Structural basis for a major histocompatibility complex class Ib-restricted T cell response

Hilary L. Hoare, Lucy C. Sullivan, Gabriella Pietra, Craig S. Clements, Eleanor J. Lee, Lauren K. Ely, Travis Beddoe, Michela Falco, Lars Kjer-Nielsen, Hugh H. Reid, James McCluskey, Lorenzo Moretta, Jamie Rossjohn, Andrew G. Brooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In contrast to antigen-specific immunity orchestrated by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class Ia molecules, the ancestrally related nonclassical MHC class Ib molecules generally mediate innate immune responses. Here we have demonstrated the structural basis by which the MHC class Ib molecule HLA-E mediates an adaptive MHC-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte response to human cytomegalovirus. Highly constrained by host genetics, the response showed notable fine specificity for position 8 of the viral peptide, which is the sole discriminator of self versus nonself. Despite the evolutionary divergence of MHC class Ia and class Ib molecules, the structure of the T cell receptor-MHC class Ib complex was very similar to that of conventional T cell receptor-MHC class Ia complexes. These results emphasize the evolutionary 'ambiguity' of HLA-E, which not only interacts with innate immune receptors but also has the functional capacity to mediate virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses during adaptive immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-264
Number of pages9
JournalNature Immunology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural basis for a major histocompatibility complex class Ib-restricted T cell response'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this