Indexed on: 16 Aug '08Published on: 16 Aug '08Published in: Journal of Biological Chemistry
We determined the crystal structures of the T cell receptor (TCR)-like antibody 25-D1.16 Fab fragment bound to a complex of SIINFEKL peptide from ovalbumin and the H-2K(b) molecule. Remarkably, this antibody directly "reads" the structure of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-bound peptide, employing the canonical diagonal binding mode utilized by most TCRs. This is in marked contrast with another TCR-like antibody, Hyb3, bound to melanoma peptide MAGE-A1 in association with HLA-A1 MHC class I. Hyb3 assumes a non-canonical orientation over its cognate peptide-MHC and appears to recognize a conformational epitope in which the MHC contribution is dominant. We conclude that TCR-like antibodies can recognize MHC-bound peptide via two different mechanisms: one is similar to that exploited by the preponderance of TCRs and the other requires a non-canonical antibody orientation over the peptide-MHC complex.