New structural and functional aspects of the type I interferon-receptor interaction revealed by comprehensive mutational analysis of the binding interface

J. Piehler, L. C. Roisman, G. Schreiber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations

Abstract

Type I interferons bind to two cell surface receptors, ifnar1 and ifnar2, as the first step in the activation of several signal transduction pathways that elicit an antiviral state and an anti-proliferative response. Here, we quantitatively mapped the complete binding region of ifnar2 on interferon (IFN)α2 by 35 individual mutations to alanine and isosteric residues. Of the six "hot-spot" residues identified (Leu-30, Arg-33, Arg-144, Ala-145, Met-148, and Arg-149), four are located on the E-helix, which is located at the center of the binding site flanked by residues on the A-helix and the AB-loop. The contribution of residues of the D-helix, which have been previously implicated in binding, proved to be marginal for the interaction with the extracellular domain of ifnar2. Interestingly, the ifnar2 binding site overlaps the largest continuous hydrophobic patch on IFNα2. Thus, hydrophobic interactions seem to play a significant role stabilizing this interaction, with the charged residues contributing toward the rapid association of the complex. Relating the anti-viral and anti-proliferative activity of the various interferon mutants with their affinity toward ifnar2 results in linear function over the whole range of affinities investigated, suggesting that ifnar2 binding is the rate-determining step in cellular activation. Dose-time analysis of the anti-viral response revealed that shortening the incubation time of low-level activation cannot be compensated by higher IFN doses. Considering the strict dependence of the cellular response on affinity, these results suggest that for maintaining transcription of IFN-responsive genes over a longer time period, low but continuous signaling through the IFN receptor is essential.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40425-40433
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume275
Issue number51
DOIs
StatePublished - 22 Dec 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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