Synthetic peptides corresponding to structural regions of HLA molecules are novel immunosuppressive agents. A peptide corresponding to residues 65-79 of the α-chain of HLA-DQA03011 (DQ65-79) blocks cell cycle progression from early G1 to the G1 restriction point, which inhibits cyclin-dependent kinase-2 activity and phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma protein. A yeast two-hybrid screen identified proliferating cell nuclear Ag (PCNA) as a cellular ligand for this peptide, whose interaction with PCNA was further confirmed by in vitro biochemistry. Electron microscopy demonstrates that the DQ65-79 peptide enters the cell and colocalizes with PCNA in the T cell nucleus in vivo. Binding of the DQ65-79 peptide to PCNA did not block polymerase δ (pol δ)-dependent DNA replication in vitro. These findings support a key role for PCNA as a sensor of cell cycle progression and reveal an unanticipated function for conserved regions of HLA molecules.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy