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

CD8{alpha}beta Has Two Distinct Binding Modes of Interaction with Peptide-Major Histocompatibility Complex Class I.

Interaction of CD8 (CD8alphaalpha or CD8alphabeta) with the peptide-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I (pMHCI) is critical for the development and function of cytolytic T cells. Although the crystal structure of CD8alphaalpha.pMHCI complex revealed that two symmetric CD8alpha subunits interact with pMHCI asymmetrically, with one subunit engaged in more extensive interaction than the other, the details of the interaction between the CD8alphabeta heterodimer and pMHCI remained unknown. The Ig-like domains of mouse CD8alphabeta and CD8alphaalpha are similar in the size, shape, and surface electrostatic potential of their pMHCI-binding regions, suggesting that their interactions with pMHCI could be very similar. Indeed, we found that the CD8alpha variants CD8alpha(R8A) and CD8alpha(E27A), which were functionally inactive as homodimers, could form an active co-receptor with wild-type (WT) CD8beta as a CD8alpha(R8A)beta or CD8alpha(E27A)beta heterodimer. We also identified CD8beta variants that could form active receptors with WT CD8alpha but not with CD8alpha(R8A). This observation is consistent with the notion that the CD8beta subunit may replace either CD8alpha subunit in CD8alphaalpha.pMHCI complex. In addition, we showed that both anti-CD8alpha and anti-CD8beta antibodies were unable to completely block the co-receptor activity of WT CD8alphabeta. We propose that CD8alphabeta binds to pMHCI in at least two distinguishable orientations.[1]


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