Proteasomes are the proteolytic complex responsible for major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-restricted antigen presentation. Interferon gamma treatment increases expression MHC-encoded LMP2 and LMP7 subunits of the proteasome and decreases expression of two proteasome subunits, named X and Y, which alters the proteolytic specificity of proteasomes. Molecular cloning of complementary DNAs encoding X and Y showed that their proteins are proteasomal subunits with high amino acid similarity to LMP7 and LMP2, respectively. Thus, interferon gamma may induce subunit replacements of X and Y by LMP7 and LMP2, respectively, producing proteasomes perhaps more appropriate for the immunological processing of endogenous antigens.

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