CHEMICAL BIOLOGY & DRUG DESIGN, vol.96, no.1, pp.644-658, 2020 (SCI-Expanded)
Behcet's disease is an inflammatory disorder of unknown etiology. Genetic tendency has an important role in its pathogenesis, and HLA-B51, a class I MHC antigen, has been recognized as the strongest susceptibility factor for Behcet's disease. Despite the confirmation of the association of HLA-B51 with Behcet's disease in different populations, its pathogenic mechanisms remain elusive. HLA-B51 differs in only two amino acids from HLA-B52, other split antigen of HLA-B5, which is not associated with Behcet's disease. These two amino acids are located in the B pocket of the antigen-binding groove, which occupies the second amino acids of the bound peptides. To understand the nature of the HLA-peptide interactions, differences in structure and dynamics of two HLA alleles were investigated by molecular dynamics simulations using YAYDGKDYI, LPRSTVINI, and IPYQDLPHL peptides. For HLA-B51, all bound peptides fluctuated to larger extent than HLA-B52. Free energy profiles of unbinding process for YAYDGKDYI by steered molecular dynamics simulations showed that unbinding from HLA-B52 results in greater free energy differences than HLA-B51. These results suggest the possibility of an instability of HLA-B51 associated with the repertoire of peptides, and this finding may provide significant insight to its pathogenic role in Behcet's disease.