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First crystal structure of murine HRF solved.Crystal structure of human HRF solved at the highest resolution yet reported.Human HRF structure contains a disulphide-linked dimer.Dimer reveals a model for the role of human and murine HRF in mast cell activation.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.