Author(s): DouatCasassus C, MarchandGeneste N, Diez E, Aznar C, Picard P, , DouatCasassus C, MarchandGeneste N, Diez E, Aznar C, Picard P,
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Abstract A LigandFit shape-directed docking methodology was used to identify the best position at which the melanoma-derived MHC class-I HLA-A2-binding antigenic peptide ELAGIGILTV could be modified by attaching a small molecule capable of fitting at the interface of complementary determining regional (CDR) loops of a T-cell receptor (TCR) while triggering T-cell responses. The small molecule selected here for determining the feasibility of this alternative track to chemical alteration of antigenic peptides was the electrophilic quinone methide (+)-puupehenone (), a natural product that belongs to a family of marine metabolites capable of expressing immunomodulatory activities. A preliminary chemical reactivity model study revealed the efficacy of the thiol group of a cysteine (C) side-chain in its nucleophilic addition reaction with in a regio- and diastereoselective manner. The best TCR/HLA-A2 ligand [i.e., ELAGCGILTV-S-puupehenol ()] then identified by the LigandFit docking procedure was synthesized and used to pulse HLA-A2(+) T2 cells for T-cell stimulation. Among the ELAGIGILTV-specific T-cell clones we tested, five of them recognized the conjugate in spite of its low binding affinity for the HLA-A2 molecules. The resulting T-cell stimulation was determined through the intracytoplasmic secretion of IFN-gamma and the percentage of T-cells thus activated. These highly encouraging results indicate that small non-peptidic natural product-derived molecules attached onto the central part of an antigenic peptide can fit at the TCR/HLA-A2 interface with induction of T-cell responses.
This article was published in Mol Biosyst
and referenced in Dermatology and Dermatologic Diseases