Human class II MHC protein HLA-DR1 bound to a designed peptide related to influenza virus hemagglutinin, FVKQNA(MAA)AL, in complex with staphylococcal enterotoxin C3 variant 3B2 (SEC3-3B2)
[DRA_HUMAN] Binds peptides derived from antigens that access the endocytic route of antigen presenting cells (APC) and presents them on the cell surface for recognition by the CD4 T-cells. The peptide binding cleft accommodates peptides of 10-30 residues. The peptides presented by MHC class II molecules are generated mostly by degradation of proteins that access the endocytic route, where they are processed by lysosomal proteases and other hydrolases. Exogenous antigens that have been endocytosed by the APC are thus readily available for presentation via MHC II molecules, and for this reason this antigen presentation pathway is usually referred to as exogenous. As membrane proteins on their way to degradation in lysosomes as part of their normal turn-over are also contained in the endosomal/lysosomal compartments, exogenous antigens must compete with those derived from endogenous components. Autophagy is also a source of endogenous peptides, autophagosomes constitutively fuse with MHC class II loading compartments. In addition to APCs, other cells of the gastrointestinal tract, such as epithelial cells, express MHC class II molecules and CD74 and act as APCs, which is an unusual trait of the GI tract. To produce a MHC class II molecule that presents an antigen, three MHC class II molecules (heterodimers of an alpha and a beta chain) associate with a CD74 trimer in the ER to form a heterononamer. Soon after the entry of this complex into the endosomal/lysosomal system where antigen processing occurs, CD74 undergoes a sequential degradation by various proteases, including CTSS and CTSL, leaving a small fragment termed CLIP (class-II-associated invariant chain peptide). The removal of CLIP is facilitated by HLA-DM via direct binding to the alpha-beta-CLIP complex so that CLIP is released. HLA-DM stabilizes MHC class II molecules until primary high affinity antigenic peptides are bound. The MHC II molecule bound to a peptide is then transported to the cell membrane surface. In B-cells, the interaction between HLA-DM and MHC class II molecules is regulated by HLA-DO. Primary dendritic cells (DCs) also to express HLA-DO. Lysosomal miroenvironment has been implicated in the regulation of antigen loading into MHC II molecules, increased acidification produces increased proteolysis and efficient peptide loading.
Publication Abstract from PubMed
Crystal structures of the class II major histocompatibilty complex (MHC) protein, HLA-DR1, generally show a tight fit between MHC and bound peptide except in the P6/P7 region of the peptide-binding site. In this region, there is a shallow water-filled pocket underneath the peptide and between the pockets that accommodate the P6 and P7 side chains. We investigated the properties of this pocket with the idea of engineering substitutions into the corresponding region of peptide antigens to increase their binding affinity for HLA-DR1. We investigated d-amino acids and N-alkyl modifications at both the P6 and P7 positions of the peptide and found that binding of peptides to HLA-DR1 could be increased by incorporating an N-methyl substitution at position 7 of the peptide. The crystal structure of HLA-DR1 bound to a peptide containing a P7 N-methyl alanine was determined. The N-methyl group orients in the P6/P7 pocket, displacing one of the waters usually bound in this pocket. The structure shows that the substitution does not alter the conformation of the bound peptide, which adopts the usual polyproline type II helix. An antigenic peptide carrying the N-methyl modification is taken up by antigen-presenting cells and loaded onto endogenous class II MHC molecules for presentation, and the resultant MHC-peptide complexes activate antigen-specific T-cells. These results suggest a possible strategy for increasing the affinity of weakly immunogenic peptides that might be applicable to the development of vaccines and diagnostic reagents.
Exploration of the P6/P7 region of the peptide-binding site of the human class II major histocompatability complex protein HLA-DR1.,Zavala-Ruiz Z, Sundberg EJ, Stone JD, DeOliveira DB, Chan IC, Svendsen J, Mariuzza RA, Stern LJ J Biol Chem. 2003 Nov 7;278(45):44904-12. Epub 2003 Sep 1. PMID:12952957
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.