Author response: Molecular features underlying differential SHP1/SHP2 binding of immune checkpoint receptors
A large number of inhibitory receptors recruit SHP1 and/or SHP2, tandem-SH2containing phosphatases through phosphotyrosine-based motifs immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif (ITIM) and immunoreceptor tyrosine-based switch motif (ITSM). Despite the similarity, these receptors exhibit differential effector binding specificities, as exemplified by the immune checkpoint receptors PD-1 and BTLA, which preferentially recruit SHP2 and SHP1, respectively. The molecular basis by which
... ly similar receptors discriminate SHP1 and SHP2 is unclear. Here, we provide evidence that human PD-1 and BTLA optimally bind to SHP1 and SHP2 via a bivalent, parallel mode that involves both SH2 domains of SHP1 or SHP2. PD-1 mainly uses its ITSM to prefer SHP2 over SHP1 via their C-terminal SH2 domains (cSH2): swapping SHP1-cSH2 with SHP2-cSH2 enabled PD-1:SHP1 association in T cells. In contrast, BTLA primarily utilizes its ITIM to prefer SHP1 over SHP2 via their N-terminal SH2 domains (nSH2). The ITIM of PD-1, however, appeared to be de-emphasized due to a glycine at pY+1 position. Substitution of this glycine with alanine, a residue conserved in BTLA and several SHP1-recruiting receptors, was sufficient to induce PD-1:SHP1 interaction in T cells. Finally, structural simulation and mutagenesis screening showed that SHP1 recruitment activity exhibits a bell-shaped dependence on the molecular volume of the pY+1 residue of ITIM. Collectively, we provide a molecular interpretation of the SHP1/SHP2-binding specificities of PD-1 and BTLA, with implications for the mechanisms of a large family of therapeutically relevant receptors.