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Biochemistry. 1999 Sep 14;38(37):12165-73.

An allosteric mechanism controls antigen presentation by the H-2K(b) complex.

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Department of Immunology, The Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel.


The mechanism of assembly/dissociation of a recombinant water-soluble class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) H-2Kb molecule was studied by a real-time fluorescence resonance energy transfer method. Like the H-2Kd ternary complex [Gakamsky et al. (1996) Biochemistry 35, 14841-14848], the interactions among the heavy chain, beta2-microglobulin (beta2m), and antigenic peptides were found to be controlled by an allosteric mechanism. Association of the heavy chain with beta2m increased peptide binding rate constants by more than 2 orders of magnitude and enhanced affinity of the heavy-chain molecule for peptides. Interaction of peptides with the heavy-chain binding site, in turn, increased markedly the affinity of the heavy chain for beta2m. Binding of peptide variants of the ovalbumin sequence (257-264) to the heavy chain/beta2m heterodimer was found to be a biphasic reaction. The fast phase was a second-order process with nearly the same rate constants as those of binding of peptides derived from the influenza virus nucleoprotein 147-155 to the H-2Kd heavy chain/beta2m heterodimer [(3.0 +/- 1.0) x 10(-6) M-1 s-1 at 37 degrees C]. The slow phase was a result of both the ternary complex assembly from the "free" heavy chain, beta2m, and peptide as well as an intramolecular conformational transition within the heavy chain/beta2m heterodimer to a peptide binding conformation. Biexponential kinetics of peptide or beta2m dissociation from the ternary complex were observed. They suggest that it can exist in two conformations. The rate constants of beta2m dissociation from the H-2Kb ternary complex were, in the limits of experimental accuracy, independent of the structure of the bound peptide, though their affinities differed by an order of magnitude. Dissociation of peptides from the Kb heavy chain was always faster than from the ternary complexes, yet the heavy chain/peptide complexes were considerably more stable compared with their Kd/nucleoprotein peptide counterparts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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