High-throughput characterization of HLA-E-presented CD94/NKG2x ligands reveals peptides which modulate NK cell activation
Huisman BD., Guan N., Rückert T., Garner L., Singh NK., McMichael AJ., Gillespie GM., Romagnani C., Birnbaum ME.
AbstractHLA-E is a non-classical class I MHC protein involved in innate and adaptive immune recognition. While recent studies have shown HLA-E can present diverse peptides to NK cells and T cells, the HLA-E repertoire recognized by CD94/NKG2x has remained poorly defined, with only a limited number of peptide ligands identified. Here we screen a yeast-displayed peptide library in the context of HLA-E to identify 500 high-confidence unique peptides that bind both HLA-E and CD94/NKG2A or CD94/NKG2C. Utilizing the sequences identified via yeast display selections, we train prediction algorithms and identify human and cytomegalovirus (CMV) proteome-derived, HLA-E-presented peptides capable of binding and signaling through both CD94/NKG2A and CD94/NKG2C. In addition, we identify peptides which selectively activate NKG2C+ NK cells. Taken together, characterization of the HLA-E-binding peptide repertoire and identification of NK activity-modulating peptides present opportunities for studies of NK cell regulation in health and disease, in addition to vaccine and therapeutic design.