Qa-1b binds conserved class I leader peptides derived from several mammalian species.
ABSTRACT: Qa-1b binds a peptide (AMAPRTLLL), referred to as Qdm (for Qa-1 determinant modifier), derived from the signal sequence of murine class Ia molecules. This peptide binds with high affinity and accounts for almost all of the peptides associated with this molecule. Human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA)-E, a homologue of Qa-1b, binds similar peptides derived from human class Ia molecules and interacts with CD94/NKG2 receptors on natural killer cells. We used surface plasmon resonance to determine the ability of Qa-1b to bind related ligands representing peptides derived from the leaders of class I molecules from several mammalian species. All of the peptides reported to bind HLA-E bound readily to Qa-1b. In addition, peptides derived from leader segments of different mammals also bound to Qa-1b, indicating a conservation of this "Qdm-like" epitope throughout mammalian evolution. We have attempted to define a minimal peptide on a polyglycine backbone that binds Qa-1b. Our previous findings showed that P2 and P9 are important but not sufficient for binding to Qa-1b. Although a minimum peptide (GMGGGGLLL) bound Qa-1(b), its interaction was relatively weak, as were peptides sharing five or six residues with Qdm, indicating that multiple native residues are required for a strong interaction. This finding is consistent with the observation that this molecule preferentially binds this single ligand.
Project description:Qa-1 is a non-classical Major Histocompatibility (MHC) class I molecule that generally presents hydrophobic peptides including Qdm derived from the leader sequence of classical MHC I molecules for immune surveillance by NK cells. Qa-1 bound peptides derived from the TCR V?8.2 of activated T cells also activates CD8+ regulatory T cells to control autoimmunity and maintain self-tolerance. Four allotypes of Qa-1 (Qa-1a-d) are expressed that are highly conserved in sequence but have several variations that could affect peptide binding to Qa-1 or TCR recognition. Here, we determined the structure of Qa-1a with bound Qdm peptide. While the overall structure is very similar to that of Qa-1b, there are several amino acid differences around the peptide binding platform that could affect TCR recognition. Most notably, two amino acid substitutions are found in the pocket P2, which binds the anchor residue Met2 of the Qdm peptide. These residues affect both the size and shape of the binding pocket, as well as affect the charge at physiologic pH, suggesting Qa-1a and Qa-1b could present slightly distinct peptide reservoirs, which could presumably be recognized by different populations of CD8+ T cells.
Project description:Current therapies to treat autoimmune disease focus mainly on downstream targets of autoimmune responses, including effector cells and cytokines. A potentially more effective approach would entail targeting autoreactive T cells that initiate the disease cascade and break self tolerance. The murine MHC class Ib molecule Qa-1b (HLA-E in humans) exhibits limited polymorphisms and binds to 2 dominant self peptides: Hsp60(p216) and Qdm. We found that peptide-induced expansion of tetramer-binding CD8(+) Tregs that recognize Qa-1-Hsp60(p216) but not Qa-1-Qdm strongly inhibited collagen-induced arthritis, an animal model of human rheumatoid arthritis. Perforin-dependent elimination of autoreactive follicular Th (T(FH)) and Th17 cells by CD8(+) Tregs inhibited disease development. Infusion of in vitro-expanded CD8(+) Tregs increased the efficacy of methotrexate treatment and halted disease progression after clinical onset, suggesting an alternative approach to this first-line treatment. Moreover, infusion of small numbers of Qa-1-Hsp60(p216)-specific CD8(+) Tregs resulted in robust inhibition of autoimmune arthritis, confirming the inhibitory effects of Hsp60(p216) peptide immunization. These results suggest that strategies designed to expand Qa-1-restricted (HLA-E-restricted), peptide-specific CD8(+) Tregs represent a promising therapeutic approach to autoimmune disorders.
Project description:The HLA-E homolog in the mouse (Qa-1b) is a conserved MHC class Ib molecule presenting monomorphic peptides to germline-encoded natural killer receptor CD94/NKG2A. Previously, we demonstrated the replacement of this canonical peptide by a diverse peptidome upon deficiency of the TAP peptide transporter. Analysis of this Qa-1b-restricted T cell repertoire against these non-mutated neoantigens revealed characteristics of conventional hypervariable CD8+ T cells, but also of invariant T cell receptor (TCR)?? T cells. A shared TCR V? chain was used by this subset in combination with a variety of V? chains. The TCRs target peptide ligands that are conserved between mouse and man, like the identified peptide derived from the transcriptional cofactor Med15. The thymus selection was studied in a TCR-transgenic mouse and emerging naïve CD8+ T cells displayed a slightly activated phenotype, as witnessed by higher CD122 and Ly6C expression. Moreover, the Qa-1b protein was dispensable for thymus selection. Importantly, no self-reactivity was observed as reported for other MHC class Ib-restricted subsets. Naïve Qa-1b restricted T cells expanded, contracted, and formed memory cells in vivo upon peptide vaccination in a similar manner as conventional CD8+ T cells. Based on these data, the Qa-1b restricted T cell subset might be positioned closest to conventional CD8+ T cells of all MHC class Ib populations.
Project description:Natural killer (NK) cells preferentially lyse targets that express reduced levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I proteins. To date, the only known mouse NK receptors for MHC class I belong to the Ly49 family of C-type lectin homodimers. Here, we report the cloning of mouse NKG2A, and demonstrate it forms an additional and distinct class I receptor, a CD94/NKG2A heterodimer. Using soluble tetramers of the nonclassical class I molecule Qa-1(b), we provide direct evidence that CD94/NKG2A recognizes Qa-1(b). We further demonstrate that NK recognition of Qa-1(b) results in the inhibition of target cell lysis. Inhibition appears to depend on the presence of Qdm, a Qa-1(b)-binding peptide derived from the signal sequences of some classical class I molecules. Mouse NKG2A maps adjacent to CD94 in the heart of the NK complex on mouse chromosome six, one of a small cluster of NKG2-like genes. Our findings suggest that mouse NK cells, like their human counterparts, use multiple mechanisms to survey class I expression on target cells.
Project description:Major histocompatibility complex E (MHC-E) is a highly conserved nonclassical MHC-Ib molecule that tightly binds peptides derived from leader sequences of classical MHC-Ia molecules for presentation to natural killer cells. However, MHC-E also binds diverse foreign and neoplastic self-peptide antigens for presentation to CD8+ T cells. Although the determinants of MHC-E-restricted T cell priming remain unknown, these cells are induced in humans infected with pathogens containing genes that inhibit the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP). Indeed, mice vaccinated with TAP-inhibited autologous dendritic cells develop T cells restricted by the murine MHC-E homologue, Qa-1b. Here, we tested whether rhesus macaques (RM) vaccinated with viral constructs expressing a TAP inhibitor would develop insert-specific MHC-E-restricted CD8+ T cells. We generated viral constructs coexpressing SIVmac239 Gag in addition to one of three TAP inhibitors: herpes simplex virus 2 ICP47, bovine herpes virus 1 UL49.5, or rhesus cytomegalovirus Rh185. Each TAP inhibitor reduced surface expression of MHC-Ia molecules but did not reduce surface MHC-E expression. In agreement with modulation of surface MHC-Ia levels, TAP inhibition diminished presentation of MHC-Ia-restricted CD8+ T cell epitopes without impacting presentation of peptide antigen bound by MHC-E. Vaccination of macaques with vectors dually expressing SIVmac239 Gag with ICP47, UL49.5, or Rh185 generated Gag-specific CD8+ T cells classically restricted by MHC-Ia but not MHC-E. These data demonstrate that, in contrast to results in mice, TAP inhibition alone is insufficient for priming of MHC-E-restricted T cell responses in primates and suggest that additional unknown mechanisms govern the induction of CD8+ T cells recognizing MHC-E-bound antigen.IMPORTANCE Due to the near monomorphic nature of MHC-E in the human population and inability of many pathogens to inhibit MHC-E-mediated peptide presentation, MHC-E-restricted T cells have become an attractive vaccine target. However, little is known concerning how these cells are induced. Understanding the underlying mechanisms that induce these T cells would provide a powerful new vaccine strategy to an array of neoplasms and viral and bacterial pathogens. Recent studies have indicated a link between TAP inhibition and induction of MHC-E-restricted T cells. The significance of our research is in demonstrating that TAP inhibition alone does not prime MHC-E-restricted T cell generation and suggests that other, currently unknown mechanisms regulate their induction.
Project description:The nonclassical major histocompatibility complex (MHC) Qa-1b accommodates monomorphic leader peptides and functions as a ligand for germ line receptors CD94/NKG2, which are expressed by natural killer cells and CD8+ T cells. We here describe that the conserved peptides are replaced by a novel peptide repertoire of surprising diversity as a result of impairments in the antigen-processing pathway. This novel peptide repertoire represents immunogenic neoantigens for CD8+ T cells, as we found that these Qa-1b-restricted T cells dominantly participated in the response to tumors with processing deficiencies. A surprisingly wide spectrum of target cells, irrespective of transformation status, MHC background, or type of processing deficiency, was recognized by this T cell subset, complying with the conserved nature of Qa-1b. Target cell recognition depended on T cell receptor and Qa-1b interaction, and immunization with identified peptide epitopes demonstrated in vivo priming of CD8+ T cells. Our data reveal that Qa-1b, and most likely its human homologue human leukocyte antigen-E, is important for the defense against processing-deficient cells by displacing the monomorphic leader peptides, which relieves the inhibition through CD94/NKG2A on lymphocytes, and by presenting a novel repertoire of immunogenic peptides, which recruits a subset of cytotoxic CD8+ T cells.
Project description:The highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex class Ia (MHC-Ia) molecules present a broad array of peptides to the clonotypically diverse alphabeta T-cell receptors. In contrast, MHC-Ib molecules exhibit limited polymorphism and bind a more restricted peptide repertoire, in keeping with their major role in innate immunity. Nevertheless, some MHC-Ib molecules do play a role in adaptive immunity. While human leukocyte antigen E (HLA-E), the MHC-Ib molecule, binds a very restricted repertoire of peptides, the peptide binding preferences of HLA-G, the class Ib molecule, are less stringent, although the basis by which HLA-G can bind various peptides is unclear. To investigate how HLA-G can accommodate different peptides, we compared the structure of HLA-G bound to three naturally abundant self-peptides (RIIPRHLQL, KGPPAALTL and KLPQAFYIL) and their thermal stabilities. The conformation of HLA-G(KGPPAALTL) was very similar to that of the HLA-G(RIIPRHLQL) structure. However, the structure of HLA-G(KLPQAFYIL) not only differed in the conformation of the bound peptide but also caused a small shift in the alpha2 helix of HLA-G. Furthermore, the relative stability of HLA-G was observed to be dependent on the nature of the bound peptide. These peptide-dependent effects on the substructure of the monomorphic HLA-G are likely to impact on its recognition by receptors of both innate and adaptive immune systems.
Project description:The ability of natural-killer cells to regulate adaptive immunity is not well understood. Here we define an interaction between the class Ib major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule Qa-1-Qdm on activated T cells responsible for adaptive immunity and CD94-NKG2A inhibitory receptors expressed by natural-killer cells by using Qa-1-deficient and Qa-1 knockin mice containing a point mutation that selectively abolishes Qa-1-Qdm binding to CD94-NKG2A receptors. The Qa-1-NKG2A interaction protected activated CD4+ T cells from lysis by a subset of NKG2A+ NK cells and was essential for T cell expansion and development of immunologic memory. Antibody-dependent blockade of this Qa-1-NKG2A interaction resulted in potent NK-dependent elimination of activated autoreactive T cells and amelioration of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. These findings extend the functional reach of the NK system to include regulation of adaptive T cell responses and suggest a new clinical strategy for elimination of antigen-activated T cells in the context of autoimmune disease and transplantation.
Project description:Ideally, CD8+ T-cell responses against virally infected or malignant cells are defined at the level of the specific peptide and restricting MHC class I element, a determination not yet made in the dog. To advance the discovery of canine CTL epitopes, we sought to determine whether a putative classical MHC class Ia gene, Dog Leukocyte Antigen (DLA)-88, presents peptides from a viral pathogen, canine distemper virus (CDV). To investigate this possibility, DLA-88*508:01, an allele prevalent in Golden Retrievers, was expressed as a FLAG-tagged construct in canine histiocytic cells to allow affinity purification of peptide-DLA-88 complexes and subsequent elution of bound peptides. Pattern analysis of self peptide sequences, which were determined by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS), permitted binding preferences to be inferred. DLA-88*508:01 binds peptides that are 9-to-12 amino acids in length, with a modest preference for 9- and 11-mers. Hydrophobic residues are favored at positions 2 and 3, as are K, R or F residues at the C-terminus. Testing motif-matched and -unmatched synthetic peptides via peptide-MHC surface stabilization assay using a DLA-88*508:01-transfected, TAP-deficient RMA-S line supported these conclusions. With CDV infection, 22 viral peptides ranging from 9-to-12 residues in length were identified in DLA-88*508:01 eluates by LC-MS/MS. Combined motif analysis and surface stabilization assay data suggested that 11 of these 22 peptides, derived from CDV hemagglutinin, large polymerase, matrix, nucleocapsid, and V proteins, were processed and presented, and thus, potential targets of anti-viral CTL in DLA-88*508:01-bearing dogs. The presentation of diverse self and viral peptides indicates that DLA-88 is a classical MHC class Ia gene.
Project description:Ag presentation via the nonclassical MHC class Ib molecule HLA-E, with nearly complete identity between the two alleles expressed in humans, HLA-E*01:01 and HLA-E*01:03, can lead to the activation of unconventional T cells in humans. Despite this virtual genetic monomorphism, differences in peptide repertoires binding to the two allelic variants have been reported. To further dissect and compare peptide binding to HLA-E*01:01 and HLA-E*01:03, we used an UV-mediated peptide exchange binding assay and an HPLC-based competition binding assay. In addition, we investigated binding of these same peptides to Mamu-E, the nonhuman primate homologue of human HLA-E, and to the HLA-E-like molecule Qa-1b in mice. We next exploited the differences and homologies in the peptide binding pockets of these four molecules to identify allele specific as well as common features of peptide binding motifs across species. Our results reveal differences in peptide binding preferences and intensities for each human HLA-E variant compared with Mamu-E and Qa-1b Using extended peptide libraries, we identified and refined the peptide binding motifs for each of the four molecules and found that they share main anchor positions, evidenced by conserved amino acid preferences across the four HLA-E molecules studied. In addition, we also identified differences in peptide binding motifs, which could explain the observed variations in peptide binding preferences and affinities for each of the four HLA-E-like molecules. Our results could help with guiding the selection of candidate pathogen-derived peptides with the capacity to target HLA-E-restricted T cells that could be mobilized in vaccination and immunotherapeutic strategies.