The peptide-binding motif of HLA-DR8 shares important structural features with other type 1 diabetes-associated alleles.

Research paper by L L Muixí, M M Gay, P M PM Muñoz-Torres, C C Guitart, J J Cedano, J J Abian, I I Alvarez, D D Jaraquemada

Indexed on: 10 Jun '11Published on: 10 Jun '11Published in: Genes and Immunity


The objective of this study was to characterize the peptide-binding motif of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II HLA-DR8 molecule included in the type 1 diabetes-associated haplotype DRB1(*)0801-DQA1(*)0401/DQB1(*)0402 (DR8-DQ4), and compare it with that of other diabetes-associated MHC class II alleles; DR8-bound peptides were eluted from an HLA-DR homozygous lymphoblastoid cell line. The repertoire was characterized by peptide sequencing using a LTQ ion trap mass spectrometer coupled to a multidimensional liquid chromatography system. After validation of the spectra identification, the definition of the HLA-DR8 peptide-binding motif was achieved from the analysis of 486 natural ligands, based on serial alignments of all possible HLA-DR-binding cores. The DR8 motif showed a strong similarity with the peptide-binding motifs of other MHC class II diabetes-associated alleles, HLA-DQ8 and H-2 I-A(g7). Similar to HLA-DQ8 and H-2 I-A(g7), HLA-DR8 preferentially binds peptides with an acidic residue at position P9 of the binding core, indicating that DR8 is the susceptibility component of the DR8-DQ4 haplotype. Indeed, some DR8 peptides were identical to peptides previously identified as DQ8- or I-A(g7) ligands, and several diabetes-specific peptides associated with DQ8 or I-A(g7) could theoretically bind to HLA-DR8. These data further strengthen the association of HLA-DR8 with type I diabetes.