2008; Chua et al., 2011). Recently, it has been established that MR1 can bind vitamin B–based precursors and derivatives that originate from folic acid (vitamin B9) and riboflavin (vitamin B2) biosynthesis (Kjer-Nielsen et al., 2012). Specifically, MR1 can present 6-formylpterin (6-FP), a naturally occurring photo-degradation product of folic acid, and a series of ribityllumazines, including 6,7-dimethyl-8-d-ribityllumazine (RL-6,7-DiMe), 6-methyl- 7-hydroxy-8-d-ribityllumazine (RL-6-Me-7-OH; Kjer-Nielsen et al., 2012; Patel et al., 2013), 5-(2-oxoethylideneamino)-6-d- ribitylaminouracil (5-OE-RU), and 5-(2-oxopropylideneamino) -6-d-ribitylaminouracil (5-OP-RU; Corbett et al., 2014). "
ABSTRACT: Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells express an invariant T cell receptor (TCR) α-chain (TRAV1-2 joined to TRAJ33, TRAJ20, or TRAJ12 in humans), which pairs with an array of TCR β-chains. MAIT TCRs can bind folate- and riboflavin-based metabolites restricted by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-related class I-like molecule, MR1. However, the impact of MAIT TCR and MR1-ligand heterogeneity on MAIT cell biology is unclear. We show how a previously uncharacterized MR1 ligand, acetyl-6-formylpterin (Ac-6-FP), markedly stabilized MR1, potently up-regulated MR1 cell surface expression, and inhibited MAIT cell activation. These enhanced properties of Ac-6-FP were attributable to structural alterations in MR1 that subsequently affected MAIT TCR recognition via conformational changes within the complementarity-determining region (CDR) 3β loop. Analysis of seven TRBV6-1(+) MAIT TCRs demonstrated how CDR3β hypervariability impacted on MAIT TCR recognition by altering TCR flexibility and contacts with MR1 and the Ag itself. Ternary structures of TRBV6-1, TRBV6-4, and TRBV20(+) MAIT TCRs in complex with MR1 bound to a potent riboflavin-based antigen (Ag) showed how variations in TRBV gene usage exclusively impacted on MR1 contacts within a consensus MAIT TCR-MR1 footprint. Moreover, differential TRAJ gene usage was readily accommodated within a conserved MAIT TCR-MR1-Ag docking mode. Collectively, MAIT TCR heterogeneity can fine-tune MR1 recognition in an Ag-dependent manner, thereby modulating MAIT cell recognition.Journal of Experimental Medicine 07/2014; 211(8). DOI:10.1084/jem.20140484 · 13.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The Drosophila kep1 gene encodes an RNA binding protein related to the murine QUAKING apoptotic inducer. We have previously shown that kep1 can induce apoptosis when transfected into different cell lines. To better define the role of Kep1 in apoptosis, we generated kep1 null flies. These flies were viable, but females displayed reduced fertility, with approximately half of the eggs laid from kep1- homozygotes failing to hatch. In addition, loss of kep1 suppressed GMR-rpr-mediated apoptosis in the Drosophila eye, and kep1 mutant flies had increased susceptibility to Escherichia coli infection. We found that Kep1 bound dredd RNA in vitro, and that extracts prepared from kep1 mutant ovaries had markedly reduced proteolytic cleavage activity toward the caspase-8 target substrate IETD-7-amino-4-trifluoromethyl coumarin. We observed increased levels of the beta isoform of dredd mRNA in kep1 mutants as compared with wild-type. Taken together, our results suggest that Kep1 regulates apoptosis by influencing the processing of dredd RNA.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2003; 100(4):1814-9. DOI:10.1073/pnas.0236048100 · 9.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-related gene, MR1, is a non-classical MHC class IA gene and is encoded outside the MHC region. The MR1 is responsible for activation of mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells expressing semi-invariant T cell receptors in the presence of bacteria, but its ligand has not been identified. A unique characteristic of MR1 is its high evolutionary conservation of the α1 and α2 domains corresponding to the peptide-binding domains of classical MHC class I molecules, showing about 90 % amino acid identity between human and mouse. To clarify the evolutionary history of MR1 and identify more critically conserved residues for the function of MR1, we searched for the MR1 gene using jawed vertebrate genome databases and isolated the MR1 cDNA sequences of marsupials (opossum and wallaby). A comparative genomic analysis indicated that MR1 is only present in placental and marsupial mammals and that the gene organization around MR1 is well conserved among analyzed jawed vertebrates. Moreover, the α1 and α2 domains, especially in amino acid residues presumably shaping a ligand-binding groove, were also highly conserved between placental and marsupial MR1. These findings suggest that the MR1 gene might have been established at its present location in a common ancestor of placental and marsupial mammals and that the shape of the putative ligand-binding groove in MR1 has been maintained, probably for presenting highly conserved component(s) of microbes to MAIT cells.Immunogenetics 11/2012; 65(2). DOI:10.1007/s00251-012-0666-5 · 2.49 Impact Factor