The CD58 binding site on human CD2 was recently shown by nuclear magnetic resonance structural data in conjunction with site-directed mutagenesis to be a highly charged surface area covering approximately 770A2 on the major AGFCC'C" face of the CD2 immunoglobulin-like (Ig-like) NH2-terminal domain. Here we have identified the other binding surface of the CD2-CD58 adhesion pair by mutating charged residues shared among CD2 ligands (human CD58, sheep CD58, and human CD48) that are predicted to be solvent exposed on a molecular model of the Ig-like adhesion domain of human CD58. This site includes beta strand residues along the C strand (E25, K29, and K30), in the middle of the C' strand (E37) and in the G strand (K87). In addition, several residues on the CC' loop (K32, D33, and K34) form this site. Thus, the interaction between CD2 and CD58 involves the major beta sheet surface of each adhesion domain. Possible docking orientations for the CD2-CD58 molecular complex are offered. Strict conservation of human and sheep CD58 residues within the involved C and C' strands and CC' loop suggests that this region is particularly important for stable formation of the CD2-CD58 complex. The analysis of this complex offers molecular insight into the nature of a receptor-ligand pair involving two Ig family members.

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