The structure of the peptide-binding specificity of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I has been analyzed extensively in human and mouse. For fish, there are no crystallographic models of MHC molecules, neither are there data on the peptide-binding specificity. In this study, we describe for the first time the identification of a fish class I peptide-MHC ligand binding motif. Phage display technology using both 7 mer and 12 mer libraries enabled us to identify peptide ligands with unique specificity that interacts with the recombinant Salmon MHC class I molecule. The recombinant proteins, ß2m/SasaUBA*0301, were produced in Escherichia coli, in which the carboxyl terminus of ß2-microglobulin is joined together with a flexible (GGGGS)3 linker to the amino terminus of the heavy chain. One hundred and seven individual phages bound to ß2m/SasaUBA*0301 were isolated after four rounds of panning from the 7 mer random-peptide library. The peptide encoding sequences were determined and peptide alignment led to the prediction of position-specific anchor residue. A prominent proline at position 2 was observed and we predict that it might be one of the anchors at the N-terminus. Meanwhile, phage display peptide library encoding random 12 mer peptides was also screened against ß2m/SasaUBA*0301. Eighty-five percentages of the corresponding peptides have an enrichment of leucine, methionine, valine, or isoleucine at the C-terminus. We predict that this particular allele of Salmon class I molecule might have a very similar binding motif at the C-terminus compared with a known mouse class I molecule H2-Kb which has L, or I, V, M at p8. Previous work showed that Atlantic Salmon carrying the allele SasaUBA*0301 are resistant to infectious Salmon aneamia virus and there is a significant association between MHC polymorphism and the disease resistance. Therefore, our study might contribute to designing a peptide vaccine against this viral disease.
- histocompatibility class-i