Structural basis for the specific recognition of the major antigenic peptide from the Japanese cedar pollen allergen Cry j 1 by HLA-DP5

Seisuke Kusano, Mutsuko Kukimoto-Niino, Yoko Satta, Noboru Ohsawa, Tomomi Uchikubo-Kamo, Motoaki Wakiyama, Mariko Ikeda, Takaho Terada, Ken Yamamoto, Yasuharu Nishimura, Mikako Shirouzu, Takehiko Sasazuki, Shigeyuki Yokoyama

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20 Citations (Scopus)


The major allergen, Cry j 1, was isolated from Japanese cedar Cryptomeria japonica (Cry j) pollen and was shown to react with immunoglobulin E antibodies in the sera from pollinosis patients. We previously reported that the frequency of HLA-DP5 was significantly higher in pollinosis patients and the immunodominant peptides from Cry j 1 bound to HLA-DP5 to activate Th2 cells. In the present study, we determined the crystal structure of the HLA-DP5 heterodimer in complex with a Cry j 1-derived nine-residue peptide, at 2.4 Å resolution. The peptide-binding groove recognizes the minimal peptide with 10 hydrogen bonds, including those between the negatively charged P1 pocket and the Lys side chain at the first position in the peptide sequence. We confirmed that HLA-DP5 exhibits the same Cry j 1-binding mode in solution, through pull-down experiments using structure-based mutations of Cry j 1. We also identified the characteristic residues of HLA-DP5 that are responsible for the distinct properties of the groove, by comparing the structure of HLA-DP5 and the previously reported structures of HLA-DP2 in complexes with pDRA of the self-antigen. The comparison revealed that the HLA-DP5·pCry j 1 complex forms several hydrogen bond/salt bridge networks between the receptor and the antigen that were not observed in the HLA-DP2·pDRA complex. Evolutionary considerations have led us to conclude that HLA-DP5 and HLA-DP2 represent two major groups of the HLA-DP family, in which the properties of the P1 and P4 pockets have evolved and acquired the present ranges of epitope peptide-binding specificities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3016-3027
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Molecular Biology
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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