Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (2005 - Present)
My laboratory studies the structural and functional basis of receptor/ligand interactions in systems which are relevant to human health and disease. Our investigations are aimed at understanding the molecular recognition properties governing the interactions of receptors with their ligands, and the subsequent molecular events which couple ligand recognition to receptor activation. Many of the systems we are studying in the laboratory are related to the interaction of the host with the environment. The structural studies are complemented by functional approaches using molecular biology and protein engineering to dissect the structural information, design new or altered proteins with modified specificities and activities, and ultimately contribute to the development of proteins or molecules with therapeutic potential. Molecules currently under study include receptors of the immune system involved in autoimmune disorders (T cell receptors, co-receptors, MHC, cytokines), proteins involved in host-pathogen interactions and molecular mimicry (CMV and Toxoplasma surface antigens), proteins of nervous system (peptide hormone receptors, neural guidance proteins), and membrane proteins (chemokine receptors). An emerging focus of our research is to develop. using combinatorial biology approaches, novel ligands for receptors, which may have altered activities, that may serve as therapeutic starting points.
IL-2 has been used to treat diseases ranging from cancer to autoimmune disorders, but its concurrent immunostimulatory and immunosuppressive effects hinder efficacy. IL-2 orchestrates immune cell function through activation of a high-affinity heterotrimeric receptor (composed of IL-2Ralpha, IL-2Rbeta, and common gamma [gammac]). IL-2Ralpha, which is highly expressed on regulatory T (TReg) cells, regulates IL-2 sensitivity. Previous studies have shown that complexation of IL-2 with the JES6-1 Ab preferentially biases cytokine activity toward TReg cells through a unique mechanism whereby IL-2 is exchanged from the Ab to IL-2Ralpha. However, clinical adoption of a mixed Ab/cytokine complex regimen is limited by stoichiometry and stability concerns. In this study, through structure-guided design, we engineered a single agent fusion of the IL-2 cytokine and JES6-1 Ab that, despite being covalently linked, preserves IL-2 exchange, selectively stimulating TReg expansion and exhibiting superior disease control to the mixed IL-2/JES6-1 complex in a mouse colitis model. These studies provide an engineering blueprint for resolving a major barrier to the implementation of functionally similar IL-2/Ab complexes for treatment of human disease.
View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1800578
View details for PubMedID 30104245
TCR-signaling strength generally correlates with peptide-MHC binding affinity; however, exceptions exist. We find high-affinity, yet non-stimulatory, interactions occur with high frequency in the human Tcell repertoire. Here, we studied human TCRs that are refractory to activation by pMHC ligands despite robust binding. Analysis of 3D affinity, 2D dwell time, and crystal structures of stimulatory versus non-stimulatory TCR-pMHC interactions failed to account for their different signaling outcomes. Using yeast pMHC display, we identified peptide agonists of a formerly non-responsive TCR. Single-molecule force measurements demonstrated the emergence of catch bonds in the activating TCR-pMHC interactions, correlating with exclusion of CD45 from the TCR-APC contact site. Molecular dynamics simulations of TCR-pMHC disengagement distinguished agonist from non-agonist ligands based on the acquisition of catch bonds withinthe TCR-pMHC interface. The isolation of catch bonds as a parameter mediating the coupling of TCR binding and signaling has important implications for TCR and antigen engineering for immunotherapy.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2018.06.017
View details for PubMedID 30053426
T cell receptors (TCRs) bind to peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) with low affinity (Kd muM), which is generally assumed to facilitate cross-reactive TCR "scanning" of ligands. To understand the relationship between TCR/pMHC affinity and cross-reactivity, we sought to engineer an additional weak interaction, termed "velcro," between the TCR and pMHC to probe the specificities of TCRs at relatively low and high affinities. This additional interaction was generated through an eight-amino acid peptide library covalently linked to the N terminus of the MHC-bound peptide. Velcro was selected through an affinity-based isolation and was subsequently shown to enhance the cognate TCR/pMHC affinity in a peptide-dependent manner by 10-fold. This was sufficient to convert a nonstimulatory ultra-low-affinity ligand into a stimulatory ligand. An X-ray crystallographic structure revealed how velcro interacts with the TCR. To probe TCR cross-reactivity, we screened TCRs against yeast-displayed pMHC libraries with and without velcro, and found that the peptide cross-reactivity profiles of low-affinity (Kd > 100 muM) and high-affinity (Kd muM) TCR/pMHC interactions are remarkably similar. The conservation of recognition of the TCR for pMHC across affinities reveals the nature of low-affinity ligands for which there are important biological functions and has implications for understanding the specificities of affinity-matured TCRs.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1802746115
View details for PubMedID 30021852
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) has been shown to suppress immune pathologies by preferentially expanding regulatory T cells (Tregs). However, this therapy has been limited by off-target complications due to pathogenic cell expansion. Recent efforts have been focused on developing a more selective IL-2. It is well documented that certain anti-mouse IL-2 antibodies induce conformational changes that result in selective targeting of Tregs. We report the generation of a fully human anti-IL-2 antibody, F5111.2, that stabilizes IL-2 in a conformation that results in the preferential STAT5 phosphorylation of Tregs in vitro and selective expansion of Tregs in vivo. When complexed with human IL-2, F5111.2 induced remission of type 1 diabetes in the NOD mouse model, reduced disease severity in a model of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and protected mice against xenogeneic graft-versus-host disease. These results suggest that IL-2-F5111.2 may provide an immunotherapy to treat autoimmune diseases and graft-versus-host disease.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41591-018-0070-2
View details for Web of Science ID 000438187700029
View details for PubMedID 29942088
Cancer immunotherapy based on genetically redirecting T cells has been used successfully to treat B cell malignancies1-3. In this strategy, the T cell genome is modified by integration of viral vectors or transposons encoding chimaeric antigen receptors (CARs) that direct tumour cell killing. However, this approach is often limited by the extent of expansion and persistence of CAR T cells4,5. Here we report mechanistic insights from studies of a patient with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia treated with CAR T cells targeting the CD19 protein. Following infusion of CAR T cells, anti-tumour activity was evident in the peripheral blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow; this activity was accompanied by complete remission. Unexpectedly, at the peak of the response, 94% of CAR T cells originated from a single clone in which lentiviral vector-mediated insertion of the CAR transgene disrupted the methylcytosine dioxygenase TET2 gene. Further analysis revealed a hypomorphic mutation in this patient's second TET2 allele. TET2-disrupted CAR T cells exhibited an epigenetic profile consistent with altered T cell differentiation and, at the peak of expansion, displayed a central memory phenotype. Experimental knockdown of TET2 recapitulated the potency-enhancing effect of TET2 dysfunction in this patient's CAR T cells. These findings suggest that the progeny of a single CAR T cell induced leukaemia remission and that TET2 modification may be useful for improving immunotherapies.
View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-018-0178-z
View details for Web of Science ID 000435071400057
View details for PubMedID 29849141
Human cytomegalovirus has hijacked and evolved a human G-protein-coupled receptor into US28, which functions as a promiscuous chemokine 'sink' to facilitate evasion of host immune responses. To probe the molecular basis of US28's unique ligand cross-reactivity, we deep-sequenced CX3CL1 chemokine libraries selected on 'molecular casts' of the US28 active-state and find that US28 can engage thousands of distinct chemokine sequences, many of which elicit diverse signaling outcomes. The structure of a G-protein-biased CX3CL1-variant in complex with US28 revealed an entirely unique chemokine amino terminal peptide conformation and remodeled constellation of receptor-ligand interactions. Receptor signaling, however, is remarkably robust to mutational disruption of these interactions. Thus, US28 accommodates and functionally discriminates amongst highly degenerate chemokine sequences by sensing the steric bulk of the ligands, which distort both receptor extracellular loops and the walls of the ligand binding pocket to varying degrees, rather than requiring sequence-specific bonding chemistries for recognition and signaling.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.35850
View details for Web of Science ID 000434629600001
View details for PubMedID 29882741
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5993540
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is a cytokine required for effector T cell expansion, survival, and function, especially for engineered T cells in adoptive cell immunotherapy, but its pleiotropy leads to simultaneous stimulation and suppression of immune responses as well as systemic toxicity, limiting its therapeutic use. We engineered IL-2 cytokine-receptor orthogonal (ortho) pairs that interact with one another, transmitting native IL-2 signals, but do not interact with their natural cytokine and receptor counterparts. Introduction of orthoIL-2Rβ into T cells enabled the selective cellular targeting of orthoIL-2 to engineered CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in vitro and in vivo, with limited off-target effects and negligible toxicity. OrthoIL-2 pairs were efficacious in a preclinical mouse cancer model of adoptive cell therapy and may therefore represent a synthetic approach to achieving selective potentiation of engineered cells.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.aar3246
View details for Web of Science ID 000426366200043
View details for PubMedID 29496879
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5947856
View details for Web of Science ID 000429034600007
View details for Web of Science ID 000429034600188
The immune system can mount T cell responses against tumors; however, the antigen specificities of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are not well understood. We used yeast-display libraries of peptide-human leukocyte antigen (pHLA) to screen for antigens of "orphan" T cell receptors (TCRs) expressed on TILs from human colorectal adenocarcinoma. Four TIL-derived TCRs exhibited strong selection for peptides presented in a highly diverse pHLA-A∗02:01 library. Three of the TIL TCRs were specific for non-mutated self-antigens, two of which were present in separate patient tumors, and shared specificity for a non-mutated self-antigen derived from U2AF2. These results show that the exposed recognition surface of MHC-bound peptides accessible to the TCR contains sufficient structural information to enable the reconstruction of sequences of peptide targets for pathogenic TCRs of unknown specificity. This finding underscores the surprising specificity of TCRs for their cognate antigens and enables the facile indentification of tumor antigens through unbiased screening.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2017.11.043
View details for Web of Science ID 000423447600014
View details for PubMedID 29275860
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5786495
The median overall survival for children with diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) is less than one year. The majority of diffuse midline gliomas, including more than 70% of DIPGs, harbor an amino acid substitution from lysine (K) to methionine (M) at position 27 of histone 3 variant 3 (H3.3). From a CD8+ T cell clone established by stimulation of HLA-A2+ CD8+ T cells with synthetic peptide encompassing the H3.3K27M mutation, complementary DNA for T cell receptor (TCR) α- and β-chains were cloned into a retroviral vector. TCR-transduced HLA-A2+ T cells efficiently killed HLA-A2+H3.3K27M+ glioma cells in an antigen- and HLA-specific manner. Adoptive transfer of TCR-transduced T cells significantly suppressed the progression of glioma xenografts in mice. Alanine-scanning assays suggested the absence of known human proteins sharing the key amino acid residues required for recognition by the TCR, suggesting that the TCR could be safely used in patients. These data provide us with a strong basis for developing T cell-based therapy targeting this shared neoepitope.
View details for DOI 10.1084/jem.20171046
View details for Web of Science ID 000419134400013
View details for PubMedID 29203539
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5748856
Notch is a cell-surface receptor that controls cell-fate decisions and is regulated by O-glycans attached to epidermal growth factor-like (EGF) repeats in its extracellular domain. Protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (Pofut1) modifies EGF repeats with O-fucose and is essential for Notch signaling. Constitutive activation of Notch signaling has been associated with a variety of human malignancies. Therefore, tools that inhibit Notch activity are being developed as cancer therapeutics. To this end, we screened L-fucose analogs for their effects on Notch signaling. Two analogs, 6-alkynyl and 6-alkenyl fucose, were substrates of Pofut1 and were incorporated directly into Notch EGF repeats in cells. Both analogs were potent inhibitors of binding to and activation of Notch1 by Notch ligands Dll1 and Dll4, but not by Jag1. Mutagenesis and modeling studies suggest that incorporation of the analogs into EGF8 of Notch1 markedly reduces the ability of Delta ligands to bind and activate Notch1.
View details for DOI 10.1038/NCHEMBIO.2520
View details for Web of Science ID 000419964200012
View details for PubMedID 29176671
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5726916
View details for Web of Science ID 000414817600105
T cell signaling initiates upon the binding of peptide-loaded MHC (pMHC) on an antigen-presenting cell to the T cell receptor (TCR) on a T cell. TCR phosphorylation in response to pMHC binding is accompanied by segregation of the transmembrane phosphatase CD45 away from TCR-pMHC complexes. The kinetic segregation hypothesis proposes that CD45 exclusion shifts the local kinase-phosphatase balance to favor TCR phosphorylation. Spatial partitioning may arise from the size difference between the large CD45 extracellular domain and the smaller TCR-pMHC complex, although parsing potential contributions of extracellular protein size, actin activity, and lipid domains is difficult in living cells. Here, we reconstitute segregation of CD45 from bound receptor-ligand pairs using purified proteins on model membranes. Using a model receptor-ligand pair (FRB-FKBP), we first test physical and computational predictions for protein organization at membrane interfaces. We then show that the TCR-pMHC interaction causes partial exclusion of CD45. Comparing two developmentally regulated isoforms of CD45, the larger RABC variant is excluded more rapidly and efficiently (∼50%) than the smaller R0 isoform (∼20%), suggesting that CD45 isotypes could regulate signaling thresholds in different T cell subtypes. Similar to the sensitivity of T cell signaling, TCR-pMHC interactions with Kds of ≤15 µM were needed to exclude CD45. We further show that the coreceptor PD-1 with its ligand PD-L1, immunotherapy targets that inhibit T cell signaling, also exclude CD45. These results demonstrate that the binding energies of physiological receptor-ligand pairs on the T cell are sufficient to create spatial organization at membrane-membrane interfaces.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1710358114
View details for Web of Science ID 000414127400021
View details for PubMedID 29042512
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5676914
Cytokine and growth-factor ligands typically signal through homo- or hetero-dimeric cell surface receptors via Janus Kinase (JAK/TYK), or Receptor Tyrosine Kinase (RTK)-mediated trans-phosphorylation. However, the number of receptor dimer pairings occurring in nature is limited to those driven by natural ligands encoded within our genome. We have engineered synthethic cytokines (synthekines) that drive formation of cytokine receptor dimer pairings that are not formed by endogenous cytokines and that are not found in nature, and which activate distinct signaling programs. We show that a wide range of non-natural cytokine receptor hetero-dimers are competent to elicit a signaling output. We engineered synthekine ligands that assembled IL-2Rβ/IL-4Rα or IL-4Rα/IFNAR2 receptor heterodimers, that do not occur naturally, triggering signaling and functional responses distinct from those activated by the endogenous cytokines IL-2, IL-4, and IFN. Furthermore, hybrid synthekine ligands that dimerized a JAK/STAT cytokine receptor with a receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) also elicited a signaling response. Synthekines represent a new family of synthetic ligands with pre-defined receptors, but 'orphan' functions, that enable the full combinatorial scope of dimeric signaling receptors encoded within the human genome to be exploited for basic research and drug discovery.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.22882
View details for Web of Science ID 000401062800001
View details for PubMedID 28498099
The canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling pathway governs diverse developmental, homeostatic and pathological processes. Palmitoylated Wnt ligands engage cell-surface frizzled (FZD) receptors and LRP5 and LRP6 co-receptors, enabling β-catenin nuclear translocation and TCF/LEF-dependent gene transactivation. Mutations in Wnt downstream signalling components have revealed diverse functions thought to be carried out by Wnt ligands themselves. However, redundancy between the 19 mammalian Wnt proteins and 10 FZD receptors and Wnt hydrophobicity have made it difficult to attribute these functions directly to Wnt ligands. For example, individual mutations in Wnt ligands have not revealed homeostatic phenotypes in the intestinal epithelium-an archetypal canonical, Wnt pathway-dependent, rapidly self-renewing tissue, the regeneration of which is fueled by proliferative crypt Lgr5(+) intestinal stem cells (ISCs). R-spondin ligands (RSPO1-RSPO4) engage distinct LGR4-LGR6, RNF43 and ZNRF3 receptor classes, markedly potentiate canonical Wnt/β-catenin signalling, and induce intestinal organoid growth in vitro and Lgr5(+) ISCs in vivo. However, the interchangeability, functional cooperation and relative contributions of Wnt versus RSPO ligands to in vivo canonical Wnt signalling and ISC biology remain unknown. Here we identify the functional roles of Wnt and RSPO ligands in the intestinal crypt stem-cell niche. We show that the default fate of Lgr5(+) ISCs is to differentiate, unless both RSPO and Wnt ligands are present. However, gain-of-function studies using RSPO ligands and a new non-lipidated Wnt analogue reveal that these ligands have qualitatively distinct, non-interchangeable roles in ISCs. Wnt proteins are unable to induce Lgr5(+) ISC self-renewal, but instead confer a basal competency by maintaining RSPO receptor expression that enables RSPO ligands to actively drive and specify the extent of stem-cell expansion. This functionally non-equivalent yet cooperative interaction between Wnt and RSPO ligands establishes a molecular precedent for regulation of mammalian stem cells by distinct priming and self-renewal factors, with broad implications for precise control of tissue regeneration.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature22313
View details for Web of Science ID 000400963800037
An "interactome" screen of all Drosophila cell-surface and secreted proteins containing immunoglobulin superfamily (IgSF) domains discovered a network formed by paralogs of Beaten Path (Beat) and Sidestep (Side), a ligand-receptor pair that is central to motor axon guidance. Here we describe a new method for interactome screening, the Bio-Plex Interactome Assay (BPIA), which allows identification of many interactions in a single sample. Using the BPIA, we "deorphanized" four more members of the Beat-Side network. We confirmed interactions using surface plasmon resonance. The expression patterns of beat and side genes suggest that Beats are neuronal receptors for Sides expressed on peripheral tissues. side-VI is expressed in muscle fibers targeted by the ISNb nerve, as well as at growth cone choice points and synaptic targets for the ISN and TN nerves. beat-V genes, encoding Side-VI receptors, are expressed in ISNb and ISN motor neurons.
View details for DOI 10.7554/eLife.28111
View details for PubMedID 28829740
A cysteine protease domain (CPD) has been recently discovered in a group of multifunctional, autoprocessing RTX toxins (MARTX) and Clostridium difficile toxins A and B. These CPDs (referred to as CPDmartx) autocleave the toxins to release domains with toxic effects inside host cells. We report identification and computational analysis of CPDadh, a new cysteine peptidase family homologous to CPDmartx. CPDadh and CPDmartx share a Rossmann-like structural core and conserved catalytic residues. In bacteria, domains of the CPDadh family are present at the N-termini of a diverse group of putative cell-cell interaction proteins and at the C-termini of some RHS (recombination hot spot) proteins. In eukaryotes, catalytically inactive members of the CPDadh family are found in cell surface protein NELF (nasal embryonic LHRH factor) and some putative signaling proteins.
View details for DOI 10.1002/pro.78
View details for Web of Science ID 000264942000021
View details for PubMedID 19309740
Store-operated Ca(2+) channels activated by the depletion of Ca(2+) from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) are a major Ca(2+) entry pathway in nonexcitable cells and are essential for T cell activation and adaptive immunity. After store depletion, the ER Ca(2+) sensor STIM1 and the CRAC channel protein Orai1 redistribute to ER-plasma membrane (PM) junctions, but the fundamental issue of how STIM1 activates the CRAC channel at these sites is unresolved. Here, we identify a minimal, highly conserved 107-aa CRAC activation domain (CAD) of STIM1 that binds directly to the N and C termini of Orai1 to open the CRAC channel. Purified CAD forms a tetramer that clusters CRAC channels, but analysis of STIM1 mutants reveals that channel clustering is not sufficient for channel activation. These studies establish a molecular mechanism for store-operated Ca(2+) entry in which the direct binding of STIM1 to Orai1 drives the accumulation and the activation of CRAC channels at ER-PM junctions.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2009.02.014
View details for Web of Science ID 000263930900011
View details for PubMedID 19249086
The elusive etiology of germline bias of the T cell receptor (TCR) for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) has been clarified by recent 'proof-of-concept' structural results demonstrating the conservation of specific TCR-MHC interfacial contacts in complexes bearing common variable segments and MHC allotypes. We suggest that each TCR variable-region gene product engages each type of MHC through a 'menu' of structurally coded recognition motifs that have arisen through coevolution. The requirement for MHC-restricted T cell recognition during thymic selection and peripheral surveillance has necessitated the existence of such a coded recognition system. Given these findings, a reconsideration of the TCR-peptide-MHC structural database shows that not only have the answers been there all along but also they were predictable by the first principles of physical chemistry.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ni.f.219
View details for Web of Science ID 000263178500007
View details for PubMedID 19148199
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3982143
Recent structural information for complexes of cytokine receptor ectodomains bound to their ligands has significantly expanded our understanding of the macromolecular topology and ligand recognition mechanisms used by our three principal shared cytokine signaling receptors-gp130, gamma(c), and beta(c). The gp130 family receptors intricately coordinate three structurally unique cytokine-binding sites on their four-helix bundle cytokine ligands to assemble multimeric signaling complexes. These organizing principles serve as topological blueprints for the entire gp130 family of cytokines. Novel structures of gamma(c) and beta(c) complexes show us new twists, such as the use of a nonstandard sushi-type alpha receptors for IL-2 and IL-15 in assembling quaternary gamma(c) signaling complexes and an antiparallel interlocked dimer in the GM-CSF signaling complex with beta(c). Unlike gp130, which appears to recognize vastly different cytokine surfaces in chemically unique fashions for each ligand, the gamma(c)-dependent cytokines appear to seek out some semblance of a knobs-in-holes shape recognition code in order to engage gamma(c) in related fashions. We discuss the structural similarities and differences between these three shared cytokine receptors, as well as the implications for transmembrane signaling.
View details for DOI 10.1146/annurev.immunol.24.021605.090616
View details for Web of Science ID 000268071600002
View details for PubMedID 18817510
Baculovirus mediated gene transduction of mammalian cells (BacMam) is an emerging technique for rapid recombinant protein expression in mammalian cells. We constructed two baculovirus transfer vectors that incorporate several mammalian transcriptional regulatory elements necessary for high-level protein expression in mammalian cells. Using these vectors, we show that the BacMam system in combination with the 293 GnTI(-) cell line can be used for production of milligram quantities of soluble glycoproteins. Moreover, for crystallization trials, the purified glycoproteins are sensitive to EndoH treatment resulting in a loss of the bulk of the attached N-linked glycosylation. In addition, we also show that a combination of the BacMam system and 293 GnTI(-) cell line can be used for producing milligram quantities of a GPCR-protein ligand complex suitable for crystallization trials.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pep.2008.08.004
View details for Web of Science ID 000260598900004
View details for PubMedID 18782620
To understand the mechanisms that govern T cell receptor (TCR)-peptide MHC (pMHC) binding and the role that different regions of the TCR play in affinity and antigen specificity, we have studied the TCR from T cell clone 2C. High-affinity mutants of the 2C TCR that bind QL9-L(d) as a strong agonist were generated previously by site-directed mutagenesis of complementarity determining regions (CDRs) 1beta, 2alpha, 3alpha, or 3beta. We performed isothermal titration calorimetry to assess whether they use similar thermodynamic mechanisms to achieve high affinity for QL9-L(d). Four of the five TCRs examined bound to QL9-L(d) in an enthalpically driven, entropically unfavorable manner. In contrast, the high-affinity CDR1beta mutant resembled the wild-type 2C TCR interaction, with favorable entropy. To assess fine specificity, we measured the binding and kinetics of these mutants for both QL9-L(d) and a single amino acid peptide variant of QL9, called QL9-Y5-L(d). While 2C and most of the mutants had equal or higher affinity for the Y5 variant than for QL9, mutant CDR1beta exhibited 8-fold lower affinity for Y5 compared to QL9. To examine possible structural correlates of the thermodynamic and fine specificity signatures of the TCRs, the structure of unliganded QL9-L(d) was solved and compared to structures of the 2C TCR/QL9-L(d) complex and three high-affinity TCR/QL9-L(d) complexes. Our findings show that the QL9-L(d) complex does not undergo major conformational changes upon binding. Thus, subtle changes in individual CDRs account for the diverse thermodynamic and kinetic binding mechanisms and for the different peptide fine specificities.
View details for DOI 10.1021/bi801349g
View details for Web of Science ID 000261000100018
View details for PubMedID 18973345
T cells are known to cross-react with diverse peptide MHC Ags through their alphabeta TCR. To explore the basis of such cross-reactivity, we examined the 2C TCR that recognizes two structurally distinct ligands, SIY-K(b) and alloantigen QL9-L(d). In this study we characterized the cross-reactivity of several high-affinity 2C TCR variants that contained mutations only in the CDR3alpha loop. Two of the TCR lost their ability to cross-react with the reciprocal ligand (SIY-K(b)), whereas another TCR (m67) maintained reactivity with both ligands. Crystal structures of four of the TCRs in complex with QL9-L(d) showed that CDR1, CDR2, and CDR3beta conformations and docking orientations were remarkably similar. Although the CDR3alpha loop of TCR m67 conferred a 2000-fold higher affinity for SIY-K(b), the TCR maintained the same docking angle on QL9-L(d) as the 2C TCR. Thus, CDR3alpha dictated the affinity and level of cross-reactivity, yet it did so without affecting the conserved docking orientation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000260659000051
View details for PubMedID 18941216
Interleukin (IL)-23 is a recently identified member of the IL-12 family of heterodimeric cytokines that modulate subpopulations of T helper cells, and both IL-12 and IL-23 are attractive targets for therapy of autoimmune diseases. IL-23 is a binary complex of a four-helix bundle cytokine (p19) and a soluble class I cytokine receptor p40. IL-12 and IL-23 share p40 as an alpha-receptor subunit, yet show only 15% sequence homology between their four-helix cytokines p19 and p35, respectively, and signal through different combinations of shared receptors. In order to elucidate the structural basis of p40 sharing, we have determined a 2.3-A crystal structure of IL-23 for comparison to the previously determined structure of IL-12. The docking mode of p19 to p40 is altered compared to p35, deviating by a 'tilt' and 'roll' that results in an altered footprint of p40 on the A and D helices of the respective cytokines. Binding of p19 to p40 is mediated primarily by an arginine residue on helix D of p19 that forms an extensive charge and hydrogen-bonding network with residues at the base of a pocket on p40. This 'arginine pocket' is lined with an inner shell of hydrophobic interactions that are ringed by an outer shell of polar interactions. Comparative analysis indicates that the IL-23 and IL-12 complexes 'mimic' the network of interactions constituting the central arginine pocket despite p19 and p35 having limited sequence homology. The majority of the structural epitopes in the two complexes are composed of unique p19 and p35 pairwise contacts with common residues on p40. Thus, while the critical hotspot is maintained in the two complexes, the majority of the interfaces are structurally distinct and, therefore, provide a basis for the therapeutic targeting of IL-12 versus IL-23 heterodimer formation despite their use of a common receptor subunit.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jmb.2008.07.051
View details for Web of Science ID 000260024500010
View details for PubMedID 18680750
Vibrio cholerae RTX (repeats in toxin) is an actin-disrupting toxin that is autoprocessed by an internal cysteine protease domain (CPD). The RTX CPD is efficiently activated by the eukaryote-specific small molecule inositol hexakisphosphate (InsP6), and we present the 2.1 angstrom structure of the RTX CPD in complex with InsP6. InsP6 binds to a conserved basic cleft that is distant from the protease active site. Biochemical and kinetic analyses of CPD mutants indicate that InsP6 binding induces an allosteric switch that leads to the autoprocessing and intracellular release of toxin-effector domains.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1162403
View details for Web of Science ID 000259902300050
View details for PubMedID 18845756
gp130 is a shared receptor for at least nine cytokines and can signal either as a homodimer or as a heterodimer with Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Receptor (LIF-R). Here, we biophysically and structurally characterize the full-length, transmembrane form of a quaternary cytokine receptor complex consisting of gp130, LIF-R, the cytokine Ciliary Neurotrophic Factor (CNTF), and its alpha receptor (CNTF-Ralpha). Thermodynamic analysis indicates that, unlike the cooperative assembly of the symmetric gp130/Interleukin-6/IL-6Ralpha hexameric complex, CNTF/CNTF-Ralpha heterodimerizes gp130 and LIF-R via noncooperative energetics to form an asymmetric 1:1:1:1 complex. Single particle electron microscopic analysis of the full-length gp130/LIF-R/CNTF-Ralpha/CNTF quaternary complex elucidates an asymmetric structural arrangement, in which the receptor extracellular and transmembrane segments join as a continuous, rigid unit, poised to sensitively transduce ligand engagement to the membrane-proximal intracellular signaling regions. These studies also enumerate the organizing principles for assembly of the "tall" class of gp130 family cytokine receptor complexes including LIF, IL-27, IL-12, and others.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molcel.2008.08.011
View details for Web of Science ID 000259113800014
View details for PubMedID 18775332
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2607196
It remains unclear whether gammadelta T cell antigen receptors (TCRs) detect antigens in a way similar to antibodies or alphabeta TCRs. Here we show that reactivity between the G8 and KN6 gammadelta TCRs and the major histocompatibility complex class Ib molecule T22 could be recapitulated, with retention of wild-type ligand affinity, in an alphabeta TCR after grafting of a G8 or KN6 complementarity-determining region 3-delta (CDR3delta) loop in place of the CDR3alpha loop of an alphabeta TCR. We also found that a shared sequence motif in CDR3delta loops of all T22-reactive gammadelta TCRs bound T22 in energetically distinct ways, and that T10(d), which bound G8 with weak affinity, was converted into a high-affinity ligand by a single point mutation. Our results demonstrate unprecedented autonomy of a single CDR3 loop in antigen recognition.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ni.1620
View details for Web of Science ID 000256904900016
View details for PubMedID 18516039
Chronic mucoid Pseudomonas aeruginosa within the airway in cystic fibrosis (CF) patients can determine prognosis. Understanding the risk factors of mucoid P. aeruginosa acquisition may change how we deliver care. This study aims to evaluate whether presence of risk factors reported to predict disease severity including gender, CFTR genotype, bacterial organisms in airway cultures, and serum levels of vitamins A and E, albumin, C-reactive protein, alpha 1-antitrypsin, and immunoglobulins increased the risk of mucoid P. aeruginosa acquisition.Primary endpoint was age at first transition from negative to positive culture for mucoid P. aeruginosa. Cox proportional hazards regression with time-dependent covariates examined development of mucoid P. aeruginosa infection and its association with longitudinally measured serum biomarkers, pulmonary function, and culture results for other organisms.Median ages at CF diagnosis and at first culture were 0.55 and 5.7 years, respectively. Median number of cultures/patient was 17. Of the 323 subjects, 150 developed mucoid P. aeruginosa during a median 8.1 years' follow-up. In multivariate analysis, gender (relative hazard [RH] 0.55 for male vs. female, P = 0.001), number of DF508 alleles (RH 1.66 for 1 or 2 vs. 0, P = 0.04), FEV(1) % (RH 1.16 for 10% decrease, P = 0.008), and most recent Staphylococcus aureus status (RH 0.24 for positive vs. negative, P < 0.0001) remained statistically significant.Female gender, number of DF508 alleles, decreased lung function, and lack of S. aureus on recent sputum culture are important risk factors for early detection of mucoid P. aeruginosa.
View details for DOI 10.1002/ppul.20794
View details for Web of Science ID 000255823800007
View details for PubMedID 18361452
Interleukin-4 and Interleukin-13 are cytokines critical to the development of T cell-mediated humoral immune responses, which are associated with allergy and asthma, and exert their actions through three different combinations of shared receptors. Here we present the crystal structures of the complete set of type I (IL-4R alpha/gamma(c)/IL-4) and type II (IL-4R alpha/IL-13R alpha1/IL-4, IL-4R alpha/IL-13R alpha1/IL-13) ternary signaling complexes. The type I complex reveals a structural basis for gamma(c)'s ability to recognize six different gamma(c)-cytokines. The two type II complexes utilize an unusual top-mounted Ig-like domain on IL-13R alpha1 for a novel mode of cytokine engagement that contributes to a reversal in the IL-4 versus IL-13 ternary complex assembly sequences, which are mediated through substantially different recognition chemistries. We also show that the type II receptor heterodimer signals with different potencies in response to IL-4 versus IL-13 and suggest that the extracellular cytokine-receptor interactions are modulating intracellular membrane-proximal signaling events.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2007.12.030
View details for Web of Science ID 000253427700012
View details for PubMedID 18243101
Measles virus is a highly pathogenic virus that infects roughly 20 million people per year. We report here the crystal structure of the measles virus hemagglutinin, the surface glycoprotein responsible for the binding of measles virus to its host cell receptors. Although the protein lacks neuraminidase activity, its structure resembles a 'dead' neuraminidase fold, presenting spatially distinct receptor-binding sites for its receptors CD46 and SLAM.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nsmb1342
View details for Web of Science ID 000251416500020
View details for PubMedID 18026116
Several MHC class II alleles linked with autoimmune diseases form unusually low stability complexes with CLIP, leading us to hypothesize that this is an important feature contributing to autoimmune pathogenesis. To investigate cellular consequences of altering class II/CLIP affinity, we evaluated invariant chain (Ii) mutants with varying CLIP affinity for a mouse class II allele, I-E(d), which has low affinity for wild-type CLIP and is associated with a mouse model of spontaneous, autoimmune joint inflammation. Increasing CLIP affinity for I-E(d) resulted in increased cell surface and total cellular abundance and half-life of I-E(d). This reveals a post-endoplasmic reticulum chaperoning capacity of Ii via its CLIP peptides. Quantitative effects on I-E(d) were less pronounced in DM-expressing cells, suggesting complementary chaperoning effects mediated by Ii and DM, and implying that the impact of allelic variation in CLIP affinity on immune responses will be highest in cells with limited DM activity. Differences in the ability of cell lines expressing wild-type or high-CLIP-affinity mutant Ii to present Ag to T cells suggest a model in which increased CLIP affinity for class II serves to restrict peptide loading to DM-containing compartments, ensuring proper editing of antigenic peptides.
View details for Web of Science ID 000250388000035
View details for PubMedID 17947664
All complexes of T cell receptors (TCRs) bound to peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) molecules assume a stereotyped binding 'polarity', despite wide variations in TCR-pMHC docking angles. However, existing TCR-pMHC crystal structures have failed to show broadly conserved pairwise interaction motifs. Here we determined the crystal structures of two TCRs encoded by the variable beta-chain 8.2 (V(beta)8.2), each bound to the MHC class II molecule I-A(u), and did energetic mapping of V(alpha) and V(beta) contacts with I-A(u). Together with two previously solved structures of V(beta)8.2-containing TCR-MHC complexes, we found four TCR-I-A complexes with structurally superimposable interactions between the V(beta) loops and the I-A alpha-helix. This examination of a narrow 'slice' of the TCR-MHC repertoire demonstrates what is probably one of many germline-derived TCR-MHC interaction 'codons'.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ni1502
View details for Web of Science ID 000248918200021
View details for PubMedID 17694060
The cytokine interleukin-15 (IL-15) signals through the formation of a quaternary receptor complex composed of an IL-15-specific alpha receptor, together with beta and gammac receptors that are shared with interleukin-2 (IL-2). The initiating step in the formation of this signaling complex is the interaction between IL-15 and IL-15Ralpha, which is a single sushi domain bearing strong structural homology to one of the two sushi domains of IL-2Ralpha. The crystal structure of the IL2-Ralpha/IL-2 complex has been determined, however little is known about the analogous IL-15Ralpha/IL-15 binding interaction. Here we show that recombinant IL-15 can be overexpressed as a stable complex in the presence of its high affinity receptor, IL-15Ralpha. We find that this complex is 10-fold more active than IL-15 alone in stimulating proliferation and survival of memory phenotype CD8 T cells. To probe the ligand/receptor interface, we used solution NMR to map chemical shifts on 15N-labeled IL-15Ralpha in complex with unlabeled IL-15. Our results predict that the binding surface on IL-15Ralpha involves strands C and D, similar to IL-2Ralpha. The interface, as predicted here, leaves open the possibility of trans-presentation of IL-15 by IL-15Ralpha on an opposing cell.
View details for DOI 10.1021/bi700652f
View details for Web of Science ID 000248692400010
View details for PubMedID 17655329
T cell receptor (TCR) recognition of peptide-MHC (pMHC) is central to the cellular immune response. A large database of TCR-pMHC structures is needed to reveal general structural principles, such as whether the repertoire of TCR/MHC docking modes is dictated by a "recognition code" between conserved elements of the TCR and MHC genes. Although approximately 17 cocrystal structures of unique TCR-pMHC complexes have been determined, cocrystallization of soluble TCR and pMHC remains a major technical obstacle in the field. Here we demonstrate a strategy, based on NMR chemical shift mapping, that permits rapid and reliable analysis of the solution footprint made by a TCR when binding onto the pMHC surface. We mapped the 2C TCR binding interaction with its allogeneic ligand H-2Ld-QL9 and identified a group of NMR-shifted residues that delineated a clear surface of the MHC that we defined as the TCR footprint. We subsequently found that the docking footprint described by NMR shifts was highly accurate compared with a recently determined high-resolution crystal structure of the same complex. The same NMR footprint analysis was done on a high-affinity mutant of the TCR. The current work serves as a foundation to explore the molecular dynamics of pMHC complexes and to rapidly determine the footprints of many Ld-specific TCRs.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0703702104
View details for Web of Science ID 000248650300024
View details for PubMedID 17670943
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC1941830
A recent workshop discussed the recognition of multiple distinct ligands by individual T cell and B cell receptors and the implications of this discovery for lymphocyte biology. The workshop recommends general use of the term polyspecificity because it emphasizes two fundamental aspects, the inherent specificity of receptor recognition and the ability to recognize multiple ligands. Many different examples of polyspecificity and the structural mechanisms were discussed, and the group concluded that polyspecificity is a general, inherent feature of TCR and antibody recognition. This review summarizes the relevance of polyspecificity for lymphocyte development, activation and disease processes.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.simm.2007.02.012
View details for Web of Science ID 000248722400002
View details for PubMedID 17398114
Natural killer (NK) cells express activating and inhibitory receptors that, in concert, survey cells for proper expression of cell surface major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. The mouse cytomegalovirus encodes an MHC-like protein, m157, which is the only known viral antigen to date capable of engaging both activating (Ly49H) and inhibitory (Ly49I) NK cell receptors. We have determined the 3D structure of m157 and studied its biochemical and cellular interactions with the Ly49H and Ly49I receptors. m157 has a characteristic MHC-fold, yet possesses several unique structural features not found in other MHC class I-like molecules. m157 does not bind peptides or other small ligands, nor does it associate with beta(2)-microglobulin. Instead, m157 engages in extensive intra- and intermolecular interactions within and between its domains to generate a compact minimal MHC-like molecule. m157's binding affinity for Ly49I (K(d) approximately 0.2 microM) is significantly higher than that of classical inhibitory Ly49-MHC interactions. Analysis of viral escape mutations on m157 that render it resistant to NK killing reveals that it is likely to be recognized by Ly49H in a binding mode that differs from Ly49/MHC-I. In addition, Ly49H+ NK cells can efficiently lyse RMA cells expressing m157, despite the presence of native MHC class I. Collectively, our results show that m157 represents a structurally divergent form of MHC class I-like proteins that directly engage Ly49 receptors with appreciable affinity in a noncanonical fashion.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0703735104
View details for Web of Science ID 000247363000039
View details for PubMedID 17537914
The pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR) serves as a checkpoint in B cell development. In the 2.7 angstrom structure of a human pre-BCR Fab-like fragment, consisting of an antibody heavy chain (HC) paired with the surrogate light chain, the "unique regions" of VpreB and lambda5 replace the complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) loop of an antibody light chain and appear to "probe" the HC CDR3, potentially influencing the selection of the antibody repertoire. Biochemical analysis indicates that the pre-BCR is impaired in its ability to recognize antigen, which, together with electron microscopic visualization of a pre-BCR dimer, suggests ligand-independent oligomerization as the likely signaling mechanism.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1139412
View details for Web of Science ID 000245654500055
View details for PubMedID 17431183
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.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2007.01.048
View details for Web of Science ID 000245661100017
View details for PubMedID 17418792
Gradients of axon guidance molecules instruct the formation of continuous neural maps, such as the retinotopic map in the vertebrate visual system. Here we show that molecular gradients can also instruct the formation of a discrete neural map. In the fly olfactory system, axons of 50 classes of olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) and dendrites of 50 classes of projection neurons (PNs) form one-to-one connections at discrete units called glomeruli. We provide expression, loss- and gain-of-function data to demonstrate that the levels of transmembrane Semaphorin-1a (Sema-1a), acting cell-autonomously as a receptor or part of a receptor complex, direct the dendritic targeting of PNs along the dorsolateral to ventromedial axis of the antennal lobe. Sema-1a also regulates PN axon targeting in higher olfactory centers. Thus, graded expression of Sema-1a contributes to connection specificity from ORNs to PNs and then to higher brain centers, ensuring proper representation of olfactory information in the brain.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2006.12.028
View details for Web of Science ID 000244420500022
View details for PubMedID 17254975
Nerve growth factor engages two structurally distinct transmembrane receptors, TrkA and p75, which have been proposed to create a "high-affinity" NGF binding site through formation of a ternary TrkA/NGF/p75 complex. To define a structural basis for the high-affinity site, we have determined the three-dimensional structure of a complete extracellular domain of TrkA complexed with NGF. The complex reveals a crab-shaped homodimeric TrkA structure, but a mechanism for p75 coordination is not obvious. We investigated the heterodimerization of membrane-bound TrkA and p75, on intact mammalian cells, using a beta-gal protein-protein interaction system. We find that NGF dimerizes TrkA and that p75 exists on the cell surface as a preformed oligomer that is not dissociated by NGF. We find no evidence for a direct TrkA/p75 interaction. We propose that TrkA and p75 likely communicate through convergence of downstream signaling pathways and/or shared adaptor molecules, rather than through direct extracellular interactions.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2006.09.034
View details for Web of Science ID 000245126500006
View details for PubMedID 17196528
CXCR4 belongs to the family of G protein-coupled receptors and mediates the various developmental and regulatory effects of the chemokine SDF-1alpha. In addition, CXCR4 acts as a co-receptor along with CD4 for the HIV-1 viral glycoprotein gp120. Recently, there has also been a small molecule described that antagonizes both SDF-1 and gp120 binding to CXCR4. The structural and mechanistic basis for this dual recognition ability of CXCR4 is unknown largely due to the technical challenges of biochemically producing the components of the various complexes. We expressed the human CXCR4 receptor using a modified baculovirus expression vector that facilitates a single step antibody affinity purification of CXCR4 to >80% purity from Hi5 cells. The recombinant receptor undergoes N-linked glycosylation, tyrosine sulfation and is recognized by the 12G5 conformation specific antibody against human CXCR4. We are able to purify CXCR4 alone as well as complexed with its endogenous ligand SDF-1, its viral ligand gp120, and a small molecule antagonist AMD3100 by ion-exchange chromatography. We anticipate that the expression and purification scheme described in this paper will facilitate structure-function studies aimed at elucidating the molecular basis for CXCR4 recognition of its endogenous chemokine and viral ligands.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.pep.2006.07.016
View details for Web of Science ID 000242783600009
View details for PubMedID 16962791
The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is the most polymorphic locus known, with thousands of allelic variants. There is considerable interest in understanding the diversity of structures and peptide-binding features represented by this class of proteins. Although many MHC proteins have been crystallized, others have not been amenable to structural or biochemical studies due to problems with expression or stability. In the present study, yeast display was used to engineer stabilizing mutations into the class I MHC molecule, Ld. The approach was based on previous studies that showed surface levels of yeast-displayed fusion proteins are directly correlated with protein stability. To engineer a more stable Ld, we selected Ld mutants with increased surface expression from randomly mutated yeast display libraries using anti-Ld antibodies or high affinity, soluble T-cell receptors (TCRs). The most stable Ld mutant, Ld-m31, consisted of a single-chain MHC module containing only the alpha1 and alpha2 domains. The enhanced stability was in part due to a single mutation (Trp-97 --> Arg), shown previously to be present in the allele Lq. Mutant Ld-m31 could bind to Ld peptides, and the specific peptide.Ld-m31 complex (QL9.Ld-m31) was recognized by alloreactive TCR 2C. A soluble form of the Ld-m31 protein was expressed in Escherichia coli and refolded from inclusion bodies at high yields. Surface plasmon resonance showed that TCRs bound to peptide.Ld-m31 complexes with affinities similar to those of native full-length Ld. The TCR and QL9.Ld-m31 formed complexes that could be resolved by native gel electrophoresis, suggesting that stabilized alpha1/alpha2 class I platforms may enable various structural studies.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M604343200
View details for Web of Science ID 000240031300076
View details for PubMedID 16815841
Cardiovascular homeostasis and blood pressure regulation are reliant, in part, on interactions between natriuretic peptide (NP) hormones and natriuretic peptide receptors (NPR). The C-type NPR (NPR-C) is responsible for clearance of NP hormones from the circulation, and displays a cross-reactivity for all NP hormones (ANP, BNP, and CNP), in contrast to other NPRs, which are more restricted in their specificity. In order to elucidate the structural determinants for the binding specificity and cross-reactivity of NPR-C with NP hormones, we have determined the crystal structures of the complexes of NPR-C with atrial natriuretic peptide (ANP), and with brain natriuretic peptide (BNP). A structural comparison of these complexes, with the previous structure of the NPR-C/CNP complex, reveals that NPR-C uses a conformationally inflexible surface to bind three different, highly flexible, NP ligands. The complex structures support a mechanism of rigid promiscuity rather than conformational plasticity by the receptor. While ANP and BNP appear to adopt similar receptor-bound conformations, the CNP structure diverges, yet shares sets of common receptor contacts with the other ligands. The degenerate versus selective hormone recognition properties of different NPRs appears to derive largely from two cavities on the receptor surfaces, pocket I and pocket II, that serve as anchoring sites for hormone side-chains and modulate receptor selectivity.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jmb.2006.06.060
View details for Web of Science ID 000240233700008
View details for PubMedID 16870210
Artemin (ARTN) is a member of the glial cell line-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) family ligands (GFLs) which regulate the development and maintenance of many neuronal populations in the mammalian nervous system. Here we report the 1.92 A crystal structure of the complex formed between ARTN and its receptor GFRalpha3, which is the initiating step in the formation of a ternary signaling complex containing the shared RET receptor. It represents a new receptor-ligand interaction mode for the TGF-beta superfamily that reveals both conserved and specificity-determining anchor points for all GFL-GFRalpha pairs. In tandem with the complex structure, cellular studies using receptor chimeras implicate dyad-symmetric composite interfaces for recruitment and dimerization of RET, leading to intracellular signaling. These studies should facilitate the functional dissection of the specific versus pleiotropic roles of this system in neurobiology, as well as its exploitation for therapeutic applications.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.str.2006.05.010
View details for Web of Science ID 000238730300016
View details for PubMedID 16765900
When T cells encounter antigens via the T cell antigen receptor (TCR), information about the quantity and quality of antigen engagement is relayed to the intracellular signal transduction machinery. This process is poorly understood. The TCR itself lacks a significant intracellular domain. Instead, it is associated with CD3 molecules that contain intracellular signaling domains that couple the TCR/CD3 complex to the downstream signaling machinery. The earliest events in TCR signaling must involve the transfer of information from the antigen binding TCR subunit to the CD3 signaling subunits of the TCR/CD3 complex. Elucidating the structural organization of the TCR with the associated CD3 signaling molecules is necessary for understanding the mechanism by which TCR engagement is coupled to activation. Here, we review the current state of our understanding of the structure and organization of the TCR/CD3 complex.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.immuni.2006.01.006
View details for Web of Science ID 000235479000005
View details for PubMedID 16473826
While numerous antibody-antigen systems have been structurally characterized, studies of structurally analogous T-cell receptor MHC systems have lagged behind largely due to the lack of a general TCR expression system. Efforts to develop bacterial systems have resulted in low yields (< 0.5 mg/l) of active material which is prone to proteolysis and aggregation. Here we report a strategy to secrete folded, soluble single chain T-cell receptors (scTCR) in the Escherichia coli periplasm using three representative alphabeta TCRs (172.10, 1934.4/c19 and 2B4). Shake flask yields between 0.5 and 30 mg/l active, purified material were attained for all TCRs studied and found to depend on the introduction of solubility-increasing amino acid substitutions, skp chaperone co-expression and C-terminal fusion to a human kappa constant domain in the context of a tightly regulated expression vector. This system will greatly enable crystallographic, thermodynamic and other biophysical analyses of TCRs which require large quantities of homogeneous material.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jim.2005.07.022
View details for Web of Science ID 000234174500005
View details for PubMedID 16198365
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is an immunoregulatory cytokine that acts through a quaternary receptor signaling complex containing alpha (IL-2Ralpha), beta (IL-2Rbeta), and common gamma chain (gc) receptors. In the structure of the quaternary ectodomain complex as visualized at a resolution of 2.3 angstroms, the binding of IL-2Ralpha to IL-2 stabilizes a secondary binding site for presentation to IL-2Rbeta. gammac is then recruited to the composite surface formed by the IL-2/IL-2Rbeta complex. Consistent with its role as a shared receptor for IL-4, IL-7, IL-9, IL-15, and IL-21, gammac forms degenerate contacts with IL-2. The structure of gammac provides a rationale for loss-of-function mutations found in patients with X-linked severe combined immunodeficiency diseases (X-SCID). This complex structure provides a framework for other gammac-dependent cytokine-receptor interactions and for the engineering of improved IL-2 therapeutics.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1117893
View details for Web of Science ID 000233437300038
View details for PubMedID 16293754
Structures of many of the cell surface receptor-ligand complexes mediating the interactions between T cells and target cells have been determined in the past ten years. While snapshots of T cell receptors bound to their peptide-MHC ligands appear to have defined a general interaction or "docking" solution, many of the most fundamental structural questions in antigen recognition lack detailed answers and thus pose exciting experimental challenges for the future.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2005.07.015
View details for Web of Science ID 000231254400006
View details for PubMedID 16096054
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) is an immunoregulatory cytokine that binds sequentially to the alpha (IL-2Ralpha), beta (IL-2Rbeta), and common gamma chain (gammac) receptor subunits. Here we present the 2.8 angstrom crystal structure of a complex between human IL-2 and IL-2Ralpha, which interact in a docking mode distinct from that of other cytokine receptor complexes. IL-2Ralpha is composed of strand-swapped "sushi-like" domains, unlike the classical cytokine receptor fold. As a result of this domain swap, IL-2Ralpha uses a composite surface to dock into a groove on IL-2 that also serves as a binding site for antagonist drugs. With this complex, we now have representative structures for each class of hematopoietic cytokine receptor-docking modules.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1109745
View details for Web of Science ID 000229619300056
View details for PubMedID 15933202
gp130 is a shared cytokine signaling receptor and the founding member of the 'tall' class of cytokine receptors. A crystal structure of the ligand-binding domains of gp130 in complex with human interleukin-6 (IL-6) and its a-receptor (IL-6Ralpha) revealed a hexameric architecture in which the gp130 membrane-distal regions were approximately 100 A apart, in contrast to the close apposition seen between short cytokine receptor complexes. Here we used single-particle EM to visualize the entire extracellular hexameric IL-6-IL-6Ralpha-gp130 complex, containing all six gp130 domains. The structure reveals that gp130 is bent such that the membrane-proximal domains of gp130 are close together at the cell surface, enabling activation of intracellular signaling. Variation in the receptor bend angles suggests a possible conformational transition from open to closed states upon ligand binding; this transition is probably representative of the other tall cytokine receptors.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nsmb941
View details for Web of Science ID 000229533800016
View details for PubMedID 15895091
The natriuretic peptide system of hormones and receptors poses an abundance of interesting biophysical questions regarding receptor structure, hormone recognition, and receptor activation. Functional and biochemical data have implicated a series of conformational changes as the mechanism by which NP receptor activation is achieved. We have explored the structural basis of hormone recognition by the NP clearance receptor, termed NPR-C. While NPR-C does not contain the classical guanylyl-cyclase activity in its intracellular domains, its extracellular domain is highly similar to the GC-coupled members of this family. The 1:2 stoichiometry of hormone binding to NPR-C is also used by NPR-A and -B to bind hormones. The structure of NPR-C in both quiescent and hormone-bound forms reveals the hormone intercalates within the interface of a receptor dimer, inducing a large-scale conformational change in the membrane proximal regions. This mechanism of hormone recognition will be conserved across the entire NPR family. The allosteric response of the NPR-C ectodomain to ligand binding is likely a glimpse of the general activation signal of these receptors, despite their differing downstream signaling cascades. In this review, we discuss our results on NPR-C and their relevance to the NPR family as a whole, as well as its place as a basic new paradigm for receptor activation.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.peptides.2004.08.035
View details for Web of Science ID 000229622200011
View details for PubMedID 15911071
The molecular basis of gammadelta T cell receptor (TCR) recognition is poorly understood. Here, we analyze the TCR sequences of a natural gammadelta T cell population specific for the major histocompatibility complex class Ib molecule T22. We find that T22 recognition correlates strongly with a somatically recombined TCRdelta complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) motif derived from germ line-encoded residues. Sequence diversity around these residues modulates TCR ligand-binding affinities, whereas V gene usage correlates mainly with tissue origin. These results show how an antigen-specific gammadelta TCR repertoire can be generated at a high frequency and suggest that gammadelta T cells recognize a limited number of antigens.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1106480
View details for Web of Science ID 000228273700053
View details for PubMedID 15821090
Gammadelta T cell receptors (TCRs), alphabeta TCRs, and antibodies are the three lineages of somatically recombined antigen receptors. The structural basis for ligand recognition is well defined for alphabeta TCR and antibodies but is lacking for gammadelta TCRs. We present the 3.4 A structure of the murine gammadelta TCR G8 bound to its major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class Ib ligand, T22. G8 predominantly uses germline-encoded residues of its delta chain complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) loop to bind T22 in an orientation substantially different from that seen in alphabeta TCR/peptide-MHC. That junctionally encoded G8 residues play an ancillary role in binding suggests a fusion of innate and adaptive recognition strategies.
View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1106885
View details for Web of Science ID 000228273700045
View details for PubMedID 15821084
A major obstacle for successful axon regeneration in the adult central nervous system (CNS) arises from inhibitory molecules in CNS myelin, which signal through a common receptor complex on neurons consisting of the ligand-binding Nogo-66 receptor (NgR) and two transmembrane coreceptors, p75 and LINGO-1. However, p75 expression is only detectable in subpopulations of mature neurons, raising the question of how these inhibitory signals are transduced in neurons lacking p75. In this study, we demonstrate that TROY (also known as TAJ), a TNF receptor family member selectively expressed in the adult nervous system, can form a functional receptor complex with NgR and LINGO-1 to mediate cellular responses to myelin inhibitors. Also, both overexpressing a dominant-negative TROY or presence of a soluble TROY protein can efficiently block neuronal response to myelin inhibitors. Our results implicate TROY in mediating myelin inhibition, offering new insights into the molecular mechanisms of regeneration failure in the adult nervous system.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.neuron.2004.12.040
View details for Web of Science ID 000226787700007
View details for PubMedID 15694321
Axon regeneration failure in the adult mammalian CNS is attributed in part to the inhibitory nature of CNS myelin. Three myelin-associated, structurally distinct proteins, Nogo, myelin-associated glycoprotein, and oligodendrocyte myelin glycoprotein, have been implicated in this inhibition. Neuronal Nogo receptor (NgR) binds to each of the three inhibitors and has been proposed to mediate their inhibitory signals by complexing with a signal-transducing coreceptor, the neurotrophin receptor p75(NTR). To assess the contribution of NgR to mediating myelin inhibitory signals and regeneration failure in vivo, we generated and characterized NgR-deficient mice. Nogo transcripts are up-regulated in NgR mutants, indicating that NgR regulates Nogo in vivo. However, neurite outgrowth from NgR-deficient postnatal dorsal root ganglion or cerebellar granule neurons is inhibited by myelin and by a Nogo-66 substrate to the same extent as is from wild-type neurons, whereas p75(NTR)-deficient neurons are less inhibited. The NgR ligand-binding domain promotes neurite outgrowth on Nogo-66, regardless of the genotype of the neurons, indicating that the NgR ligand-binding domain can act independent of NgR. Thus, NgR is not essential for mediating inhibitory signals from CNS myelin, at least in the neurons tested, whereas p75(NTR) plays a central role in this response. Neither NgR-nor p75(NTR)-deficient mice showed enhanced regeneration of corticospinal tract axons in comparison with wild-type controls after spinal dorsal hemisection. Our results thus fail to support a central role for NgR in axonal growth inhibition in vitro or in corticospinal tract regeneration block in vivo.
View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0409026102
View details for Web of Science ID 000226617900045
View details for PubMedID 15647357
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC544342
T cell receptor crossreactivity with different peptide ligands and biased recognition of MHC are coupled features of antigen recognition that are necessary for the T cell's diverse functional repertoire. In the crystal structure between an autoreactive, EAE T cell clone 172.10 and myelin basic protein (1-11) presented by class II MHC I-Au, recognition of the MHC is dominated by the Vbeta domain of the TCR, which interacts with the MHC alpha chain in a manner suggestive of a germline-encoded TCR/MHC "anchor point." Strikingly, there are few specific contacts between the TCR CDR3 loops and the MBP peptide. We also find that over 1,000,000 different peptides derived from combinatorial libraries can activate 172.10, yet the TCR strongly prefers the native MBP contact residues. We suggest that while TCR scanning of pMHC may be degenerate due to the TCR germline bias for MHC, recognition of structurally distinct agonist peptides is not indicative of TCR promiscuity, but rather highly specific alternative solutions to TCR engagement.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.immuni.2004.11.015
View details for Web of Science ID 000226682900009
View details for PubMedID 15664161
It has recently been reported that dipeptidyl aminopeptidase X (DPPX) interacts with the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv4 and that co-expression of DPPX together with Kv4 pore forming alpha-subunits, and potassium channel interacting proteins (KChIPs), reconstitutes properties of native A-type potassium channels in vitro. Here we report the X-ray crystal structure of the extracellular domain of human DPPX determined at 3.0A resolution. This structure reveals the potential for a surface electrostatic change based on the protonation state of histidine. Subtle changes in extracellular pH might modulate the interaction of DPPX with Kv4.2 and possibly with other proteins. We propose models of DPPX interaction with the voltage-gated potassium channel complex. The dimeric structure of DPPX is highly homologous to the related protein DPP-IV. Comparison of the active sites of DPPX and DPP-IV reveals loss of the catalytic serine residue but the presence of an additional serine near the "active" site. However, the arrangement of residues is inconsistent with that of canonical serine proteases and DPPX is unlikely to function as a protease (dipeptidyl aminopeptidase).
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jmb.2004.09.003
View details for Web of Science ID 000224656100021
View details for PubMedID 15476821
Interleukin-2 is a key immuno-regulatory cytokine whose actions are mediated by three different cell surface receptors: the alpha, beta and the "common gamma" (gamma(c)) chains. We have undertaken a complete thermodynamic characterization of the stepwise assembly cycle for multiple possible combinations of the receptor-ligand, and receptor-receptor interactions that are necessary for formation of the high-affinity IL-2/alphabetagamma(c) signaling complex. We find an entropically favorable high affinity interaction between IL-2 and its alpha receptor, a moderately entropically favorable low affinity interaction between IL-2 and its beta receptor, and no interaction between IL-2 and the shared receptor, gamma(c). Formation of the stable intermediate trimolecular complexes of IL-2 with alpha and beta receptors, as well as IL-2 with beta and gamma(c) receptors proceeds through enthalpy-entropy compensation mechanisms. Surprisingly, we see a moderate affinity interaction between the unliganded receptor alpha and beta chains, suggesting that a preformed alphabeta complex may serve as the initial interaction complex for IL-2. Reconstitution of the IL-2/Ralphabetagamma(c) high-affinity quaternary signaling complex shows it to be assembled through cooperative energetics to form a 1:1:1:1 assembly. Collectively, the favorable entropy of the bimolecular interactions appears to be offset by the loss in rigid body entropy of the receptor components in the higher-order complexes, but overcome by the formation of increasingly enthalpically favorable composite interfaces. This enthalpic mechanism utilized by gamma(c) contrasts with the favorable entropic mechanism utilized by gp130 for degenerate cytokine interaction. In conclusion, we find that several energetically redundant pathways exist for formation of IL-2 receptor signaling complexes, suggesting a more complex equilibrium on the cell surface than has been previously appreciated.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jmb.2004.04.038
View details for Web of Science ID 000221982400008
View details for PubMedID 15178252
Neurotrophins are secreted growth factors critical for the development and maintenance of the vertebrate nervous system. Neurotrophins activate two types of cell surface receptors, the Trk receptor tyrosine kinases and the shared p75 neurotrophin receptor. We have determined the 2.4 A crystal structure of the prototypic neurotrophin, nerve growth factor (NGF), complexed with the extracellular domain of p75. Surprisingly, the complex is composed of an NGF homodimer asymmetrically bound to a single p75. p75 binds along the homodimeric interface of NGF, which disables NGF's symmetry-related second p75 binding site through an allosteric conformational change. Thus, neurotrophin signaling through p75 may occur by disassembly of p75 dimers and assembly of asymmetric 2:1 neurotrophin/p75 complexes, which could potentially engage a Trk receptor to form a trimolecular signaling complex.
View details for Web of Science ID 000221243000044
View details for PubMedID 15131306
The extent of T cell cross-reactivity is significant, even to the point where the terms "promiscuous" and "degenerate" apply. Degeneracy is an important feature of the immune response mechanism that permits effective T cell responses to a vast number of potential peptide sequences complexed to MHC molecules with specificity sufficient to distinguish between self and foreign peptides and thus to avoid autoimmune disease. Degeneracy at the clonal level of T cells also permits the use of very large combinatorial peptide libraries to identify and optimize peptide sequences that might be used for the treatment of T cell mediated autoimmune disease and for the design of vaccines for treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. Here we explore some recent findings derived from studies involving library scans of T cell lines and clones having clinically relevant specificities. In particular, we discuss two new insights: degeneracy among CD8 T cells appears to be substantially less than among CD4 T cells, and T cell clones characterized by a high affinity TCR interaction with a given pMHC complex are less degenerate than lower avidity T cells that require higher levels of pMHC complex for their activation.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molimm.2003.11.022
View details for Web of Science ID 000220002800011
View details for PubMedID 15036909
Degeneracy in immune recognition is usually thought of in terms of the astonishing ability of the T cell receptor to recognize an enormously diverse array of peptides bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. However, in this essay we discuss an alternative aspect of degeneracy in T cell recognition: the notion that peptides can assume different "registers" in the groove of a single MHC molecule, as first suggested and demonstrated by Sercarz and co-workers (reviewed in [J. autoimmun. 16 (2001) 201]). There is now abundant evidence, derived from functional, biochemical and structural studies, that single peptides can assume alternative, unpredictable binding registers by frameshifting within the MHC groove [Nat. Immunol. 3 (2002) 175;; J. Exp. Med. 187 (1998) 1505; J. Mol. Biol. 304 (2000) 177; Biochemistry 38 (1999) 16663; J. Exp. Med. 197 (2003) 1391; Eur. J. Immunol. 19 (1989) 681]. Hence, register shifting adds an additional dimension to the concept of degeneracy. In fact, the possibility of register shifting multiplies the universe of peptide-MHC (pMHC) surfaces that a TCR must recognize by an unknown, perhaps enormous factor. Register shifting also has profound implication for autoimmunity: (1) as a mechanism to "mask" autoantigenic epitopes during thymic education [Immunol. Rev. 169 (1999) 147; Immunity 17 (2002) 83]; and (2) as a possible source for pMHC complexes capable of molecular mimicry.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molimm.2003.11.016
View details for Web of Science ID 000220002800009
View details for PubMedID 15036907
Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV, or HHV-8) encodes a pathogenic viral homologue of human interleukin-6 (IL-6). In contrast to human IL-6 (hIL-6), viral IL-6 (vIL-6) binds directly to, and activates, the shared human cytokine signaling receptor gp130 without the requirement for pre-complexation to a specific alpha-receptor. Here, we dissect the biochemical and functional basis of vIL-6 mimicry of hIL-6. We find that, in addition to the "alpha-receptor-independent" tetrameric vIL-6/gp130 complex, the viral cytokine can engage the human alpha-receptor (IL-6Ralpha) to form a hexameric vIL-6/IL-6Ralpha/gp130 complex with enhanced signaling potency. In contrast to the assembly sequence of the hIL-6 hexamer, the preformed vIL-6/gp130 tetramer can be decorated with IL-6Ralpha, post facto, in a "vIL-6-dependent" fashion. A detailed comparison of the viral and human cytokine/gp130 interfaces indicates that vIL-6 has evolved a unique molecular strategy to interact with gp130, as revealed by an almost entirely divergent structural makeup of its receptor binding sites. Viral IL-6 appears to utilize an elegant combination of both convergent, and unexpectedly divergent, molecular strategies to oligomerize gp130 and activate similar downstream signaling cascades as its human counterpart.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jmb.2003.10.070
View details for Web of Science ID 000188164000022
View details for PubMedID 14672670
The vast majority of cytokine signaling is mediated by "shared" receptors that form central signaling components of higher-order complexes incorporating ligand-specific receptors. These include the common gamma chain (gamma(c)), common beta chain (beta(c)), and gp130, as well as others. These receptors have the dual tasks of cross-reactive cytokine recognition, and formation of precisely oriented multimeric signaling assemblies. Currently, detailed structural information on a shared receptor complex exists only for gp130, which is a highly pleiotropic shared cytokine signaling receptor essential for mammalian cell growth and homeostasis. To date, more than 10 different four-helix bundle ligands have been identified that incorporate gp130, or one of its close relatives such as LIF receptor, into functional oligomeric signaling complexes. In this review we summarize our current knowledge of shared receptor recognition and activation, with a focus on gp130. We discuss recent structural and functional information to analyze overall architectural assemblies of gp130 cytokine complexes and probe the basis for the extreme cross-reactivity of gp130 for its multiple cytokine ligands.
View details for Web of Science ID 000225856800004
View details for PubMedID 15500860
While in many cases the half-life of T cell receptor (TCR) binding to a particular ligand is a good predictor of activation potential, numerous exceptions suggest that other physical parameter(s) must also play a role. Accordingly, we analyzed the thermodynamics of TCR binding to a series of peptide-MHC ligands, three of which are more stimulatory than their stability of binding would predict. Strikingly, we find that during TCR binding these outliers show anomalously large changes in heat capacity, an indicator of conformational change or flexibility in a binding interaction. By combining the values for heat capacity (DeltaCp) and the half-life of TCR binding (t(1/2)), we find that we can accurately predict the degree of T cell stimulation. Structural analysis shows significant changes in the central TCR contact residue of the peptide-MHC, indicating that structural rearrangements within the TCR-peptide-MHC interface can contribute to T cell activation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000187511600007
View details for PubMedID 14690592
Gp130 is a shared cell-surface signaling receptor for at least ten different hematopoietic cytokines, but the basis of its degenerate recognition properties is unknown. We have determined the crystal structure of human leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) bound to the cytokine binding region (CHR) of gp130 at 2.5 A resolution. Strikingly, we find that the shared binding site on gp130 has an entirely rigid core, while the LIF binding interface diverges sharply in structure and chemistry from that of other gp130 ligands. Dissection of the LIF-gp130 interface, along with comparative studies of other gp130 cytokines, reveal that gp130 has evolved a "thermodynamic plasticity" that is relatively insensitive to ligand structure, to enable crossreactivity. These observations reveal a novel and alternative mechanism for degenerate recognition from that of structural plasticity.
View details for Web of Science ID 000185613800008
View details for PubMedID 14527405
Interleukin-6 (IL-6) is an immunoregulatory cytokine that activates a cell-surface signaling assembly composed of IL-6, the IL-6 alpha-receptor (IL-6Ralpha), and the shared signaling receptor gp130. The 3.65 angstrom-resolution structure of the extracellular signaling complex reveals a hexameric, interlocking assembly mediated by a total of 10 symmetry-related, thermodynamically coupled interfaces. Assembly of the hexameric complex occurs sequentially: IL-6 is first engaged by IL-6Ralpha and then presented to gp130in the proper geometry to facilitate a cooperative transition into the high-affinity, signaling-competent hexamer. The quaternary structures of other IL-6/IL-12 family signaling complexes are likely constructed by means of a similar topological blueprint.
View details for Web of Science ID 000183774900049
View details for PubMedID 12829785
Although our structural understanding of T cell recognition has rapidly evolved due to recent crystallographic results, the reality is that detailed answers to many of the most fundamental questions still remain elusive. In this issue, high-resolution insight into the phenomenon of TCR chain bias takes down another brick from the wall.
View details for Web of Science ID 000180860600002
View details for PubMedID 12530971
The gp130-cytokine system has been fertile ground for protein structure-function studies aimed at elucidating the basis of ligand recognition and receptor activation. A number of longstanding questions involve the mechanism of the stepwise assembly of the active signaling complexes, as well as the structure of the gp130-cytokine complexes. It has been clear from functional studies that the paradigm of gp130-cyokine recognition will differ substantially from the classical homo-dimeric systems, typified by human growth hormone (hGH) and its receptor. Recently, a crystal structure of a viral interleukin-6 (vIL-6), complexed with the D1D2D3 domains of the gp130 extracellular domain, has resolved many of these questions, and reconciled much of the functional and mutagenesis data which have existed for a variety of gp130-cytokines. In this review, we discuss the structure of the vIL-6/gp130 complex in some detail and suggest that the geometry of this complex will be a common structural template utilized by other gp130-cytokines, as well as cytokines from distinct signaling systems.
View details for Web of Science ID 000179178500003
View details for PubMedID 12421668
The crystal structure of a human T cell receptor, which is used almost exclusively in the immune response to an Epstein-Barr virus protein, highlights the importance of noncontact residues in antigen recognition.
View details for Web of Science ID 000179175300003
View details for PubMedID 12429085
T cells probe a diverse milieu of peptides presented by molecules of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) by using the T-cell receptor (TCR) to scan these ligands with high sensitivity and specificity. Here we describe a physical basis for this scanning process by studying the residues involved in both the initial association and the stable binding of TCR to peptide-MHC, using the well-characterized TCR and peptide-MHC pair of 2B4 and MCC-IE(k) (moth cytochrome c, residues 88 103). We show that MHC contacts dictate the initial association, guiding TCR docking in a way that is mainly independent of the peptide. Subsequently, MCC-IE(k) peptide contacts dominate stabilization, imparting specificity and influencing T-cell activation by modulating the duration of binding. This functional subdivision of the peptide-MHC ligand suggests that a two-step process for TCR recognition facilitates the efficient scanning of diverse peptide-MHC complexes on the surface of cells and also makes TCRs inherently crossreactive towards different peptides bound by the same MHC.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature00920
View details for Web of Science ID 000177162800045
View details for PubMedID 12152083
Toxoplasma gondii is a persistent protozoan parasite capable of infecting almost any warm-blooded vertebrate. The surface of Toxoplasma is coated with a family of developmentally regulated glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-linked proteins (SRSs), of which SAG1 is the prototypic member. SRS proteins mediate attachment to host cells and interface with the host immune response to regulate the virulence of the parasite. The 1.7 A structure of the immunodominant SAG1 antigen reveals a homodimeric configuration in which the dimeric interface is mediated by an extended beta-sheet that forms a deep groove lined with positively charged amino acids. This basic groove seems to be conserved among SRS proteins and potentially serves as a sulfated proteoglycan-binding site on target cell surfaces, thus rationalizing the promiscuous attachment properties of Toxoplasma to a broad range of host cell types.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nsb819
View details for Web of Science ID 000177214200014
View details for PubMedID 12091874
Most CD1d-dependent NKT cells in mice have a canonical V alpha 14J alpha 18 TCR rearrangement. However, relatively little is known concerning the molecular basis for their reactivity to glycolipid Ags presented by CD1d. Using glycolipid Ags, soluble forms of a V alpha 14 NKT cell-derived TCR, and mutant and wild-type CD1d molecules, we probed the TCR/CD1d interaction by surface plasmon resonance, tetramer equilibrium staining, and tetramer staining decay experiments. By these methods, several CD1d alpha-helical amino acids could be defined that do not greatly alter lipid binding, but that affect the interaction with the TCR. Binding of the V alpha 14(+) TCR to CD1d requires the agonist alpha-galactosylceramide (alpha-GalCer), as opposed to the nonantigenic beta-galactosylceramide, although both Ags bind to CD1d, indicating that the carbohydrate moiety of the CD1d-bound Ag plays a major role in the TCR interaction. The TCR has a relatively high-affinity binding to the alpha-GalCer/CD1d complex, with a particularly slow off rate. These unique properties are consistent with the coreceptor-independent action of the V alpha 14 TCR and may be related to the intense response to alpha-GalCer by NKT cells in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID 000177025100025
View details for PubMedID 12133957
Murine experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) is a useful model for the demyelinating, autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis. In the EAE system, the immunodominant N-terminal epitope of myelin basic protein (MBP) is an unusually short, weakly binding peptide antigen which elicits highly biased TCR chain usage. In the 2.2 A crystal structure of I-A(u)/MBP1-11 complex, only MBP residues 1-7 are bound toward one end of the peptide binding cleft. The fourth residue of MBP1-11 is located in an incompatible p6 pocket of I-A(u), thus explaining the short half-life of I-A(u) complexed with Ac1-11. MBP peptides extended at the C terminus of Ac1-11 result in dramatic affinity increases, likely attributed to register shifting to a higher affinity cryptic epitope, which could potentially mask the presentation of the immunodominant MBP1-11 peptide during thymic education.
View details for Web of Science ID 000177187500009
View details for PubMedID 12150894
The crystal structures of the 2C/H-2K(bm3)-dEV8 allogeneic complex at 2.4 A and H-2K(bm3)-dEV8 at 2.15 A, when compared with their syngeneic counterparts, elucidate structural changes that induce an alloresponse. The Asp77Ser mutation that imbues H-2K(bm3)-dEV8 with its alloreactive properties is located beneath the peptide and does not directly contact the T cell receptor (TCR). However, the buried mutation induces local rearrangement of the peptide itself to preserve hydrogen bonding interactions between the peptide and the alpha(1) 77 residue. The COOH terminus of the peptide main chain is tugged toward the alpha(1)-helix such that its presentation to the TCR is altered. These changes increase the stability of the allogeneic peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) complex and increase complementarity in the TCR-pMHC interface, placing greater emphasis on recognition of the pMHC by the TCR beta-chain, evinced by an increase in shape complementarity, buried surface area, and number of TCR-pMHC contacting residues. A nearly fourfold increase in the number of beta-chain-pMHC contacts is accompanied by a concomitant 64% increase in beta-chain-pMHC shape complementarity. Thus, the allogeneic mutation causes the same peptide to be presented differently, temporally and spatially, by the allogeneic and syngeneic MHCs.
View details for DOI 10.1084/jem.20011644
View details for Web of Science ID 000176110700009
View details for PubMedID 11994422
The ectodomains of interacting membrane-bound proteins, when expressed as recombinant soluble molecules, often have low affinities for each other, hampering studies of their interaction. We reasoned that stabilization of unstable protein-protein complexes should aid our understanding of the structural and functional consequences of complex formation. Here, we have used fusion with leucine zipper (LZ) domains to stabilize a complex formed between the class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC-II) protein, HLA-DR1 (which binds peptides for presentation to CD4+ T cells) and HLA-DM (which catalyzes peptide exchange of MHC-II molecules). To this end, the DM beta chain ectodomains were fused to acidic LZ domains (AcidP1 or Fos); similarly, the DR1 beta chain ectodomains were fused to basic LZ domains (BaseP1 or Jun). We expressed LZ-modified soluble DM or DR1 alphabeta dimers, or both, in insect cells and purified the secreted sDM-AcidP1 and sDR1-BaseP1 molecules as well as the complex. LZ modification greatly enhanced DM-catalyzed peptide binding to DR1 compared to unmodified soluble DM and DR1. We readily detected LZ-modified DM/DR complexes on native PAGE gels and by coimmunoprecipitation. Thus, fusion with artificial LZ domains can stabilize unstable protein-protein complexes for biochemical and structural studies of interactions within the complex.
View details for Web of Science ID 000176076300010
View details for PubMedID 12009208
The molecular basis of Factor V deficiency has been defined in few patients only. We report a homozygous nucleotide change (G6395A) in two Tunisian probands with Factor V deficiency and bleeding episodes. This substitution results in the replacement of an arginine (R) by a histidine (H) in amino acid position 2074, located in the Factor V C2-domain. Mutations in this protein domain have not previously been described. Several lines of evidence support that this sequence variant is indeed disease causing: 1) Crystal structures of Factor V and molecular C2-domain modeling studies of H2074 suggest that the conserved R2074 is required for correct folding; 2) Structure-function studies of selective Factor V mutants (R2074A) demonstrate the importance of R2074 for structural stability of the Factor V C2-domain and for cofactor activity (1); 3) In Factor VIII, point mutations in codon 2209, which corresponds to position 2074 in Factor V, cause hemophilia A.
View details for Web of Science ID 000173869300020
View details for PubMedID 11858490
Qa-2 is a nonclassical MHC Ib antigen, which has been implicated in both innate and adaptive immune responses, as well as embryonic development. Qa-2 has an unusual peptide binding specificity in that it requires two dominant C-terminal anchor residues and is capable of associating with a substantially more diverse array of peptide sequences than other nonclassical MHC.We have determined the crystal structure, to 2.3 A, of the Q9 gene of murine Qa-2 complexed with a self-peptide derived from the L19 ribosomal protein, which is abundant in the pool of peptides eluted from the Q9 groove. The 9 amino acid peptide is bound high in a shallow, hydrophobic binding groove of Q9, which is missing a C pocket. The peptide makes few specific contacts and exhibits extremely poor shape complementarity to the MHC groove, which facilitates the presentation of a degenerate array of sequences. The L19 peptide is in a centrally bulged conformation that is stabilized by intramolecular interactions from the invariant P7 histidine anchor residue and by a hydrophobic core of preferred secondary anchor residues that have minimal interaction with the MHC.Unexpectedly, the preferred secondary peptide residues that exhibit tenuous contact with Q9 contribute significantly to the overall stability of the peptide-MHC complex. The structure of this complex implies a "conformational" selection by Q9 for peptide residues that optimally stabilize the large bulge rather than making intimate contact with the MHC pockets.
View details for Web of Science ID 000172658700009
View details for PubMedID 11738047
T cell-mediated destruction of the myelin sheath causes inflammatory damage of the CNS in multiple sclerosis (MS). The major T and B cell responses in MS patients who are HLA-DR2 (about two-thirds of MS patients) react to a region between residues 84 and 103 of myelin basic protein (1 ). The crystal structure of HLA-DR2 complexed with myelin basic protein(84-102) confirmed that Lys(91) is the major TCR contact site, whereas Phe(90) is a major anchor to MHC and binds the hydrophobic P4 pocket (2 ). We have tested peptides containing repetitive 4-aa sequences designed to bind critical MHC pockets and to interfere with T cell activation. One such sequence, EYYKEYYKEYYK, ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis in Lewis rats, an animal model of MS.
View details for Web of Science ID 000172391800034
View details for PubMedID 11509612
Natriuretic peptides (NPs) are vasoactive cyclic-peptide hormones important in blood pressure regulation through interaction with natriuretic cell-surface receptors. We report the hormone-binding thermodynamics and crystal structures at 2.9 and 2.0 angstroms, respectively, of the extracellular domain of the unliganded human NP receptor (NPR-C) and its complex with CNP, a 22-amino acid NP. A single CNP molecule is bound in the interface of an NPR-C dimer, resulting in asymmetric interactions between the hormone and the symmetrically related receptors. Hormone binding induces a 20 angstrom closure between the membrane-proximal domains of the dimer. In each monomer, the opening of an interdomain cleft, which is tethered together by a linker peptide acting as a molecular spring, is likely a conserved allosteric trigger for intracellular signaling by the natriuretic receptor family.
View details for Web of Science ID 000170802900063
View details for PubMedID 11533490
The adverse effects of local anesthetics associated with catecholamines upon the cardiovascular system, such as arterial pressure alterations and cardiac arrhythmias, have been highly discussed in pharmacological literature. When present in the blood circulation, the anesthetic salt promotes depressing effects at the cardiovascular system level, whilst the catecholaminic vasoconstrictors promote opposite effects upon the cardiovascular system. This paper aimed to verify which component is responsible for the initial effect upon the isolated heart of the guinea-pig by comparing the same anesthetic with and without vasoconstrictor. Guinea-pig hearts perfused using the Langendorff method received separate injections of lidocaine hydrochloride, without vasoconstrictor (LC), and with the vasoconstrictor norepinephrine at 1 : 50,000 (LCN) in doses of 3, 4 and 5 mg. LC was seen to significantly reduce the contraction force (CF) and the cardiac rate (CR) at all injected doses and at all times registered. LCN, though, significantly reduced CF in all doses only at 15 s after administration. At 30 and 60 s, LCN elevated CF to values close to those of the control. LCN in its 3 mg dose significantly increased CR at 30 and 60 s; with the 4 mg dose, significant alterations did not occur in CR and with the 5 mg dose CR was reduced significantly at 15 and 30 s, returning to values close to those of the control at 60 s. The electrocardiographic traces with LCN were similar to those with LC with a reduction occurring in the automatism of the sinus node, prolongation of the PR interval and widening of QRS, with all doses utilized at 15 s. Soon after the administration of LC and LCN ventricular asystole occurred, having a larger duration with LC. This duration was also increased when higher doses of anesthetics were used. The authors concluded that the initial cardio-depression effect of local anesthetics, with the vasoconstrictor norepinephrine, in the isolated guinea-pig heart is due to the anesthetic salt and that the vasoconstrictor exerts a protecting action against this effect.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169979700011
View details for PubMedID 11516263
Gp130 is a shared signal-transducing receptor for a family of four-helix cytokines, of which interleukin-6 is a prototypic member. IL-6-type cytokines activate gp130 to elicit downstream intracellular JAK/STAT signaling cascades through formation of hetero-oligomeric receptor complexes. Interleukin-6 must first complex with its specific alpha-receptor (Ralpha) in order to bind and activate gp130. We have dissected the extracellular activation pathway of human gp130 by human IL-6 through reconstitution of soluble complexes representing intermediate and final states in the hierarchical assembly of the IL-6/IL-6Ralpha/gp130 signaling complex. To isolate these hetero-complexes, we have applied a protein engineering strategy of covalently linking IL-6 to its Ralpha, which results in a "hyperactive" single-chain complex (hyper-IL-6) which we express in both Escherichia coli and insect cells. We have determined that IL-6/IL-Ralpha and the cytokine-binding homology region (CHR) of gp130 (D2D3) form a stable trimolecular "recognition" complex (trimer) consisting of 1IL-6,1 IL-6Ralpha, and 1 gp130-CHR. Addition of the N-terminal (D1) Ig-like domain (IGD) of gp130 to the CHR results in a transition to a hexameric "activation" complex containing 2 IL-6, 2IL-6Ralpha, and 2 gp130. These results clearly demonstrate that the recognition and activation complexes are disparate hetero-oligomeric molecular species linked by the recruitment of the gp130 IGD by the unique site III epitope present on all gp130-class cytokines. The results of these studies are relevant to other members of the IL-6 family of gp130-cytokines and address a longstanding question concerning the respective roles of the gp130 CHR and IGD in assembly of the active signaling oligomer.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169536300025
View details for PubMedID 11412113
In the current study, cellular and molecular approaches have been used to analyze the biophysical nature of T cell receptor (TCR)-peptide MHC (pMHC) interactions for two autoreactive TCRs. These two TCRs recognize the N-terminal epitope of myelin basic protein (MBP1-11) bound to the MHC class II protein, I-A(u), and are associated with murine experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. Mice transgenic for the TCRs have been generated and characterized in other laboratories. These analyses indicate that the mice either develop encephalomyelitis spontaneously (172.10 TCR) or only if immunized with autoantigen in adjuvant (1934.4 TCR). Here, we show that the 172.10 TCR binds MBP1-11:I-A(u) with a 4-5-fold higher affinity than the 1934.4 TCR. Consistent with the higher affinity, 172.10 T hybridoma cells are significantly more responsive to autoantigen than 1934.4 cells. The interaction of the 172.10 TCR with cognate ligand is more entropically unfavorable than that of the 1934.4 TCR, indicating that the 172.10 TCR undergoes greater conformational rearrangements upon ligand binding. The studies therefore suggest a correlation between the strength and plasticity of a TCR-pMHC interaction and the frequency of spontaneous disease in the corresponding TCR transgenic mice. The comparative analysis of these two TCRs has implications for understanding autoreactive T cell recognition and activation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000169151500053
View details for PubMedID 11391002
The activation of gp130, a shared signal-transducing receptor for a family of cytokines, is initiated by recognition of ligand followed by oligomerization into a higher order signaling complex. Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus encodes a functional homolog of human interleukin-6 (IL-6) that activates human gp130. In the 2.4 angstrom crystal structure of the extracellular signaling assembly between viral IL-6 and human gp130, two complexes are cross-linked into a tetramer through direct interactions between the immunoglobulin domain of gp130 and site III of viral IL-6, which is necessary for receptor activation. Unlike human IL-6 (which uses many hydrophilic residues), the viral cytokine largely uses hydrophobic amino acids to contact gp130, which enhances the complementarity of the viral IL-6-gp130 binding interfaces. The cross-reactivity of gp130 is apparently due to a chemical plasticity evident in the amphipathic gp130 cytokine-binding sites.
View details for Web of Science ID 000167563800040
View details for PubMedID 11251120
Neuropilin-1 (NP-1) was first identified as a semaphorin receptor involved in neuron guidance. Subsequent studies demonstrated that NP-1 also binds an isoform of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) as well as several VEGF homologs, suggesting that NP-1 may also function in angiogenesis. Here we report in vitro binding experiments that shed light on the interaction between VEGF165 and NP-1, as well as a previously unknown interaction between NP-1 and one of the VEGF receptor tyrosine kinases, VEGFR1 or Flt-1. BIAcore analysis demonstrated that, with the extracellular domain (ECD) of NP-1 immobilized at low density, VEGF165 bound with low affinity (K(d) = 2 microm) and fast kinetics. The interaction was dependent on the heparin-binding domain of VEGF165 and increased the affinity of VEGF165 for its signaling receptor VEGFR2 or kinase insert domain-containing receptor. The affinity of VEGF165 for the NP-1 ECD was greatly enhanced either by increasing the density of immobilized NP-1 (K(d) = 113 nm) or by the addition of heparin (K(d) = 25 nm). We attribute these affinity enhancements to avidity effects mediated by the bivalent VEGF165 homodimer or multivalent heparin. We also show that the NP-1 ECD binds with high affinity (K(d) = 1.8 nm) to domains 3 and 4 of Flt-1 and that this interaction inhibits the binding of NP-1 to VEGF165. Based on these results, we propose that NP-1 acts as a coreceptor for various ligands and that these functions are dependent on the density of NP-1 on the cell membrane. Furthermore, Flt-1 may function as a negative regulator of angiogenesis by competing for NP-1.
View details for Web of Science ID 000089144800005
View details for PubMedID 10842181
Susceptibility to murine and human insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus correlates strongly with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II I-A or HLA-DQ alleles that lack an aspartic acid at position beta57. I-Ag7 lacks this aspartate and is the only class II allele expressed by the nonobese diabetic mouse. The crystal structure of I-Ag7 was determined at 2.6 angstrom resolution as a complex with a high-affinity peptide from the autoantigen glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) 65. I-Ag7 has a substantially wider peptide-binding groove around beta57, which accounts for distinct peptide preferences compared with other MHC class II alleles. Loss of Asp(beta57) leads to an oxyanion hole in I-Ag7 that can be filled by peptide carboxyl residues or, perhaps, through interaction with the T cell receptor.
View details for Web of Science ID 000086626000043
View details for PubMedID 10775108
A longstanding question in T cell receptor signaling is how structurally similar ligands, with similar affinities, can have substantially different biological activity. The crystal structure of the 2C TCR complex of H-2Kb with superagonist peptide SIYR at 2.8 A elucidates a structural basis for TCR discrimination of altered peptide ligands. The difference in antigen potency is modulated by two cavities in the TCR combining site, formed mainly by CDRs 3alpha, 3beta, and 1beta, that complement centrally located peptide residues. This "functional hot spot" allows the TCR to finely discriminate amongst energetically similar interactions within different ligands for those in which the peptide appropriately stabilizes the TCR/pMHC complex and provides a new structural perspective for understanding differential signaling resulting from T cell cross-reactivity.
View details for Web of Science ID 000086292100003
View details for PubMedID 10755612
The structural and biochemical basis of antigen recognition by the T-cell receptor (TCR)-CD3 signaling complex has been illuminated greatly over the past few years. Structural biology has contributed enormously to this understanding through the determination of crystal structures of many of the individual components of this complex, and some of the complexes. A number of general principles can be derived for the structure of the alpha beta TCR and its interaction with peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) in class I systems, as well as interaction of the CD8 co-receptor with MHC. Large buried surface areas within the protein-protein interfaces, and varying degrees of shape complementarity appear critical for modulating the stability of the multicomponent, low-affinity macromolecular complexes consisting of TCR, pMHC, CD8 or CD4, and CD3 gamma, delta, epsilon and zeta. Significant structural alterations in TCR and pMHC, upon complex formation, hint at an as yet unclear role for conformational change in both recognition and activation. Subtle chemical alterations in key peptide residues which contact the TCR can have dramatic agonist or antagonist effects on receptor activation, which correlate only loosely with the TCR/pMHC complex affinity, implying an ability of the signaling complex to "sense" fine differences in the interface. The stoichiometry of an activated TCR signaling complex is still an unresolved issue, as is the structure and disposition of the CD3 components. However, functional experiments are bridging this gap and providing us with preliminary working models of the multimeric assemblies.
View details for Web of Science ID 000084432700007
View details for PubMedID 10631938
Exciting breakthroughs in the last two years have begun to elucidate the structural basis of cellular immune recognition. Crystal structures have been determined for full-length and truncated forms of alpha beta T cell receptor (TCR) heterodimers, both alone and in complex with their peptide-MHC (pMHC) ligands or with anti-TCR antibodies. In addition, a truncated CD8 coreceptor has been visualized with a pMHC. Aided in large part by the substantial body of knowledge accumulated over the last 25 years on antibody structure, a number of general conclusions about TCR structure and its recognition of antigen can already be derived from the relatively few TCR structures that have been determined. Small, but important, variations between TCR and antibody structures bear on their functional differences as well as on their specific antigen recognition requirements. As observed in antibodies, canonical CDR loop structures are already emerging for some of the TCR CDR loops. Highly similar docking orientations of the TCR V alpha domains in the TCR/pMHC complex appear to play a primary role in dictating orientation, but the V beta positions diverge widely. Similar TCR contact positions, but whose exact amino acid content can vary, coupled with relatively poor interface shape complementarity, may explain the flexibility and short half-lives of many TCR interactions with pMHC. Here we summarize the current state of this field, and suggest that the knowledge gap between the three-dimensional structure and the signaling function of the TCR can be bridged through a synthesis of molecular biological and biophysical techniques.
View details for Web of Science ID 000080436600013
View details for PubMedID 10358763
The structural basis of antigen recognition in cellular immunity has been elucidated through the determination of crystal structures of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules bound to antigenic peptides, T cell receptors (TCR), CD8 and CD4 co-receptors and, most recently, TCRs in complex with peptide-MHC (pMHC). The mechanisms that generate the diversity of the immune response to invading microorganisms were first realized at a genetic level and are necessary in order to cope with the enormous number of potential antigens. This diversity is manifested in the protein products of the genes which code for the components of the TCR signalling complex. The structure of the TCR reveals both striking similarities with and fundamental differences from its functional counterpart, the antibody, in the humoral immune system. The conserved manner in which the TCR recognizes and interacts with its peptide-MHC ligand allows the TCR great latitude in its potential to form productive interactions with antigen-presenting cells that bear numerous ligands to which the TCR has not been previously exposed. This phenomenon of cross-, or alloreactivity arises from a combination of conserved structural features across all MHC molecules, both self and foreign, and some degree of molecular mimicry. Non-classical MHC ligands presenting either modified or specialized peptides, lipids, carbohydrates, or no ligand at all, are now thought to play increasingly important roles in cellular immunity. We review some of the recent structural results and our current state of knowledge about TCR structure, and how this relates to its function.
View details for PubMedID 11256574
Activation of T cells involves multiple receptor-ligand interactions between T cells and antigen presenting cells (APC). At least two signals are required for T-cell activation: Signal 1 results from recognition of MHC/peptide complexes on the APC by cell surface T-cell receptors (TCR), whereas Signal 2 is induced by the interactions of co-stimulatory molecules on APC with their complementary receptors on T cells. This review focuses on our attempts to understand these various signals in a model system involving the 2C TCR. The structural basis of Signal 1 was investigated by determining the crystal structure of 2C TCR alone and in complex with MHC/peptide. Analysis of these structures has provided some basic rules for how TCR and MHC/peptide interact; however, the critical question of how this interaction transduces Signal 1 to T cells remains unclear. The effects of Signal 1 and Signal 2 on T-cell activation were examined with naive T cells from the 2C TCR transgenic mice, defined peptides as antigen and transfected Drosophila cells as APC. The results suggest that, except under extreme conditions, Signal 1 alone is unable to activate naive CD8 T cells despite the induction of marked TCR downregulation. Either B7 or intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-1 can provide the second signal for CD8 T-cell activation. However, especially at low MHC/peptide densities, optimal activation and differentiation of CD8 T cells required interaction with both B7 and ICAM-1 on the same APC. Thus, the data suggest that at least two qualitatively different co-stimulation signals are required for full activation of CD8 T cells under physiological conditions.
View details for Web of Science ID 000077188400019
View details for PubMedID 9850865
Fifteen years have passed since T-cell receptor (TCR) genes were identified (reviewed in ). Unlike the situation for antibodies, no direct structural information on the TCR proteins has been available for most of this time. Recently, however, the crystal structures of isolated alpha and beta chains were determined, shortly followed by the determination of the structure of an alpha beta heterodimer. Subsequently, the structures of two TCR peptide-MHC (pMHC) complexes have been reported. The windfall of this, and other more recent structural information, has elucidated some generalizations for TCR binding and recognition of pMHC. The crystal structures have, however, given us very little insight into the mechanisms of signal transduction by the TCR complex and the subsequent events which lead to activation of a T cell. Ultimately, the crystallographio results will be reconciled with experiments from other disciplines for a complete understanding of the molecular events of T cell activation.
View details for Web of Science ID 000075406800002
View details for PubMedID 9720260
MHC class I H-2Ld complexed with peptide QL9 (or p2Ca) is a high-affinity alloantigen for the 2C TCR. We used the crystal structure of H-2Ld with a mixture of bound peptides at 3.1 A to construct a model of the allogeneic 2C-Ld/QL9 complex for comparison with the syngeneic 2C-Kb/dEV8 structure. A prominent ridge on the floor of the Ld peptide-binding groove, not present in Kb, creates a C-terminal bulge in Ld peptides that greatly increases interactions with the 2C beta-chain. Furthermore, weak electrostatic complementarity between Asp77 on the alpha1 helix of Kb and 2C is enhanced in the allogeneic complex by closer proximity of QL9 peptide residue AspP8 to the 2C HV4 loop.
View details for Web of Science ID 000073885400003
View details for PubMedID 9620676
The T cell receptor (TCR) from the alloreactive T lymphocyte 2C recognizes a nonamer peptide QL9 complexed with the MHC class I molecule H2-Ld. Forty-two single-site alanine substitutions of the 2C TCR were analyzed for binding to QL9/Ld and anti-TCR antibodies. The results provided a detailed energy map of T cell antigen recognition and indicated that the pMHC and clonotypic antibody epitopes on the TCR were similar. Although residues in each Valpha and Vbeta CDR are important in binding pMHC, the most significant energy for the TCR/QL9/Ld interaction was contributed by CDRs 1 and 2 of both alpha and beta chains. The extent to which the individual energy contributions are directed at class I helices or peptide was also assessed.
View details for Web of Science ID 000073348000004
View details for PubMedID 9586632
The T cell receptor (TCR) inherently has dual specificity. T cells must recognize self-antigens in the thymus during maturation and then discriminate between foreign pathogens in the periphery. A molecular basis for this cross-reactivity is elucidated by the crystal structure of the alloreactive 2C TCR bound to self peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) antigen H-2Kb-dEV8 refined against anisotropic 3.0 angstrom resolution x-ray data. The interface between peptide and TCR exhibits extremely poor shape complementarity, and the TCR beta chain complementarity-determining region 3 (CDR3) has minimal interaction with the dEV8 peptide. Large conformational changes in three of the TCR CDR loops are induced upon binding, providing a mechanism of structural plasticity to accommodate a variety of different peptide antigens. Extensive TCR interaction with the pMHC alpha helices suggests a generalized orientation that is mediated by the Valpha domain of the TCR and rationalizes how TCRs can effectively "scan" different peptides bound within a large, low-affinity MHC structural framework for those that provide the slight additional kinetic stabilization required for signaling.
View details for Web of Science ID 000072115200031
View details for PubMedID 9469799
Class II Major Histocompatibility (MHC) molecules are cell surface heterodimeric glycoproteins that play a central role in the immune response by presenting peptide antigens for surveillance by T cells. Due to the inherent instability of the class II MHC heterodimer, and its dependence on bound peptide for proper assembly, the production of electrophoretically pure samples of class II MHC proteins in complex with specific peptides has been problematic. A soluble form of the murine class II MHC molecule, I-Ad, with a leucine zipper tail added to each chain to enhance dimer assembly and secretion, has been produced in Drosophila melanogaster SC2 cells. To facilitate peptide loading, a high affinity ovalbumin peptide was covalently engineered to be attached by a six-residue linker to the amino terminus of the I-Adbeta chain. This modified I-Ad molecule was purified using preparative IEF and one fraction, after removal of the leucine zipper tails, produced crystals suitable for X-ray crystallographic analysis. The protein engineering and purification methods described here should be of general value for the expression of I-A and other class II MHC-peptide complexes.
View details for Web of Science ID 000072056400022
View details for PubMedID 9521118
Cellular immunity is mediated by the interaction of an alphabeta T cell receptor (TCR) with a peptide presented within the context of a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule. Alloreactive T cells have alphabeta TCRs that can recognize both self- and foreign peptide-MHC (pMHC) complexes, implying that the TCR has significant complementarity with different pMHC. To characterize the molecular basis for alloreactive TCR recognition of pMHC, we have produced a soluble, recombinant form of an alloreactive alphabeta T cell receptor in Drosophila melanogaster cells. This recombinant TCR, 2C, is expressed as a correctly paired alphabeta heterodimer, with the chains covalently connected via a disulfide bond in the C-terminal region. The native conformation of the 2C TCR was probed by surface plasmon resonance (SPR) analysis by using conformation-specific monoclonal antibodies, as well as syngeneic and allogeneic pMHC ligands. The 2C interaction with H-2Kb-dEV8, H-2Kbm3-dEV8, H-2Kb-SIYR, and H-2Ld-p2Ca spans a range of affinities from Kd = 10(-4) to 10(-6)M for the syngeneic (H-2Kb) and allogeneic (H-2Kbm3, H-2Ld) ligands. In general, the syngeneic ligands bind with weaker affinities than the allogeneic ligands, consistent with current threshold models of thymic selection and T cell activation. Crystallization of the 2C TCR required proteolytic trimming of the C-terminal residues of the alpha and beta chains. X-ray quality crystals of complexes of 2C with H-2Kb-dEV8, H-2Kbm3-dEV8 and H-2Kb-SIYR have been grown.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997YK82500087
View details for PubMedID 9391114
The first crystal structures of intact T-cell receptors (TCRs) and their complexes with MHC peptide antigens (pMHC) were reported during the past year, along with those of a single-chain TCR Fv fragment and a beta-chain complexed with two different bacterial superantigens. These structures have shown the similarities and differences in the architecture of the antigen-binding regions of TCRs and antibodies, and how the TCR interacts with pMHC ligands as well as with superantigens.
View details for Web of Science ID 000071220100013
View details for PubMedID 9434905
T-cell antigen receptors (TCR) generally interact with moderate affinity with the complex formed by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules and foreign peptides. MHC/TCR recognition is followed by the generation of a signal to the T cell through a monomorphic multicomponent system that includes the CD3 complex and accessory molecules such as CD4 and CD8. The interaction between the extracellular domains of MHC and TCR molecules, and the interaction of MHC and CD4/CD8 molecules, have been considered to occur independently of one another. We report here that the affinity of CD8 dimers for MHC class I molecules is independent of haplotype and peptide content, and that the affinity of the TCR for its specific ligand is enhanced through a reduced 'off' rate in the presence of either CD8alpha alpha homo- or CD8alpha beta heterodimers. Moreover, CD8 seems to help recognition of the specific MHC-peptide complex either by guiding an energetically favourable docking of TCR onto MHC, or by inducing conformational changes in the MHC complex that can augment the TCR/MHC-peptide interaction. CD8 should therefore be considered as an active participant in the T-cell recognition complex, rather than simply as an accessory molecule.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VX76900063
View details for PubMedID 8955273
The central event in the cellular immune response to invading microorganisms is the specific recognition of foreign peptides bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules by the alphabeta T cell receptor (TCR). The x-ray structure of the complete extracellular fragment of a glycosylated alphabeta TCR was determined at 2.5 angstroms, and its orientation bound to a class I MHC-peptide (pMHC) complex was elucidated from crystals of the TCR-pMHC complex. The TCR resembles an antibody in the variable Valpha and Vbeta domains but deviates in the constant Calpha domain and in the interdomain pairing of Calpha with Cbeta. Four of seven possible asparagine-linked glycosylation sites have ordered carbohydrate moieties, one of which lies in the Calpha-Cbeta interface. The TCR combining site is relatively flat except for a deep hydrophobic cavity between the hypervariable CDR3s (complementarity-determining regions) of the alpha and beta chains. The 2C TCR covers the class I MHC H-2Kb binding groove so that the Valpha CDRs 1 and 2 are positioned over the amino-terminal region of the bound dEV8 peptide, the Vbeta chain CDRs 1 and 2 are over the carboxyl-terminal region of the peptide, and the Valpha and Vbeta CDR3s straddle the peptide between the helices around the central position of the peptide.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996VM67100032
View details for PubMedID 8824178
Structural studies of cellular receptor molecules involved in immune recognition require the production of large quantities of the extracellular domains of these glycoproteins. The murine major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-restricted response has been extensively studied by functional means, but the engineering and purification of the native, empty form of the most-studied murine MHC class II molecule, IA, has been difficult to achieve. IA molecules, which are the murine equivalent of human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen-DQ molecules, have a low efficiency of chain pairing, which results in poor transport to the cell surface and in the appearance of mixed isotype pairs. We have engineered soluble IA molecules whose pairing has been forced by the addition of leucine zipper peptide dimers at their COOH-terminus. The molecules are secreted "empty" into the extracellular medium and can be loaded with single peptide after purification. These IA molecules have been expressed in milligram quantity for crystallization as well as for activation of T cells and measurement of MHC class II-T cell receptor interactions.
View details for Web of Science ID A1996UM42400017
View details for PubMedID 8642319
Guanylin is a 15 amino acid mammalian hormone containing two disulfide bonds. Guanylin shares sequence similarity with the bacterial heat-stable enterotoxin (STa) and is capable of binding to and stimulating the STa guanylyl cyclase receptor. Biologically active peptides have been prepared by two methods: (1) enzymatic treatment of a 99 residue proprotein (denoted proguanylin) expressed in Escherichia coli and (2) solid-phase chemical synthesis. Although both sources yield material that is pure by high-performance liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, analysis by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) indicates that peptides from both sources contain two conformationally distinct species present in a 1:1 ratio. The chemical shift differences between the two species are large, allowing unambiguous sequential NMR assignments to be made for both sets of resonances. Exchange between the two forms was not observed even at 70 degrees C. Structural restraints have been generated from nuclear Overhauser effects and scalar coupling constants and used to calculate structures for both forms using distance geometry and restrained energy minimization. The resulting structures for the first isoform are well defined (root-mean-square deviation from the average structure for backbone atoms of 0.47 A) and adopt a right-handed spiral conformation, similar to that observed for heat stable enterotoxin. The second isoform is less well defined (root-mean-square deviation from the average structure for backbone atoms of 1.07 A) but clearly adopts a very different fold consisting of a left-hand spiral. The differences in structure suggest that the two forms may have very different affinities toward the STa receptor. The observation of such isomerism has important implications for the common practice of introducing multiple disulfide bonds into small peptides to limit conformational flexibility and enhance bioactivity.
View details for Web of Science ID A1994PT48500010
View details for PubMedID 7947768
Guanylin is a 15-amino acid peptide hormone that was originally isolated from the jejunum of the rat small intestine and shown to be an endogenous activator of the intestinal heat-stable enterotoxin receptor-guanylyl cyclase. Guanylin is synthesized as a 115-amino acid prohormone, proguanylin, which is processed at a site yet to be determined, into a C-terminal bioactive fragment(s). In order to examine the processing of proguanylin in vitro, we have generated large quantities of the properly folded prohormone by constructing an expression vector that directs its secretion into the periplasmic space of Escherichia coli. The bacterially expressed human proguanylin was then processed to smaller C-terminal fragments by protease digestion. Digestion with trypsin or lysine-C generated C-terminal peptides of different length, which have been purified and characterized. Guanylin-22 and guanylin-32 have binding affinities and biological activities similar to guanylin-15, while guanylin-63 and the entire proguanylin have only minimal bioactivity. Circular dichroism spectroscopy reveals that proguanylin is a stably folded protein containing mostly beta-sheet and beta-turn structure.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993MD34800034
View details for PubMedID 7901199
The ability to predict the strength of the association of peptide hormones or other ligands with their protein receptors is of fundamental importance in the fields of protein engineering and rational drug design. To form a tight complex between a flexible peptide hormone and its receptor, the largeloss of configurational entropy must be overcome. Recently, the crystallographic structure of the complex between angiotensin II and the Fab fragment of a high affinity monoclonal antibody has been determined (Garcia, K.C., Ronco, P.M., Verroust, P.J., Brünger, A.T., Amzel, L.M. Three-dimensional structure of an angiotensin II-Fab complex at 3 A: Hormone recognition by an anti-idiotypic antibody. Science 257:502-507, 1992). In this paper we present a study of the thermodynamics of the association by high sensitivity isothermal titration calorimetry. The results of the experiments indicate that at 30 degrees C the binding is characterized by (1) a delta H of -8.9 +/- 0.7 kcal mol-1, (2) a delta Cp of -240 +/- 20 cal K-1 mol-1, and (3) the release of 1.1 +/- 0.1 protons per binding site in the pH range 6.0-7.3. Using these values and the previously determined binding constant in phosphate buffer, delta G at 30 degrees C is estimated as -11 kcal mol-1 and delta S as 6.9 cal K-1 mol-1. The calorimetric data indicate that binding is favored both enthalpically and entropically. These results have been complemented by structural thermodynamic calculations. The calculated and experimentally determined thermodynamic quantities are in good agreement.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
View details for Web of Science ID A1993KJ87500001
View details for PubMedID 8441749
Genetic and sequence information are reported for an angiotensin II-reactive antibody (Ab1, MAb 110) and an anti--anti-idiotypic antibody (Ab3, MAb 131) that have identical antigen binding properties and that are related by an anti-idiotypic antibody (Ab2-beta) that satisfies accepted biochemical criteria for an internal image-bearing antibody. The sequences of the variable regions of the Ab3 and of the Ab1 are nearly identical, even though the Ab1 is an antibody to a peptide and the Ab3 is an antibody to a globular protein. Significantly, amino acid residues that make critical contacts with antigen in the crystal structure of the Ab3-antigen complex are highly conserved in Ab1, suggesting that the epitopes of the Ab2-beta recognized by the Ab3 do indeed resemble the bound structure of the antigen.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JE75500028
View details for PubMedID 1636087
The elucidation of bioactive conformations of small peptide hormones remains an elusive goal to structural chemists because of the inherent flexibility of these molecules. Angiotensin II (AII), the major effector of the renin-angiotensin system, is an octapeptide hormone for which no clear structural models exist. Peptide hormones such as AII share the property that they bind to their receptors with high affinities, in spite of the fact that they must overcome an extremely large conformational entropy barrier to bind in one conformation. A "surrogate system" that consists of a high-affinity monoclonal antibody (MAb) and AII has been used to study a bound conformation of AII. The crystallographic structure of the complex reveals a structure of AII that is compatible with predicted bioactive conformations of AII derived from structure-activity studies and theoretical calculations. In the complex, the deeply bound hormone is folded into a compact structure in which two turns bring the amino and carboxyl termini close together. The antibody of this complex (MAb 131) has the unusual property that it was not generated against AII, but rather against an anti-idiotypic antibody reactive with a MAb to AII, which renders this antibody an anti-anti-idiotypic antibody. The high affinity for AII of the original MAb to AII was passed on to MAb 131 through a structural determinant on the anti-idiotypic antibody. Strikingly, the conformation of AII in this complex is highly similar to complementarity determining region loops of antibodies, possibly indicating that a true molecular mimic of bound AII was present on the anti-idiotypic antibody against which MAb 131 was elicited.
View details for PubMedID 1636085
The basic-helix-loop-helix-zipper (bHLH-Zip) motif is a conserved region of approximately 70 amino acids that mediates both sequence-specific DNA binding and protein dimerization. This motif is found in protein sequences from many eukaryotic organisms and is contained in the protein sequence of the oncogene myc and its partner max, and a shortened version of the motif (bHLH) is found in the muscle determination factor myoD and its partner E12. An evaluation of the conserved amino acids that define the motif coupled with the published mutagenic studies of this region has led to our formulation of a molecular model for the binding of this motif as a dimer to specific sequences of DNA. This model has the dimeric protein interacting with an abutted, dyad-symmetric DNA sequence. Helix 2 of each monomer is modeled as a coiled-coil extension of the C-terminal "leucine zipper." Helix 1 does not interact with helix 1 from its partner in the dimer but with the hydrophobic surface created when the helix 2 regions of the dimer interact with each other as a coiled-coil. Sequence-specific interactions are proposed between the basic region and the invariant cis elements that all bHLH-Zip proteins bind.
View details for Web of Science ID A1992JR31200017
View details for PubMedID 1622934
mAb-131 is a monoclonal antibody that binds with high affinity (K alpha = 7.4 x 10(9) M-1) to the 8-residue peptide hormone angiotensin II, the major effector of the renin/angiotensin system. mAb-131 is a member of a well characterized idiotypic antibody network since it was raised as an anti-anti-idiotype of an antibody raised against angiotensin II. mAb-131 Fabs prepared with papain contain four major charge isoforms that can be separated by pH gradient elution from an anion-exchange column. Diffraction quality isomorphous crystals of two of the isoforms and of the Fab.peptide complexes have been grown. The crystals diffract to 3.5 A resolution, are tetragonal, space group P4(1) (or P4(3] with cell dimensions a = b = 78.6 A, c = 125.2 A, and have two Fab molecules per asymmetric unit. By using a different buffer, a second crystal form has been grown which diffracts to 3.3 A. It also belongs to space group P4(1) (or P4(3] but has cell dimensions of a = b = 109.6 A and c = 125.2 A. Knowledge of the three-dimensional structure of this Fab and of the peptide.Fab complex will give insight into two problems: 1) the recognition of small peptide hormones (which exist as random coils in solution) with high affinity by proteins, and 2) the nature of conservation of antibody combining sites in idiotypic networks.
View details for Web of Science ID A1989CB33400049
View details for PubMedID 2584225