Polymorphic sites away from the Bw4 epitope that affect interaction of Bw4+ HLA-B with KIR3DL1

Department of Structural Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 4.92). 12/2008; 181(9):6293-300. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.181.9.6293
Source: PubMed


KIR3DL1 is a polymorphic, inhibitory NK cell receptor specific for the Bw4 epitope carried by subsets of HLA-A and HLA-B allotypes. The Bw4 epitope of HLA-B*5101 and HLA-B*1513 is determined by the NIALR sequence motif at positions 77, 80, 81, 82, and 83 in the alpha(1) helix. Mutation of these positions to the residues present in the alternative and nonfunctional Bw6 motif showed that the functional activity of the Bw4 epitopes of B*5101 and B*1513 is retained after substitution at positions 77, 80, and 81, but lost after substitution of position 83. Mutation of leucine to arginine at position 82 led to loss of function for B*5101 but not for B*1513. Further mutagenesis, in which B*1513 residues were replaced by their B*5101 counterparts, showed that polymorphisms in all three extracellular domains contribute to this functional difference. Prominent were positions 67 in the alpha(1) domain, 116 in the alpha(2) domain, and 194 in the alpha(3) domain. Lesser contributions were made by additional positions in the alpha(2) domain. These positions are not part of the Bw4 epitope and include residues shaping the B and F pockets that determine the sequence and conformation of the peptides bound by HLA class I molecules. This analysis shows how polymorphism at sites throughout the HLA class I molecule can influence the interaction of the Bw4 epitope with KIR3DL1. This influence is likely mediated by changes in the peptides bound, which alter the conformation of the Bw4 epitope.

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    • "Similar results were obtained for B*51-negative Turkish patients. The Bw4 epitope is characterized by the NIALR sequence motif of the polymorphic amino acid positions 77, 80 to 83 in the α1 helix of the HLA molecule [16]. Several studies have shown that variant Bw4 HLA-B allotypes with isoleucine or threonine at position 80 can be discriminated by NK cells and manifest associations with different clinical diseases. "
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