Ligand binding sites of inducible costimulator and high avidity mutants with improved function

Shengdian Wang, Gefeng Zhu, Koji Tamada, Lieping Chen, Jürgen Bajorath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Interaction between inducible costimulator (ICOS) and its ligand is implicated in the induction of cell-mediated and humoral immune responses. However, the molecular details of this interaction are unknown. We report here a mutagenesis analysis of residues in ICOS that are critical for ligand binding. A three-dimensional model of the extracellular immunoglobulin-like domain of ICOS was used to map the residues conserved within the CD28 family. This analysis identified a surface patch containing the characteristic "PPP" sequence and is conserved in human and mouse ICOS. Mutations in this region of human ICOS reduce or abolish ligand binding. Our results suggest that the ligand binding site in ICOS maps to a region overlapping yet distinct from the CD80/CD86 binding sites in CD28 and cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen (CTLA)-4. Thus, the analysis suggests that differences in ligand binding specificity between these related costimulatory molecules have evolved by utilization of overlapping regions with different patterns of conserved and nonconserved residues. Two site-specific mutants generated in the course of our studies bound ICOS ligand with higher avidity than wild-type ICOS. An S76E mutant protein of ICOS blocked T cell costimulatory function of ICOS ligand and inhibited T cell response to allogeneic antigens superior to wild-type ICOS. Our studies thus identified critical residues involving in ICOS receptor-ligand interaction and provide new modulators for immune responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1033-1041
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Avidity
  • CD28
  • ICOS
  • Molecular model
  • Mutagenesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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