Effects of complementarity determining region mutations on the affinity of an α/β t cell receptor: Measuring the energy associated with CD4/CD8 repertoire skewing

Thomas C. Manning, Evan A. Parke, Luc Teyton, David M. Kranz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

It has been proposed that the generally low affinities of T cell receptors (TCRs) for their peptide-major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) ligands (K(d)~10-4 to 10-7 M) are the result of biological selection rather than an intrinsic affinity limitation imposed by the TCR framework. Using a soluble version of the 2C TCR, we have used complementarity determining region (CDR)-directed mutagenesis to investigate whether the affinity of this receptor for its allogeneic pMHC ligand can be improved upon. We report that several mutants at positions lying within CDR3α and CDR2β showed increased affinities for pMHC compared with the wild-type receptor. Additionally, we have investigated whether Vα mutations that have been implicated in the phenomenon of CD8+ repertoire skewing achieve this skewing by means of generalized increases in affinity for MHC-I molecules. Two mutants (S27F and S51P), which each promote skewing toward a CD8+ phenotype, exhibited significantly reduced affinity for pMHC-I, consistent with a quantitative-instructional model of CD4/CD8 lineage commitment. This model predicts that CD8 is downregulated on thymocytes that have TCR-ligand interactions above a minimal energy threshold. Together, the results (a) demonstrate that engineering higher affinity TCRs is feasible, and (b) provide TCR-pMHC energy values associated with CD4/CD8 repertoire skewing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)461-470
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume189
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 1999

Keywords

  • Affinity
  • CD4/ CD8
  • Complementarity determining region
  • Peptide-major histocompatibility complex
  • T cell receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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