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Crystal structures of murine and human Histamine-Releasing Factor (HRF/TCTP) and a model for HRF dimerisation in mast cell activation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-222
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Immunology
Early online date5 Dec 2017
Accepted/In press22 Nov 2017
E-pub ahead of print5 Dec 2017
PublishedJan 2018


King's Authors


In allergic disease, mast cell activation is conventionally triggered by allergen-mediated cross-linking of receptor-bound IgE on the cell surface. In addition to its diverse range of intracellular roles in apoptosis, cell proliferation and cancer, Histamine-Releasing Factor (HRF) also activates mast cells and basophils. A subset of IgE antibodies bind HRF through their Fab regions, and two IgE binding sites on HRF have been mapped. HRF can form dimers, and a disulphide-linked dimer is critical for activity. The current model for the activity of HRF in mast cell activation involves cross-linking of receptor-bound IgE by dimeric HRF, mediated by HRF/Fab interactions. HRF crystal and solution structures have provided little insight into either the formation of disulphide-linked HRF dimers or the ability of HRF to activate mast cells. We report the first crystal structure of murine HRF (mHRF) to 4.0 Å resolution, revealing a conserved fold. We also solved the structure of human HRF (hHRF) in two new crystal forms, one at the highest resolution (1.4 Å) yet reported. The high resolution hHRF structure reveals a disulphide-linked dimer, in which the two molecules are closely associated, and provides a model for the role of both human and murine HRF in mast cell activation.

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