New Paradigm in NKT Cell Antigens: MCS-0208 (2-(Hydroxymethyl)phenylthio-phytoceramide) - an Aryl-Phytoceramide Compound with a Single Hydroxyl Group Stimulates NKT Cells

Roser Borràs-Tudurí, Anna Alcaide, Sandrine Aspeslag, Lorena Usero, Carmen Serra, Carme Roura-Mir, Dirk Elewaut, Amadeu Llebaria

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Natural Killer T (NKT) cells play an important role in the immune response and can be activated by glycolipids presented by CD1d protein. We present MCS-0208, an unprecedented arylthioether-phytoceramide able to induce potent invariant NKT (iNKT) cell activation, notably when tested in human iNKT cells. This arylsphingolipid analog has a simple phenyl group containing a single hydroxyl substituent as a surrogate of the sugar ring. The phenylthioether structure contrasts with α-galactosylceramide (1), the prototypical glycolipid used to induce iNKT cell stimulation, where the galactose 2'-OH and 3'-OH substituents are accepted as the minimal footprint and considered critical for NKT T cell receptor (TCR) recognition. A computational study supports the recognition of aromatic compound by the CD1d and TCR proteins as radically new structures for NKT cell stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2491-2496
Number of pages6
JournalChemMedChem
Volume16
Issue number16
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Aug 2021

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