The HLA Ligandome Comprises a Limited Repertoire of O-GlcNAcylated Antigens Preferentially Associated With HLA-B*07:02

Soumya Mukherjee, Alvaro Sanchez-Bernabeu, Laura C. Demmers, Wei Wu, Albert J.R. Heck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Mass-spectrometry based immunopeptidomics has provided unprecedented insights into antigen presentation, not only charting an enormous ligandome of self-antigens, but also cancer neoantigens and peptide antigens harbouring post-translational modifications. Here we concentrate on the latter, focusing on the small subset of HLA Class I peptides (less than 1%) that has been observed to be post-translationally modified (PTM) by a O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc). Just like neoantigens these modified antigens may have specific immunomodulatory functions. Here we compiled from literature, and a new dataset originating from the JY B cell lymphoblastoid cell line, a concise albeit comprehensive list of O-GlcNAcylated HLA class I peptides. This cumulative list of O-GlcNAcylated HLA peptides were derived from normal and cancerous origin, as well as tissue specimen. Remarkably, the overlap in detected O-GlcNAcylated HLA peptides as well as their source proteins is strikingly high. Most of the O-GlcNAcylated HLA peptides originate from nuclear proteins, notably transcription factors. From this list, we extract that O-GlcNAcylated HLA Class I peptides are preferentially presented by the HLA-B*07:02 allele. This allele loads peptides with a Proline residue anchor at position 2, and features a binding groove that can accommodate well the recently proposed consensus sequence for O-GlcNAcylation, P(V/A/T/S)g(S/T), essentially explaining why HLA-B*07:02 is a favoured binding allele. The observations drawn from the compiled list, may assist in the prediction of novel O-GlcNAcylated HLA antigens, which will be best presented by patients harbouring HLA-B*07:02 or related alleles that use Proline as anchoring residue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number796584
JournalFrontiers in immunology
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021


  • HLA
  • HLA-B*07:02
  • MHC
  • O-GlcNAcylation modification
  • immunopeptidome
  • neo-antigen


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