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Dependency of Ly49 Recognition on Anchor Residues of Peptide Bound to MHC-I Open Access


Other title
NK cell
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Marquez, Elsa A
Supervisor and department
Kane, Kevin P (Medical Microbiology and Immunology)
Examining committee member and department
Burshtyn, Debby (Medical Microbiology and Immunology)
Elliott, John (Medical Microbiology and Immunology)
Kung, Sam (Immunology, University of Manitoba)
Hazes, Bart (Medical Microbiology and Immunology)
Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
In rodents, Ly49s are prominent natural killer (NK) cell receptors that interact with peptide-bound class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC-I). This association generally induces inhibitory signals when MHC-I presents self-peptides, thus blocking NK cell activation against healthy cells. Inhibitory Ly49 receptors can be peptide selective in their recognition of MHC-I-peptide complexes, affording them a level of discrimination beyond detecting the presence or absence of specific MHC-I allele products. NK cell inhibitory Ly49s associate with MHC-I at a region under the MHC-I peptide binding groove, without direct contact with the peptide bound; however, specific details of peptide dependent Ly49 recognition have not been fully explored. The mouse NK cell receptor Ly49C recognize its MHC-I ligand H-2Kb in a peptide selective and specific fashion. However, the molecular basis for Ly49C peptide specific recognition of H-2Kb has not been fully elucidated. Utilizing functional assays, we demonstrated that both the auxiliary anchor residue at position 3 (P3) and the adjacent residue at position 2 (P2), that also anchors into the peptide binding groove, influence Ly49C peptide selectivity in recognition of H-2Kb. In particular, we found that the Ly49C and H-2Kb interaction is supported by non-polar aliphatic residues at P3 and bulky non-polar aliphatic residues at P2. Previous studies in our laboratory also showed the importance of peptide anchor residues in determining recognition between a rat Ly49 receptor, Ly49i2, and its cognate ligand RT1-A1c. This suggests that peptide anchor residues bound to MHC-I may be modulators of Ly49 peptide specificity in rodent models of Ly49 and MHC-I interaction. In addition, we used functional assays to demonstrate peptide-dependent antagonism of mouse NK cell inhibition using as a model Ly49C and H-2Kb association. Partial NK cell antagonism, in other words partial depression of inhibition, was observed during the co-presentation of peptide-MHC-I (pMHC-I) complexes that support Ly49C-H-2Kb interaction and pMHC-I complexes that can bind Ly49C at an intermediate level. In contrast, a weaker antagonistic phenotype was observed by co-expression of pMHC-I complexes that confer H-2Kb and Ly49C interaction together with pMHC-I complexes that bind Ly49C at low to null levels. Collectively, our studies show that peptides bound to H-2Kb are fundamental in the integration of NK cell signaling events that determine NK activity. Rodent Ly49 receptors can play an important role in NK cell function for the clearance of tumorigenic cells as well as virally infected cells. Given that the peptide repertoire within a cell is subjected to modifications during cell stress, such as tumorigenesis or viral infection, it is of importance to understand how Ly49 directed NK cell function is affected by the nature of the peptides bound to MHC-I.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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