Expression of the mouse MHC class Ib H2-T11 gene product, a paralog of H2-T23 (Qa-1) with shared peptide-binding specificity

Lili Chen, Eduardo Reyes-Vargas, Hu Dai, Hernando Escobar, Brant Rudd, Jared Fairbanks, Alexander Ho, Mathew F. Cusick, Attila Kumánovics, Julio Delgado, Xiao He*, Peter E. Jensen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The mouse MHC class Ib gene H2-T11 is 95% identical at the DNA level to H2-T23, which encodes Qa-1, one of the most studied MHC class Ib molecules. H2-T11 mRNAwas observed to be expressed widely in tissues of C57BL/6 mice, with the highest levels in thymus. To circumvent the availability of a specific mAb, cells were transduced with cDNA encoding T11 with a substituted a3 domain. Hybrid T11D3 protein was expressed at high levels similar to control T23D3 molecules on the surface of both TAP+ and TAP2 cells. Soluble T11D3 was generated by folding in vitro with Qa-1 determinant modifier, the dominant peptide presented by Qa-1. The circular dichroism spectrum of this protein was similar to that of other MHC class I molecules, and it was observed to bind labeled Qa-1 determinant modifier peptide with rapid kinetics. By contrast to the Qa-1 control, T11 tetramers did not react with cells expressing CD94/NKG2A, supporting the conclusion that T11 cannot replace Qa-1 as a ligand for NK cell inhibitory receptors. T11 also failed to substitute for Qa-1 in the presentation of insulin to a Qa-1-restricted T cell hybridoma. Despite divergent function, T11 was observed to share peptide-loading specificity with Qa-1. Direct analysis by tandem mass spectrometry of peptides eluted from T11D3 and T23D3 isolated from Hela cells demonstrated a diversity of peptides with a clear motif that was shared between the two molecules. Thus, T11 is a paralog of T23 encoding an MHC class Ib molecule that shares peptide-binding specificity with Qa-1 but differs in function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1427-1439
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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