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Molecular determinants of chaperone interactions on MHC-I for folding and antigen repertoire selection

By Andrew C. McShan, Christine A Devlin, Sarah A Overall, Jihye Park, Jugmohit S Toor, Danai Moschidi, David Flores-Solis, Hannah Choi, Sarvind Tripathi, Erik Procko, Nikolaos Sgourakis

Posted 24 Sep 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/779777 (published DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1915562116)

The interplay between a highly polymorphic set of MHC-I alleles and molecular chaperones shapes the repertoire of peptide antigens displayed on the cell surface for T cell surveillance. Here, we demonstrate that the molecular chaperone TAPBPR associates with a broad range of partially folded MHC-I species inside the cell. Bimolecular fluorescence complementation and deep mutational scanning reveal that TAPBPR recognition is polarized towards one side of the peptide-binding groove, and depends on the formation of a conserved MHC-I disulfide epitope in the alpha2 domain. Conversely, thermodynamic measurements of TAPBPR binding for a representative set of properly conformed, peptide-loaded molecules suggest a narrower MHC-I specificity range. Using solution NMR, we find that the extent of dynamics at hotspot surfaces confers TAPBPR recognition of a sparsely populated MHC-I state attained through a global conformational change. Consistently, restriction of MHC-I groove plasticity through the introduction of a disulfide bond between the alpha1/2 helices abrogates TAPBPR binding, both in solution and on a cellular membrane, while intracellular binding is tolerant of many destabilizing MHC-I substitutions. Our data support parallel TAPBPR functions of i) chaperoning unstable MHC-I molecules at early stages of their folding process, akin to a holdase with broad allele-specificity, and ii) editing the peptide cargo of properly conformed MHC-I molecules en route to the surface, which demonstrates a narrower specificity. Our results suggest that TAPBPR exploits localized structural adaptations, both near and distant to the peptide-binding groove, to selectively recognize discrete conformational states sampled by MHC-I alleles, towards editing the repertoire of displayed antigens.

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