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Previous studies have shown the B*2703 subtype of HLA-B27, which differs from B*2705 and other MHC class I molecules by having a His substituted for Tyr at position 59 in the A pocket, inefficiently presents certain B*2705-restricted peptides. The current work investigates the influence of the first peptidic amino acid (P1) on peptide binding to B*2705 and B*2703. Results show P1 has a marked effect for both subtypes, with relative affinities (EC50) of P1-substituted peptides spanning four orders of magnitude. All peptides tested bind better to B*2705 than to B*2703. However, Lys, Arg, Phe, or Trp at P1 result in a < or = 2-fold difference between subtypes, while other amino acids produce greater differences (maximum approximately 50-fold for Leu). Self peptides eluted from B*2703, as well as two viral epitopes, have a motif similar to B*2705 peptides, except for a stronger preference for Lys or Arg at P1, consistent with peptide binding data. Computer modeling of B*2703 reveals movement of a water molecule and the alpha1 alpha-helix to allow His at position 59 to maintain important hydrogen bonds with the peptide N terminus in the A pocket. However, these bonds are weaker, and the water molecule movement results in the loss of a hydrogen bond with Glu-45 in the B pocket. We conclude that B*2703, as a consequence of its unique A pocket polymorphism, appears to have a greater dependency on an accessory anchor residue at P1 to maintain tight binding of peptides.


Journal article


J Immunol

Publication Date





4887 - 4897


Alleles, Amino Acid Sequence, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, Viral, Arginine, Computer Simulation, Epitopes, HLA-B Antigens, Humans, Models, Molecular, Oligopeptides, Polymorphism, Genetic, Protein Binding