Deaza-modification of MR1 ligands modulates recognition by MR1-restricted T cells

Haihong Jin, Nicole A. Ladd, Andrew M. Peev, Gwendolyn M. Swarbrick, Meghan Cansler, Megan Null, Christopher T. Boughter, Curtis McMurtrey, Aaron Nilsen, Karen M. Dobos, William H. Hildebrand, Deborah A. Lewinsohn, Erin J. Adams, David M. Lewinsohn, Melanie J. Harriff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

MR1-restricted T (MR1T) cells recognize microbial small molecule metabolites presented on the MHC Class I-like molecule MR1 and have been implicated in early effector responses to microbial infection. As a result, there is considerable interest in identifying chemical properties of metabolite ligands that permit recognition by MR1T cells, for consideration in therapeutic or vaccine applications. Here, we made chemical modifications to known MR1 ligands to evaluate the effect on MR1T cell activation. Specifically, we modified 6,7-dimethyl-8-d-ribityllumazine (DMRL) to generate 6,7-dimethyl-8-d-ribityldeazalumazine (DZ), and then further derivatized DZ to determine the requirements for retaining MR1 surface stabilization and agonistic properties. Interestingly, the IFN-γ response toward DZ varied widely across a panel of T cell receptor (TCR)-diverse MR1T cell clones; while one clone was agnostic toward the modification, most displayed either an enhancement or depletion of IFN-γ production when compared with its response to DMRL. To gain insight into a putative mechanism behind this phenomenon, we used in silico molecular docking techniques for DMRL and its derivatives and performed molecular dynamics simulations of the complexes. In assessing the dynamics of each ligand in the MR1 pocket, we found that DMRL and DZ exhibit differential dynamics of both the ribityl moiety and the aromatic backbone, which may contribute to ligand recognition. Together, our results support an emerging hypothesis for flexibility in MR1:ligand-MR1T TCR interactions and enable further exploration of the relationship between MR1:ligand structures and MR1T cell recognition for downstream applications targeting MR1T cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number22539
JournalScientific Reports
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Deaza-modification of MR1 ligands modulates recognition by MR1-restricted T cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this