MHC-I peptides get out of the groove and enable a novel mechanism of HIV-1 escape

Phillip Pymm, Patricia T Illing, Sri H Ramarathinam, Geraldine M. O'Connor, Victoria A Hughes, Corinne Hitchen, David A Price, Bosco K Ho, Daniel W McVicar, Andrew G Brooks, Anthony W Purcell, Jamie Rossjohn, Julian P Vivian

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36 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC-I) molecules play a crucial role in immunity by capturing peptides for presentation to T cells and natural killer (NK) cells. The peptide termini are tethered within the MHC-I antigen-binding groove, but it is unknown whether other presentation modes occur. Here we show that 20% of the HLA-B*57:01 peptide repertoire comprises N-terminally extended sets characterized by a common motif at position 1 (P1) to P2. Structures of HLA-B*57:01 presenting N-terminally extended peptides, including the immunodominant HIV-1 Gag epitope TW10 (TSTLQEQIGW), showed that the N terminus protrudes from the peptide-binding groove. The common escape mutant TSNLQEQIGW bound HLA-B*57:01 canonically, adopting a dramatically different conformation than the TW10 peptide. This affected recognition by killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor (KIR) 3DL1 expressed on NK cells. We thus define a previously uncharacterized feature of the human leukocyte antigen class I (HLA-I) immunopeptidome that has implications for viral immune escape. We further suggest that recognition of the HLA-B*57:01-TW10 epitope is governed by a 'molecular tension' between the adaptive and innate immune systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-394
Number of pages8
JournalNature Structural & Molecular Biology
Volume24
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017

Keywords

  • immunology
  • x-ray crystallography

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