Polymorphic residues on the I-A beta chain modulate the stimulation of T cell clones specific for the N-terminal peptide of the autoantigen myelin basic protein.
Davis CB., Mitchell DJ., Wraith DC., Todd JA., Zamvil SS., McDevitt HO., Steinman L., Jones PP.
The effect of polymorphic residues on the A alpha A beta molecule on T cell recognition of the N-terminal nonapeptide of myelin basic protein (R1-9) was determined. Ak-restricted T cell clones recognizing R1-9 were isolated. The peptide-Ia specificities of these clones were determined by testing the response to 1) a panel of peptide analogs of R1-11, 2) splenic APC from mice expressing MHC molecules from serologically distinct haplotypes, and 3) L cell transfectants expressing mutant/recombinant A beta cDNA containing combinations of polymorphic nucleotide sequences from the k and u alleles. Comparisons were made between the Ak-restricted clones and a previously characterized panel of Au-restricted clones. Certain Ak-restricted clones were able to recognize MBP peptide analogs that were not recognized by any of the Au-restricted clones. The Au-restricted T cell clones did not cross-react with R1-9 presented in the context of Ak, whereas the majority of the Ak-restricted clones responded to R1-9 presented in the context of Au. This nonreciprocal cross-reactivity was also reflected in the relative responses of the two sets of T cell clones to the interchange of u- and k-derived residues in the A beta chain. Residues in regions corresponding both the alpha-helical or beta-sheet portions of the hypothetical Ia three-dimensional structure were involved. The results suggest that overall specificity of the T cell clones is the summation of numerous distinct subspecificities for different regions of the peptide-Ia ligand. These results indicate that there can be striking differences in T cell specificity for an autoantigenic epitope, even in the context of A alpha A beta molecules from very closely related haplotypes.