Article

How a single T cell receptor recognizes both self and foreign MHC.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
Cell (Impact Factor: 33.12). 05/2007; 129(1):135-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.cell.2007.01.048
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT alphabeta T cell receptors (TCRs) can crossreact with both self- and foreign- major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins in an enigmatic phenomenon termed alloreactivity. Here we present the 2.35 A structure of the 2C TCR complexed with its foreign ligand H-2L(d)-QL9. Surprisingly, we find that this TCR utilizes a different strategy to engage the foreign pMHC in comparison to the manner in which it recognizes a self ligand H-2K(b)-dEV8. 2C engages both shared and polymorphic residues on L(d) and K(b), as well as the unrelated QL9 and dEV8 peptide antigens, in unique pair-wise contacts, resulting in greater structural complementarity with the L(d)-QL9 complex. In the structure of an engineered, high-affinity 2C TCR variant bound to H-2L(d)-QL9, the "wild-type" TCR-MHC binding orientation persists despite modified TCR-CDR3alpha interactions with peptide. Thus, a single TCR recognizes two globally similar, but distinct ligands by divergent mechanisms, indicating that receptor-ligand crossreactivity can occur in the absence of molecular mimicry.

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Feb 19, 2015