Transport protein genes in the murine MHC: possible implications for antigen processing

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Science  21 Dec 1990:
Vol. 250, Issue 4988, pp. 1723-1726
DOI: 10.1126/science.2270487


T lymphocyte activation requires recognition by the T cell of peptide fragments of foreign antigen bound to a self major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule. Genetic evidence suggests that part of the class II region of the MHC influences the expression, in trans, of MHC class I antigens on the cell surface, by regulating the availability of peptides that bind to and stabilize the class I molecule. Two closely related genes in this region, HAM1 and HAM2, were cloned and had sequence similarities to a superfamily of genes involved in the ATP-dependent transport of a variety of substrates across cell membranes. Thus, these MHC-linked transport protein genes may be involved in transporting antigen, or peptide fragments thereof, from the cytoplasm into a membrane-bounded compartment containing newly synthesized MHC molecules.

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