Stable presentation of peptide epitope by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules is a prerequisite for the efficient expansion of CD8(+) T cells. The construction of single-chain MHC class I molecules in which the peptide, β(2)-microglobulin, and MHC heavy chain are all joined together via flexible linkers increases peptide-MHC stability. We have expressed two T cell epitopes that may be useful in leukemia treatment as single-chain MHC class I molecules, aiming to develop a system for the expansion of antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells in vitro. Disulfide trap versions of these single-chain MHC molecules were also created to improve anchoring of the peptides in the MHC molecule. Unexpectedly, we observed that soluble disulfide trap single-chain molecules expressed in eukaryotic cells were prone to homodimerization, depending on the binding affinity of the peptide epitope. The dimers were remarkably stable and efficiently recognized by conformation-specific antibodies, suggesting that they consisted of largely correctly folded molecules. However, dimerization was not observed when the disulfide trap molecules were expressed as full-length, transmembrane-anchored molecules. Our results further emphasize the importance of peptide binding affinity for the efficient folding of MHC class I molecules.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Antioxidants and Redox Signaling|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Aug 2011|