April 2019
Vol 4, Issue 34

About The Cover

Cover image expansion

ONLINE COVER Superagonist Autoantigen. Featured on the cover is a computer-generated illustration of a 3D protein structure showing the α and β chains of a human T cell receptor (TCR) recognizing a high-affinity ligand formed by binding of a modified insulin B-chain peptide to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II antigen HLA-DQ8. Wang et al. used x-ray crystallography to study human and mouse TCR recognition of variant forms of an insulin B-chain peptide. C-terminal modifications of this peptide yield peptide-MHC complexes that are potent ligands for autoreactive diabetogenic T cells. These studies provide fresh insights into the structural features of the peptide ligands that spark early steps in human type 1 diabetes. [CREDIT: JOHN KAPPLER]