Glucocorticoid-induced TNF receptor ligand (GITRL), a recently identified member of the TNF family, binds to its receptor GITR on both effector and regulatory T cells and generates positive costimulatory signals implicated in a wide range of T cell functions. Structural analysis reveals that the human GITRL (hGITRL) ectodomain self-assembles into an atypical expanded homotrimer with sparse monomer-monomer interfaces. Consistent with the small intersubunit interfaces, hGITRL exhibits a relatively weak tendency to trimerize in solution and displays a monomer-trimer equilibrium not reported for other TNF family members. This unique assembly behavior has direct implications for hGITRL-GITR signaling, because enforced trimerization of soluble hGITRL ectodomain results in an ≈100-fold increase in its receptor binding affinity and also in enhanced costimulatory activity. The apparent reduction in affinity that is the consequence of this dynamic equilibrium may represent a mechanism to realize the biologically optimal level of signaling through the hGITRL-GITR pathway, as opposed to the maximal achievable level.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Dec 4 2007|
- Crystal structure
- T cell costimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas