Author(s): Lin DY, Tanaka Y, Iwasaki M, Gittis AG, Su HP,
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Abstract Signaling through the programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibitory receptor upon binding its ligand, PD-L1, suppresses immune responses against autoantigens and tumors and plays an important role in the maintenance of peripheral immune tolerance. Release from PD-1 inhibitory signaling revives "exhausted" virus-specific T cells in chronic viral infections. Here we present the crystal structure of murine PD-1 in complex with human PD-L1. PD-1 and PD-L1 interact through the conserved front and side of their Ig variable (IgV) domains, as do the IgV domains of antibodies and T cell receptors. This places the loops at the ends of the IgV domains on the same side of the PD-1/PD-L1 complex, forming a surface that is similar to the antigen-binding surface of antibodies and T cell receptors. Mapping conserved residues allowed the identification of residues that are important in forming the PD-1/PD-L1 interface. Based on the structure, we show that some reported loss-of-binding mutations involve the PD-1/PD-L1 interaction but that others compromise protein folding. The PD-1/PD-L1 interaction described here may be blocked by antibodies or by designed small-molecule drugs to lower inhibitory signaling that results in a stronger immune response. The immune receptor-like loops offer a new surface for further study and potentially the design of molecules that would affect PD-1/PD-L1 complex formation and thereby modulate the immune response.
This article was published in Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems