Dynamical characterization of two differentially disease associated MHC class I proteins in complex with viral and self-peptides.
ABSTRACT Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I proteins are expressed on the cell surface where they present foreign and self-peptides to effector cells of the immune system. While an understanding of the structural prerequisites for antigen presentation has already been achieved, insight into subtype- or peptide-dependent dynamical characteristics of a peptide-MHC antigen is so far largely obscure. We approached this problem by employing 400-ns molecular dynamics simulations with two human MHC class I subtypes as model systems: the ankylosing spondylitis-associated HLA-B∗27:05 and the non-ankylosing spondylitis-associated HLA-B∗27:09. Both proteins differ only by a micropolymorphism at the floor of the peptide binding groove (Asp116His). A viral (pLMP2) and three self-peptides (pVIPR, pGR, and TIS) were evaluated. The stability of the binding grooves was found to be both subtype dependent and peptide dependent. A detachment from the C- and/or N-terminal pockets was observed for all peptides except TIS, resulting in a stabilization of the α1-helix in both TIS-displaying subtypes. Estimates of the entropy associated with the bound peptides showed an increased entropy for pLMP2 presented by B∗27:05 as compared to B∗27:09, in contrast to the self-peptides. Additionally, the flexibility of the α1-helix that is probably important for receptor binding to the B27:peptide epitope is significantly enhanced for B∗27:05. These in silico results show that the dynamic properties of peptide-MHC complexes are affected both by the bound peptide and by micropolymorphisms of the heavy chain. Our findings suggest a role for the conformational flexibility of MHC class I molecules in the context of recognition by receptors on effector cells.
Article: Interaction pattern of Arg 62 in the A-pocket of differentially disease-associated HLA-B27 subtypes suggests distinct TCR binding modes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The single amino acid replacement Asp116His distinguishes the two subtypes HLA-B*2705 and HLA-B*2709 which are, respectively, associated and non-associated with Ankylosing Spondylitis, an autoimmune chronic inflammatory disease. The reason for this differential association is so far poorly understood and might be related to subtype-specific HLA:peptide conformations as well as to subtype/peptide-dependent dynamical properties on the nanoscale. Here, we combine functional experiments with extensive molecular dynamics simulations to investigate the molecular dynamics and function of the conserved Arg62 of the α1-helix for both B27 subtypes in complex with the self-peptides pVIPR (RRKWRRWHL) and TIS (RRLPIFSRL), and the viral peptides pLMP2 (RRRWRRLTV) and NPflu (SRYWAIRTR). Simulations of HLA:peptide systems suggest that peptide-stabilizing interactions of the Arg62 residue observed in crystal structures are metastable for both B27 subtypes under physiological conditions, rendering this arginine solvent-exposed and, probably, a key residue for TCR interaction more than peptide-binding. This view is supported by functional experiments with conservative (R62K) and non-conservative (R62A) B*2705 and B*2709 mutants that showed an overall reduction in their capability to present peptides to CD8+ T cells. Moreover, major subtype-dependent differences in the peptide recognition suggest distinct TCR binding modes for the B*2705 versus the B*2709 subtype.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(3):e32865. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: Epitope flexibility and dynamic footprint revealed by molecular dynamics of a pMHC-TCR complex.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The crystal structures of unliganded and liganded pMHC molecules provide a structural basis for TCR recognition yet they represent 'snapshots' and offer limited insight into dynamics that may be important for interaction and T cell activation. MHC molecules HLA-B*3501 and HLA-B*3508 both bind a 13 mer viral peptide (LPEP) yet only HLA-B*3508-LPEP induces a CTL response characterised by the dominant TCR clonetype SB27. HLA-B*3508-LPEP forms a tight and long-lived complex with SB27, but the relatively weak interaction between HLA-B*3501-LPEP and SB27 fails to trigger an immune response. HLA-B*3501 and HLA-B*3508 differ by only one amino acid (L/R156) located on α2-helix, but this does not alter the MHC or peptide structure nor does this polymorphic residue interact with the peptide or SB27. In the absence of a structural rationalisation for the differences in TCR engagement we performed a molecular dynamics study of both pMHC complexes and HLA-B*3508-LPEP in complex with SB27. This reveals that the high flexibility of the peptide in HLA-B*3501 compared to HLA-B*3508, which was not apparent in the crystal structure alone, may have an under-appreciated role in SB27 recognition. The TCR pivots atop peptide residues 6-9 and makes transient MHC contacts that extend those observed in the crystal structure. Thus MD offers an insight into 'scanning' mechanism of SB27 that extends the role of the germline encoded CDR2α and CDR2β loops. Our data are consistent with the vast body of experimental observations for the pMHC-LPEP-SB27 interaction and provide additional insights not accessible using crystallography.PLoS Computational Biology 03/2012; 8(3):e1002404. · 5.22 Impact Factor