Molecular basis of MHC I quality control in the peptide loading complex.
Domnick A., Winter C., Sušac L., Hennecke L., Hensen M., Zitzmann N., Trowitzsch S., Thomas C., Tampé R.
Major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) molecules are central to adaptive immunity. Their assembly, epitope selection, and antigen presentation are controlled by the MHC I glycan through a sophisticated network of chaperones and modifying enzymes. However, the mechanistic integration of the corresponding processes remains poorly understood. Here, we determine the multi-chaperone-client interaction network of the peptide loading complex (PLC) and report the PLC editing module structure by cryogenic electron microscopy at 3.7 Å resolution. Combined with epitope-proofreading studies of the PLC in near-native lipid environment, these data show that peptide-receptive MHC I molecules are stabilized by multivalent chaperone interactions including the calreticulin-engulfed mono-glucosylated MHC I glycan, which only becomes accessible for processing by α-glucosidase II upon loading of optimal epitopes. Our work reveals allosteric coupling between peptide-MHC I assembly and glycan processing. This inter-process communication defines the onset of an adaptive immune response and provides a prototypical example of the tightly coordinated events in endoplasmic reticulum quality control.