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We have identified two forms of a major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecule, H-2Kb, distinguishable by specific antibodies through a study of a genetically engineered mouse cell line that overexpresses these molecules. One form, a complex associated with beta 2-microglobulin (native, beta 2m+ class I), is detectable by conformation-dependent antibodies. The other form, which remains after preclearing cell lysates of native class I, is only poorly, if at all, associated with beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2m- class I) and is detectable by an antiserum against the cytoplasmic tail region of H-2K molecules. Both forms are also present in normal cell lines. The affinity-purified native class I molecules bind short peptides (8 or 9 residues) and assemble tightly with beta 2-microglobulin. In striking contrast, the beta 2m- class I molecules bind peptides that are longer (> 15 residues) than those bound to native class I molecules. This finding is consistent with the recent evidence that peptides longer than 8-10 amino acid residues are transported into the endoplasmic reticulum and suggests the possibility of a control step for peptide presentation by MHC in which the incompletely processed peptides bind to the heavy chain and a selected fraction undergoes final processing and presentation on the cell surface.
Positive and negative selection of a lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) peptide-specific, H-2Db-restricted T cell clone (P14) was studied using TAP1- and TAP1+ mice transgenic for P14 T cell receptor (TCR) alpha and beta genes. Positive selection of transgenic CD8+ P14 cells was impaired in TAP1- mice. Addition of the LCMV peptide to TAP1- fetal thymic organ cultures (FTOCs) at low and high concentrations induced positive and negative selection of CD8+ P14 cells, respectively, while addition of the same peptide to TAP1+ FTOCs induced negative selection even at low concentrations. Both types of selection were peptide specific. Thus, a critical parameter that controls the fate of a thymocyte seems to be the number of TCRs engaged with complexes of peptide and major histocompatibility complex. When this number is low, positive selection occurs, and when it is high, negative selection takes place. These findings support a differential avidity model of T cell selection.
Mice with a homozygous deletion in their Tap-1 gene (-/- mice) express very low levels of cell membrane major histocompatibility complex class I molecules and have < 1% peripheral CD8+ T cells. We show that these -/- mice but not their +/- littermates display strong primary syngeneic anti-H-2Kb and -Db-specific responses mediated by CD8+ T cells. These responses are augmented by in vivo priming. Further, -/- mice primed in vivo with H-2d alloantigens generate an anti-H-2d response which appears nearly as strong as that found in +/- littermates. Both -/- anti-H-2b and anti-H-2d T cells do not recognize target cells from Tap-1 -/- animals or Tap-2-deficient RMA-S cells. Thus, some CD8+ anti-self and alloreactive T cells can be selected in the absence of Tap proteins.
Class I major histocompatibility complex molecules require both beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2m) and peptide for efficient intracellular transport. With the exception of H-2Db and Ld, class I heavy chains have not been detectable at the surface of cells lacking beta 2m. We show that properly conformed class I heavy chains can be detected in a terminally glycosylated form indicative of cell surface expression in H-2b, H-2d, and H-2s beta 2m-/- concanavalin A (Con A)-stimulated splenocytes incubated at reduced temperature. Furthermore, we demonstrate the presence of Kb molecules at the surface of beta 2m-/- cells cultured at 37 degrees C. The mode of assembly of class I molecules encompasses two major pathways: binding of peptide to preformed "empty" heterodimers, and binding of peptide to free heavy chains, followed by recruitment of beta 2m. In support of the existence of the latter pathway, we provide evidence for a role of peptide in intracellular transport of free class I heavy chains, through analysis of Con A-stimulated splenocytes from transporter associated with antigen processing 1 (TAP1)-/-, beta 2m-/-, and double-mutant TAP1/beta 2m-/- mice.
TAP1 -/- and beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2m) -/- mice (H-2b background) express very low levels of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules on the cell surface. Consequently these mice have low numbers of mature CD8+ T lymphocytes. However, TAP1 -/- mice have significantly higher numbers of CD8+ T cells than beta 2m -/- mice. Alloreactive CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses were also stronger in TAP1 -/- mice than in beta 2m -/- mice. Alloreactive CTL generated in TAP1 -/- and beta 2m -/- mice cross-react with H-2b-expressing cells. Surprisingly, such cross-reactivity was stronger with alloreactive CTL from beta 2m -/- mice than with similar cells from TAP1 -/- mice. The beta 2m -/- mice also responded more strongly when primed with and tested against cells expressing normal levels of H-2b MHC class I molecules. Such H-2b-reactive CD8+ CTL from beta 2m -/- mice but not from TAP1 -/- mice also reacted with TAP1 -/- and TAP2-deficient RMA-S cells. In contrast, H-2b-reactive CD8+ CTL from neither beta 2m -/- mice nor TAP1 -/- mice killed beta 2m -/- cells. In line with these results, beta 2m -/- mice also responded when primed and tested against TAP1 -/- cells. We conclude that the reactivity of residual CD8+ T cells differs between TAP1 -/- and beta 2m -/- mice. The MHC class I-deficient phenotype of TAP1 -/- and beta 2m -/- mice is not equivalent: class I expression differs between the two mouse lines with regard to quality as well as quantity. We propose that the differences observed in numbers of CD8+ T cells, their ability to react with alloantigens and their cross-reactivity with normal H-2b class I are caused by differences in the expression of MHC class I ligands on selecting cells in the thymus.
The anti-H-2 alloantiserum D-32 [(B10.A(2R) x C3H.SW) anti-C3H] is cytolytic to human lymphocytes. Fab2 blocking assays, indirect immunoprecipitation and sequential immunoprecipitation experiments showed that the anti-H-2 alloantiserum D-32 recognizes antigenic determinants which are expressed on the heavy chain of subpopulations of HLA-A, B antigens. These determinants are different from those defining the serological polymorphism of the HLA-A, B, C system, are the same as or spatially close to those recognized by the anti-HLA-A, B monoclonal antibody Q6/64 and are expressed on rabbit, rat or guinea pig lymphocytes.
AKR leukemias display different amounts of major histocompatibility complex class I antigens on the cell surface. The absence of H-2Kk molecules correlates with the ability of these cell lines to form tumors in vivo as well as to escape lysis by cytotoxic T lymphocytes in vitro. In this report it is shown that the 5' regulatory area of the H-2Kk gene failed to activate transcription in H-2Kk-negative cells. Examination of the proteins interacting with the H-2Kk enhancer in expressing and nonexpressing cells revealed clear differences. In particular, the level of a nuclear protein interacting at position -166 was greatly reduced in the negative cell lines. A transcription factor, known as H2TF1 or KBF1, has been shown previously to interact with this binding site and to be essential for the expression of certain class I genes as well as the expression of beta 2-microglobulin. These results demonstrate that the molecular mechanism of class I gene suppression in malignant tumor cells is at the level of transcription and is most probably modulated by H2TF1/KBFI. In addition, it is shown that the same transcription factor is only present in mouse tissues expressing class I antigens.
The major histocompatibility complex class I molecules are receptors for intracellular peptides, both of self and non-self origin. When non-self peptides (eg., pathogen derived) are bound to the class I molecules, they form ligands for T cell receptors resulting in antigen specific lysis of the infected cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Therefore, an understanding of the process of antigen recognition requires the precise definition of the structural features of the bimolecular complex formed by a single well defined antigenic peptide bound to the class I molecule. A strategy using antibodies was developed to probe the structural features of the H-2Kb containing a defined peptide in the antigen cleft. We report that the binding surface area of a Kb specific monoclonal antibody (28-13-3s) includes residues in the alpha 1 (Gly56 and Glu58) and alpha 2 (Trp167) helices of Kb thus, binding across the antigen binding groove. When cells treated with the antigenic peptide of vesicular stomatitis virus, N52-59, and its alanine substituted analogs were tested for 28-13-3s binding, it was found that position 1 of the peptide also forms a part of the antibody binding site. This finding strongly supports the positioning of the N-terminus of N52-59 proximal to pocket A, thus, assuming an orientation parallel to the alpha 1 helix.
This study describes an analysis of the interaction of individual amino acid residues of the vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) nucleocapsid antigenic octapeptide (N52-59; Arg-Gly-Tyr-Val-Tyr-Gln-Gly-Leu) with the H-2Kb molecule and T-cell receptors (TCRs). Tyr-3, Tyr-5, and Leu-8 were the positions in the peptide found to be H-2Kb contact residues by analyzing single alanine-substituted peptides in a competition assay with a Kb-restricted antigenic nonapeptide of Sendai virus. Arg-1, Gly-2, Val-4, Gln-6, and Gly-7 of the peptide were identified as putative TCR contact residues by testing the peptide analogs for their capacity to sensitize targets for VSV-specific cytolytic T-lymphocyte clones. The octamer N52-59 was the optimal length of the peptide required for binding to Kb. This peptide length requirement and the finding of an irregular interspersing of major histocompatibility complex and TCR contact residues are most consistent with the conclusion that the peptide is in an extended conformation in the antigen binding groove. Furthermore, data on binding of truncated peptides show that, although the Arg-1 side chain has been assigned as a TCR contact residue, the main-chain atoms of the N-terminal amino group are most likely involved in interacting with the major histocompatibility complex molecule. A panel of H-2Kb point mutants was constructed to explore the effect of altered amino acid residues on the binding of N52-59. Mutants with amino acid substitutions along the floor of the groove all bound the VSV peptide but modulated its interaction with Kb, apparently causing subtle changes in the spatial arrangement of some specific TCR contact residues in the peptide.