Killer cell immunoglobulin receptors and T cell receptors bind peptide-major histocompatibility complex class I with distinct thermodynamic and kinetic properties.
Maenaka K., Juji T., Nakayama T., Wyer JR., Gao GF., Maenaka T., Zaccai NR., Kikuchi A., Yabe T., Tokunaga K., Tadokoro K., Stuart DI., Jones EY., van der Merwe PA.
Human natural killer cells and a subset of T cells express a repertoire of killer cell immunoglobulin receptors (KIRs) that recognize major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. KIRs and T cell receptors (TCRs) bind in a peptide-dependent manner to overlapping regions of peptide-MHC class I complexes. KIRs with two immunoglobulin domains (KIR2Ds) recognize distinct subsets of HLA-C alleles. Here we use surface plasmon resonance to study the binding of soluble forms of KIR2DL1 and KIR2DL3 to several peptide-HLA-Cw7 complexes. KIR2DL3 bound to the HLA-Cw7 allele presenting the peptide RYRPGTVAL with a 1:1 stoichiometry and an affinity (K(d) approximately 7 microM at 25 degrees C) within the range of values measured for other cell-cell recognition molecules, including the TCR. Although KIR2DL1 is reported not to recognize the HLA-Cw7 allele in functional assays, it bound RYRPGTVAL/HLA-Cw7, albeit with a 10-20-fold lower affinity. TCR/peptide-MHC interactions are characterized by comparatively slow kinetics and unfavorable entropic changes (Willcox, B. E., Gao, G. F., Wyer, J. R. , Ladbury, J. E., Bell, J. I., Jakobsen, B. K., and van der Merwe, P. A. (1999) Immunity 10, 357-365), suggesting that binding is accompanied by conformational adjustments. In contrast, we show that KIR2DL3 binds RYRPGTVAL/HLA-Cw7 with fast kinetics and a favorable binding entropy, consistent with rigid body association. These results indicate that KIR/peptide-MHC class I interactions have properties typical of other cell-cell recognition molecules, and they highlight the unusual nature of TCR/peptide-MHC recognition.