MR1 presentation of vitamin B-based metabolite ligands

Hamish E G McWilliam, Richard W Birkinshaw, Jose A Villadangos, James McCluskey, Jamie Rossjohn

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36 Citations (Scopus)


The major histocompatibility complex class I-related molecule MR1 can bind a novel class of antigens, namely a family of related small organic vitamin B metabolites. When bound to MR1 these metabolites are presented to a population of innate-like T cells, mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells that express a semi-invariant T cell receptor (TCR). Several non-activating and activating MR1-restricted ligands have been described, which are the degradation products of, or intermediates of, vitamin B9 (folic acid) or vitamin B2 (riboflavin), respectively. The MAIT-activating intermediates of the riboflavin synthesis pathway are unique to a wide range of microbes, and accordingly represent a molecular signature of microbial infection. Recently insights into the binding of these vitamin B metabolites to MR1, and subsequent recognition by the MAIT TCR, have been gleaned, illustrating a novel antigen presentation system.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28 - 34
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent Opinion in Immunology
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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