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Arginine (Di)methylated Human Leukocyte Antigen Class I Peptides Are Favorably Presented by HLA-B*07

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posted on 08.08.2016, 00:00 authored by Fabio Marino, Geert P. M. Mommen, Anita Jeko, Hugo D. Meiring, Jacqueline A. M. van Gaans-van den Brink, Richard A. Scheltema, Cécile A. C. M. van Els, Albert J. R. Heck
Alterations in protein post-translational modification (PTM) are recognized hallmarks of diseases. These modifications potentially provide a unique source of disease-related human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I-presented peptides that can elicit specific immune responses. While phosphorylated HLA peptides have already received attention, arginine methylated HLA class I peptide presentation has not been characterized in detail. In a human B-cell line we detected 149 HLA class I peptides harboring mono- and/or dimethylated arginine residues by mass spectrometry. A striking preference was observed in the presentation of arginine (di)­methylated peptides for HLA-B*07 molecules, likely because the binding motifs of this allele resemble consensus sequences recognized by arginine methyl-transferases. Moreover, HLA-B*07-bound peptides preferentially harbored dimethylated groups at the P3 position, thus consecutively to the proline anchor residue. Such a proline-arginine sequence has been associated with the arginine methyl-transferases CARM1 and PRMT5. Making use of the specific neutral losses in fragmentation spectra, we found most of the peptides to be asymmetrically dimethylated, most likely by CARM1. These data expand our knowledge of the processing and presentation of arginine (di)­methylated HLA class I peptides and demonstrate that these types of modified peptides can be presented for recognition by T-cells. HLA class I peptides with mono- and dimethylated arginine residues may therefore offer a novel target for immunotherapy.