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J Virol. 1993 Sep;67(9):5289-98.

Deletion mutation analysis of the adenovirus type 2 E3-gp19K protein: identification of sequences within the endoplasmic reticulum lumenal domain that are required for class I antigen binding and protection from adenovirus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, St. Louis University School of Medicine, Missouri 63104.


Adenovirus E3-gp19K is a transmembrane glycoprotein, localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which forms a complex with major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I antigens and retains them in the ER, thereby preventing cytolysis by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL). The ER lumenal domain of gp19K, residues 1 to 107, is known to be sufficient for binding to class I antigens; the transmembrane and cytoplasmic ER retention domains are located at residues ca. 108 to 127 and 128 to 142, respectively. To identify more precisely which gp19K regions are involved in binding to class I antigens, we constructed 13 in-frame virus deletion mutants (4 to 12 amino acids deleted) in the ER lumenal domain of gp19K, and we analyzed the ability of the mutant proteins to form a complex with class I antigens, retain them in the ER, and prevent cytolysis by adenovirus-specific CTL. All mutant proteins except one (residues 102 to 107 deleted) were defective for these properties, indicating that the ability of gp19K to bind to class I antigens is highly sensitive to mutation. All mutant proteins were stable and were retained in the ER. Sequence comparisons among adenovirus serotypes reveal that the ER lumenal domain of gp19K consists of a variable region (residues 1 to 76) and a conserved region (residues 77 to 98). We show, using the mutant proteins, that the gp19K-specific monoclonal antibody Tw1.3 recognizes a noncontiguous epitope in the variable region and that disruption of the variable region by deletion destroys the epitope. The monoclonal antibody and class I antigen binding results, together with the serotype sequence comparisons, are consistent with the idea that the ER lumenal domain of gp19K has three subdomains that we have termed the ER lumenal variable domain (residues 1 to ca. 77 to 83), the ER lumenal conserved domain (residues ca. 84 to 98), and the ER lumenal spacer domain (residues 99 to 107). We suggest that the ER lumenal variable domain of gp19K has a specific tertiary structure that is important for binding to the polymorphic alpha 1 and alpha 2 domains of class I heavy (alpha) chains. We suggest that the ER lumenal conserved domain of gp19K may interact with some conserved protein, perhaps the highly conserved alpha 3 domain of class I heavy chains. Finally, the ER lumenal spacer domain may allow the ER lumenal variable and conserved domains to extend out from the ER membrane so that they can interact with class I heavy chains.

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