, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 81-89,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 06 Nov 2008

Soluble HLA-DQ2 expressed in S2 cells copurifies with a high affinity insect cell derived protein


We here describe that soluble HLA-DQ2 (sDQ2) molecules, when expressed in Drosophila melanogaster S2 insect cells without a covalently tethered peptide, associate tightly with the D. melanogaster calcium binding protein DCB-45. The interaction between the proteins is stable in S2 cell culture and during affinity purification, which is done at high salt concentrations and pH 11.5. After affinity purification, the sDQ2/DCB-45 complex exists in substantial quantities next to a small amount of free heterodimeric sDQ2 and large amounts of aggregated sDQ2 free of DCB-45. Motivated by the stable complex formation and our interest in the development of reagents which inhibit HLA-DQ2 peptide binding, we have further characterized the sDQ2/DCB-45 interaction. Several lines of evidence indicate that an N-terminal fragment of DCB-45 is involved in the interaction with the peptide binding groove of sDQ2. Further mapping of this fragment of 54 residues identified a pentadecapeptide with high affinity for sDQ2 which may serve as a lead compound for the design of HLA-DQ2 blockers.