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J Biol Chem. 2007 Nov 30;282(48):35247-58. Epub 2007 Sep 26.

Cellular expression and crystal structure of the murine cytomegalovirus major histocompatibility complex class I-like glycoprotein, m153.

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  • 1Molecular Biology Section, Laboratory of Immunology, NIAID, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1892, USA.


Mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV), a beta-herpesvirus that establishes latent and persistent infections in mice, is a valuable model for studying complex virus-host interactions. MCMV encodes the m145 family of putative immunoevasins with predicted major histocompatibility complex, class I (MHC-I) structure. Functions attributed to some family members include down-regulation of host MHC-I (m152) and NKG2D ligands (m145, m152, and m155) and interaction with inhibitory or activating NK receptors (m157). We present the cellular, biochemical, and structural characterization of m153, which is a heavily glycosylated homodimer, that does not require beta2m or peptide and is expressed at the surface of MCMV-infected cells. Its 2.4-A crystal structure confirms that this compact molecule preserves an MHC-I-like fold and reveals a novel mode of dimerization, confirmed by site-directed mutagenesis, and a distinctive disulfide-stabilized extended N terminus. The structure provides a useful framework for comparative analysis of the divergent members of the m145 family.

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