[57] A Vβ2-containing ternary complex includes even more CDR3β–CD

[57] A Vβ2-containing ternary complex includes even more CDR3β–CD1d contacts.[56] How can an invariant receptor such as the iNKT TCR show promiscuity in antigen recognition? There is limited polymorphism at position 93 of the Vα24-Jα18 chain,[58] but the major variable region of the iNKT TCR is the CDR3β loop. Evidence suggests that contact between CDR3β and CD1d mitigates the energetic penalty of binding a lower affinity CD1d–ligand complex. Structures of an iNKT TCR with varied ligands clearly show that weaker ligands require more contribution from CDR3β at the TCR–CD1d interface.[54] Mutagenesis studies also

support this conclusion.[50, 59] Naturally occurring CDR3β sequence variants PD-1 inhibitor confer a range of CD1d–ligand affinities on the

iNKT TCR. All iNKT TCRs recognize high-affinity ligands such as αGalCer, yet reduced numbers interact with weaker agonists.[60, 61] Invariant NKT-cell clones show bright, homogeneous staining with αGalCer–CD1d tetramers Sunitinib research buy but when tetramers loaded with the weaker agonist OCH are used, stain as OCH–CD1d tetramer bright, intermediate or dim.[60] The staining pattern observed for OCH–CD1d tetramers matches that for β-glycosylceramide–CD1d tetramers, and the hierarchy was confirmed by surface plasmon resonance analysis of the interaction between cloned TCRs and ligand–CD1d. The CDR3β affinity hierarchy, applicable to diverse GSL antigens, is therefore not indicative of antigen preference by different iNKT TCRs, but is a function of CDR3β sequence. Interestingly, the iNKT-cell repertoire may be selected to exclude cells with high

autoreactivity.[62] Mallevaey et al.[62] modified the CDR3β of a naturally occurring iNKT TCR to create an extra-sticky variant that made additional hydrophobic contacts with αGalCer–CD1d from the CDR3β loop. Only appropriate iNKT cells engage in an NKT response: exposure of mouse iNKT cells to weak antigen leads to enrichment for Vβ7-expressing clones (which Niclosamide use more CDR3β–CD1d contacts) with each cell division cycle, whereas αGalCer, able to engage all iNKT cells, induces no bias.[63] Together, these studies suggest that the iNKT repertoire is selected to fall within a delimited window of affinity for ligand–CD1d, yielding a gamut of iNKT cells of fixed reactivity. Hence, like T cells, not all iNKT cells respond to all antigens; clonal expansion of a specific population ensures an appropriate response. Unlike TCR–pMHC complexes,[64] iNKT TCR–antigen–CD1d ternary complex formation depends upon induced fit of CD1d and antigen to a rigid TCR.[52, 65] Consistently, the antigen–CD1d surface is moulded to resemble the topology of αGalCer–CD1d in the iNKT TCR–αGalCer–CD1d complex. Analysis of αGalCer variants demonstrates the importance of conserved contacts between the galactosyl headgroup and the iNKT TCR.[63, 66] Borrelia burgdorferi αGalDAG has its headgroup repositioned upon binding iNKT TCR,[67] as does S. pneumoniae-derived Glc-DAG-s2.

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