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A novel loop domain in superantigens extends their T cell receptor recognition site


A novel loop domain in superantigens extends their T cell receptor recognition site



Journal of Molecular Biology 371(1): 210-221



ISSN/ISBN: 0022-2836

PMID: 17560605

DOI: 10.1016/j.jmb.2007.05.038

Superantigens (SAGs) interact with host immune receptors to induce a massive release of inflammatory cytokines that can lead to toxic shock syndrome and death. Bacterial SAGs can be classified into five distinct evolutionary groups. Group V SAGs are characterized by the alpha3-beta8 loop, a unique approximately 15 amino acid residue extension that is required for optimal T cell activation. Here, we report the X-ray crystal structures of the group V SAG staphylococcal enterotoxin K (SEK) alone and in complex with the TCR hVbeta5.1 domain. SEK adopts a unique TCR binding orientation relative to other SAG-TCR complexes, which results in the alpha3-beta8 loop contacting the apical loop of framework region 4, thereby extending the known TCR recognition site of SAGs. These interactions are absolutely required for TCR binding and T cell activation by SEK, and dictate the TCR Vbeta domain specificity of SEK and other group V SAGs.

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Accession: 014891753

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