HLA-F Allele-Specific Peptide Restriction Represents an Exceptional Proteomic Footprint.
Peptide-dependent engagement between human leucocyte antigens class I (HLA-I) molecules and their cognate receptors has been extensively analyzed. HLA-F belongs to the non-classical HLA-Ib molecules with marginal polymorphic nature and tissue restricted distribution. The three common allelic variants HLA-F*01:01/01:03/01:04 are distinguished by polymorphism outside the peptide binding pockets (residue 50, α1 or residue 251, α3) and are therefore not considered relevant for attention. However, peptide selection and presentation undergoes a most elaborated extraction from the whole available proteome. It is known that HLA-F confers a beneficial effect on disease outcome during HIV-1 infections. The interaction with the NK cell receptor initiates an antiviral downstream immune response and lead to delayed disease progression. During the time of HIV infection, HLA-F expression is upregulated, while its interaction with KIR3DS1 is diminished. The non-polymorphic nature of HLA-F facilitates the conclusion that understanding HLA-F peptide selection and presentation is essential to a comprehensive understanding of this dynamic immune response. Utilizing soluble HLA technology we recovered stable pHLA-F*01:01, 01:03 and 01:04 complexes from K562 cells and analyzed the peptides presented. Utilizing a sophisticated LC-MS-method, we analyzed the complete K562 proteome and matched the peptides presented by the respective HLA-F subtypes with detected proteins. All peptides featured a length of 8 to 24 amino acids and are not N-terminally anchored; the C-terminus is preferably anchored by Lys. To comprehend the alteration of the pHLA-F surface we structurally compared HLA-F variants bound to selected peptides. The peptides were selected from the same cellular content; however, no overlap between the proteomic source of F*01:01, 01:03 or 01:04 selected peptides could be observed. Recognizing the balance between HLA-F expression, HLA-F polymorphism and peptide selection will support to understand the role of HLA-F in viral pathogenesis.