Send to

Choose Destination
PLoS Biol. 2019 Sep 9;17(9):e3000436. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000436. eCollection 2019 Sep.

Peptide presentation by bat MHC class I provides new insight into the antiviral immunity of bats.

Lu D1, Liu K1,2, Zhang D1, Yue C1,3, Lu Q4, Cheng H5, Wang L6, Chai Y6, Qi J6, Wang LF7, Gao GF1,2,5,6, Liu WJ1.

Author information

NHC Key Laboratory of Medical Virology and Viral Diseases, National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China.
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Macau, Macau SAR, China.
Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Division of HIV/AIDS and Sex-transmitted Virus Vaccines, National Institutes for Food and Drug Control, Beijing, China.
Beijing Institutes of Life Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
CAS Key Laboratory of Pathogenic Microbiology and Immunology, Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore.


Bats harbor many zoonotic viruses, including highly pathogenic viruses of humans and other mammals, but they are typically asymptomatic in bats. To further understand the antiviral immunity of bats, we screened and identified a series of bat major histocompatibility complex (MHC) I Ptal-N*01:01-binding peptides derived from four different bat-borne viruses, i.e., Hendra virus (HeV), Ebola virus (EBOV), Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and H17N10 influenza-like virus. The structures of Ptal-N*01:01 display unusual peptide presentation features in that the bat-specific 3-amino acid (aa) insertion enables the tight "surface anchoring" of the P1-Asp in pocket A of bat MHC I. As the classical primary anchoring positions, the B and F pockets of Ptal-N*01:01 also show unconventional conformations, which contribute to unusual peptide motifs and distinct peptide presentation. Notably, the features of bat MHC I may be shared by MHC I from various marsupials. Our study sheds light on bat adaptive immunity and may benefit future vaccine development against bat-borne viruses of high impact on humans.

Free full text

Conflict of interest statement

The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Public Library of Science
Loading ...
Support Center