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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
IF: 1.352 5-Year IF: 3.347 SJR: 1.022 SNIP: 0.55 CiteScore™: 2.19

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.v20.i1.30
28 pages

Human TCR as Antigen: Homologies and Potentially Cross-Reactive HLA-DR2-Restricted Epitopes Within the AV and BV CDR2 Loops

Arthur A. Vandenbark
Neuroimmunology Research R&D-31, Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology; and Department of Neurology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR 97201
Nicole Culbertson
Neuroimmunology Research R&D-31, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, OR 97201
Tom Finn
Neuroimmunology Research R&D-31, Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and Department of Neurology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR 97201
David Barnes
Neuroimmunology Research R&D-31, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, OR 97201
Abigail Buenafe
Neuroimmunology Research R&D-31, Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and Department of Neurology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR 97201
Gregory G. Burrows
Neuroimmunology Research R&D-31, Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Department of Neurology; and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR 97201
Sandra Law
Neuroimmunology Research R&D-31, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Portland, OR 97201
Yuan K. Chou
Neuroimmunology Research R&D-31, Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and Department of Neurology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR 97201
Halina Offner
Neuroimmunology Research R&D-31, Veterans Affairs Medical Center; and Department of Neurology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR 97201

ABSTRACT

The major function of the T-cell receptor is to confer antigen specificity to T cells. However, nascent TCR proteins that are not assembled into functional heterodimers may be processed and displayed with self MHC molecules on the T-cell surface, and are thought to be the genesis of autoregulatory T cells that can limit inflammatory responses through T-T network interactions. In previous work, we and others have exploited this natural regulatory system using TCR peptides to amplify regulatory T cells that potentially can treat human autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and arthritis. The development of this approach is limited by the diversity of human TCR V gene sequences, and by lack of knowledge of exactly which regions of the V gene proteins are immunogenic in association with various MHC alleles. To identify similar amino acid sequences within and among human V gene families that might have immunologic cross reactivity, we aligned 74 known AV and 109 known BV protein sequences into homologous groups using the ClustalX program. Moreover, with a focus on CDR2 peptides that have previously been used to induce regulatory T cells in clinical trials, we established homologous peptide groups, and then identified the optimal amino acid motifs for binding to two alleles, HLA-DRB1*1501 and DRB5*0101, that have been associated with susceptibility to MS. From this analysis, > 75% of AV and BV CDR2 sequences were predicted to bind with at least moderate avidity to each of the DR2 alleles, thus enhancing the likelihood that they could be antigenic. Further ordering of putative TCR contact residues revealed a different set of homology groupings, including many intrafamily sequence matches and some interfamily matches that might allow immunological cross reactivity. Particularly striking were DRB1*1501 -restricted IH-S and IY-S motifs shared by BV11, BV12, and BV13 and BV3, BV12, BV13, and BV17 family members, respectively, and DRB5*0101-restricted RL-H and RL-Y motifs shared by BV11, BV12, and BV13 and BV13 and BV17 family members, respectively. This analysis may be useful in designing an array of clinically useful homologous peptides with optimal MHC binding properties and highly cross-reactive TCR binding motifs.


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