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Crystal structures that model T cell receptor (TCR)-mediated nickel allergy

Crystal structures that model TCR-mediated nickel allergy could help identify new strategies to treat or prevent the condition. Crystal structures were solved for two peptides bound to the major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII) molecule DR52c, which is known to bind nickel ions, and of a peptide-DR52c complexed with a TCR. Analysis of the crystal structures and additional in vitro studies identified a candidate nickel ion binding site in DR52c. Next steps could include using the crystal structures to develop compounds to disrupt the interaction between DR52c and nickel ions.

SciBX 5(45); doi:10.1038/scibx.2012.1189
Published online Nov. 15, 2012

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Yin, L. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA; published online Oct. 22, 2012;
Contact: Shaodong Dai, National Jewish Health, Denver, Colo.
Contact: John W. Kappler, same affiliation as above