Subsets of HLA-DR1 molecules defined by SEB and TSST-1 binding

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Science  16 Dec 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5192, pp. 1874-1878
DOI: 10.1126/science.7997881


Superantigens bind to major histocompatibility complex class II molecules on antigen-presenting cells and stimulate T cells. Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin B (SEB) and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1) bind to the same region of human lymphocyte antigen (HLA)-DR1 but do not compete with each other, which indicates that they bind to different subsets of DR1 molecules. Here, a mutation in the peptide-binding groove disrupted the SEB and TSST-1 binding sites, which suggests that peptides can influence the interaction with bacterial toxins. In support of this, the expression of the DR1 molecule in various cell types differentially affected the binding of these toxins.