Domains of interaction between alpha interferon and its receptor components

Uze, G.; Di Marco, S.; Mouchel-Vielh, E.; Monneron, D.; Bandu, M. T.; Horisberger, M. A.; Dorques, A.; Lutfalla, G.; Mogensen, K. E.

Journal of molecular biology

1994-10-21 / vol 243 / pages 245-57


We describe how constraints on the binding of human interferons (IFNs), alpha1 and alpha2 and alpha8 on mouse cells are partially relieved by the expression of the bovine (Bo) or human (Hu) IFN alpha/beta receptor (IFNAR) component in these cells. We show that, while the binding of all three is substantially increased by the transfection of Bo IFNAR, it is accompanied by an increase in activity only in the case of alpha2 and alpha8 (IFNs that otherwise have little activity on mouse cells). IFN alpha1, which shows some partial activity on mouse cells, responds to the presence of Bo IFNAR by acting, at low concentrations, as a competitive antagonist to IFNs alpha2 and alpha8. A review of published results on IFN hybrid scanning and on the effects of expressing Bo IFNAR in human cells led us to propose that an N-terminal segment of the IFN molecule interacts directly with IFNAR. Applying site-directed mutagenesis to an IFN hybrid; alpha8[60]alpha1[92]alpha8, we show that the point mutations K84 to E84 and Y90 to D90 act synergistically to cause the hybrid to behave as the parental IFN alpha8, switching the preference from Mu to Hu IFNAR in transfected mouse cells. The published structural models for IFN reveal that positions 84 and 90 span the exposed residues of the alpha-helix C of the IFN molecule. We derive a model of IFN-receptor interaction in which the A helix and the C helix of IFN interact with IFNAR and in which a binding phase can be distinguished from a binding/activity phase. We propose that the so-called “hot” domains of the IFN molecule (the AB loop and the D helix) are presented by IFNAR to interact with an additional component of the functional receptor.

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Humans; Animals; Mice; Cell Line; Binding Sites; Structure-Activity Relationship; Cattle; Binding, Competitive; Interferon-alpha/*metabolism; Membrane Proteins; Models, Chemical; Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta; Receptors, Interferon/*metabolism; Recombinant Proteins/metabolism

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