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J Biol Chem. 1996 Oct 25;271(43):26762-71.

Covalent dimerization of CD28/CTLA-4 and oligomerization of CD80/CD86 regulate T cell costimulatory interactions.

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  • 1Bristol-Myers Squibb Pharmaceutical Research Institute, Seattle, Washington 98121, USA.


T lymphocyte receptors CD28 and CTLA-4 bind costimulatory molecules CD80 (B7-1) and CD86 (B7-2) on antigen-presenting cells and regulate T cell activation. While distinct functional roles have been ascribed to each of these molecules, little is known about how they interact. To better characterize these interactions, we have used surface plasmon resonance to perform equilibrium and kinetic binding analyses of extracellular fragments of CD28/CTLA-4/CD80/CD86. We show that CTLA-4 and CD28 binding are both characterized by rapid kinetic on-rates and rapid dissociation rates. Native disulfide-linked homodimers of CD28 and CTLA-4 bound with two kinetically distinct binding sites, one of high avidity and slow dissociation and one of low avidity and more rapid dissociation. Monomeric CTLA-4 bound only with low affinity and rapid dissociation. Therefore, covalent dimerization of CTLA-4 is required for its high avidity binding. Oligomerization of CD80/CD86 is also required for high avidity CTLA-4 binding since CTLA-4 bound with low avidity to monomeric CD86. This contrasts with the ability of CD80/CD86 on antigen-presenting cells to bind CTLA4Ig with high avidity and predicts their organization as oligomers or clusters that permit multivalent binding. Thus, covalent receptor dimerization and ligand oligomerization are two key features of the CD28/CTLA-4/CD80/CD86 receptor system that control ligand binding and may regulate signal transduction by controlling the duration of receptor occupancy.

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