Type II natural killer T cells use features of both innate-like and conventional T cells to recognize sulfatide self antigens

Girardi, Enrico; Maricic, Igor; Wang, Jing; Mac, Thien-Thi; Iyer, Pooja; Kumar, Vipin; Zajonc, Dirk M
September 2012
Nature Immunology;Sep2012, Vol. 13 Issue 9, p851
Academic Journal
Glycolipids presented by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I homolog CD1d are recognized by natural killer T cells (NKT cells) characterized by either a semi-invariant T cell antigen receptor (TCR) repertoire (type I NKT cells or iNKT cells) or a relatively variable TCR repertoire (type II NKT cells). Here we describe the structure of a type II NKT cell TCR in complex with CD1d-lysosulfatide. Both TCR ?-chains and TCR ?-chains made contact with the CD1d molecule with a diagonal footprint, typical of MHC-TCR interactions, whereas the antigen was recognized exclusively with a single TCR chain, similar to the iNKT cell TCR. Type II NKT cell TCRs, therefore, recognize CD1d-sulfatide complexes by a distinct recognition mechanism characterized by the TCR-binding features of both iNKT cells and conventional peptide-reactive T cells.


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