National Center for
2GIT: Human Class I Mhc Hla-A2 In Complex With The Modified Htlv-1 Tax (Y5k- 4-[3-Indolyl]-Butyric Acid) Peptide
J. Mol. Biol. (2006) 363 p.228-243
Although T cell receptor cross-reactivity is a fundamental property of the immune system and is implicated in numerous autoimmune pathologies, the molecular mechanisms by which T cell receptors can recognize and respond to diverse ligands are incompletely understood. In the current study we examined the response of the human T cell lymphotropic virus-1 (HTLV-1) Tax-specific T cell receptor (TCR) A6 to a panel of structurally distinct haptens coupled to the Tax 11-19 peptide with a lysine substitution at position 5 (Tax5K, LLFG[K-hapten]PVYV). The A6 TCR could cross-reactively recognize one of these haptenated peptides, Tax-5K-4-(3-Indolyl)-butyric acid (IBA), presented by HLA-A*0201. The crystal structures of Tax5K-IBA/HLA-A2 free and in complex with A6 reveal that binding is mediated by a mechanism of cooperative conformational plasticity involving conformational changes on both sides of the protein-protein interface, including the TCR complementarity determining region (CDR) loops, Valpha/Vbeta domain orientation, and the hapten-modified peptide. Our findings illustrate the complex role that protein dynamics can play in TCR cross-reactivity and highlight that T cell receptor recognition of ligand can be achieved through diverse and complex molecular mechanisms that can occur simultaneously in the interface, not limited to molecular mimicry and CDR loop shifts.