Molecular basis for herpesvirus entry mediator recognition by the human immune inhibitory receptor CD160 and its relationship to the cosignaling molecules BTLA and LIGHT

J Mol Biol. 2011 Nov 4;413(4):762-72. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2011.09.018. Epub 2011 Sep 19.


CD160 was recently identified as a T cell coinhibitory molecule that interacts with the herpesvirus entry mediator (HVEM) on antigen-presenting cells to deliver a potent inhibitory signal to CD4(+) T cells. HVEM also binds to the coinhibitory receptor BTLA (B- and T-lymphocyte attenuator) and the costimulatory receptor LIGHT (which is homologous to lymphotoxins, exhibits inducible expression, and competes with the herpes simplex virus glycoprotein D for HVEM, a receptor expressed by T lymphocytes, or TNFSF14), thus regulating the CD160/BTLA/LIGHT/HVEM signaling pathway. To date, the detailed properties of the formation of these complexes, especially HVEM binding to the newly identified receptor CD160, and the relationship of CD160 with BTLA and LIGHT are still unclear. We performed N-terminal sequencing and a mass spectrometric analysis, which revealed that the extracellular domain of CD160 exists primarily in the monomeric form. The surface plasmon resonance analysis revealed that CD160 binds directly to the cysteine-rich domain 1-3 of HVEM with a similar affinity to, but slower dissociation rate than, that of BTLA. Notably, CD160 competed with BTLA for binding to HVEM; in contrast, LIGHT did not affect HVEM binding to either CD160 or BTLA. The results of a mutagenesis study of HVEM also suggest that the CD160 binding region on HVEM was slightly different from, but overlapped with, the BTLA binding site. Interestingly, an anti-CD160 antibody exhibiting antiangiogenic properties blocked CD160/HVEM binding. These results provide insight into the molecular architecture of the CD160/BTLA/LIGHT/HVEM signaling complex that regulates immune function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antigens, CD / chemistry
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism*
  • Binding Sites
  • Cell Line
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / chemistry
  • GPI-Linked Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Models, Molecular
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutant Proteins / genetics
  • Mutant Proteins / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Multimerization*
  • Receptors, Immunologic / chemistry
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Member 14 / chemistry
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Member 14 / genetics
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Member 14 / metabolism*
  • Sequence Analysis, Protein
  • Surface Plasmon Resonance
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 14 / chemistry
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 14 / metabolism*


  • Antigens, CD
  • BTLA protein, human
  • CD160 protein, human
  • GPI-Linked Proteins
  • Mutant Proteins
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor, Member 14
  • TNFRSF14 protein, human
  • TNFSF14 protein, human
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor Ligand Superfamily Member 14