Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

T cells use their T-cell receptors (TCRs) to scan other cells for antigenic peptides presented by MHC molecules (pMHC). If a TCR encounters a pMHC, it can trigger a signalling pathway that could lead to the activation of the T cell and the initiation of an immune response. It is currently not clear how the binding of pMHC to the TCR initiates signalling within the T cell. One hypothesis is that conformational changes in the TCR lead to further downstream signalling. Here we investigate four different TCRs in their free state as well as in their pMHC bound state using large scale molecular simulations totalling 26 000 ns. We find that the dynamical features within TCRs differ significantly between unbound TCR and TCR/pMHC simulations. However, apart from expected results such as reduced solvent accessibility and flexibility of the interface residues, these features are not conserved among different TCR types. The presence of a pMHC alone is not sufficient to cause cross-TCR-conserved dynamical features within a TCR. Our results argue against models of TCR triggering involving conserved allosteric conformational changes.

Original publication

DOI

10.1371/journal.pcbi.1007338

Type

Journal article

Journal

PLoS Comput Biol

Publication Date

09/2019

Volume

15