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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Structural and functional role of threonine 112 in a superantigen Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B.

Bacterial superantigens are potent T-cell stimulatory protein molecules produced by Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococcus pyogenes. Their superantigenic activity can be attributed to their ability to cross-link major histocompatibility complex class II molecules with T-cell receptors (TCRs) to form a tri-molecular complex. Each superantigen is known to interact with a specific V(beta) element of TCR. Staphylococcal enterotoxin B ( SEB, a superantigen), a primary cause of food poisoning, is also responsible for a significant percentage of non-menstrual associated toxic shock syndrome in patients with a variety of staphylococcal infections. Structural studies have elucidated a binding cavity on the toxin molecule essential for TCR binding. To understand the crucial residues involved in binding, mutagenesis analysis was performed. Our analysis suggest that mutation of a conserved residue Thr(112) to Ser (T112S) in the binding cavity induces a selective reduction in the affinity for binding one TCR V(beta) family and can be attributed to the structural differences in the native and mutant toxins. We present a detailed comparison of the mutant structure determined at 2.0 A with the previously reported native SEB and SEB-TCR V(beta) complex structures.[1]


  1. Structural and functional role of threonine 112 in a superantigen Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B. Baker, M.D., Papageorgiou, A.C., Titball, R.W., Miller, J., White, S., Lingard, B., Lee, J.J., Cavanagh, D., Kehoe, M.A., Robinson, J.H., Acharya, K.R. J. Biol. Chem. (2002) [Pubmed]
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