Author(s): Brown MG, Driscoll J, Monaco JJ
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Abstract Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules associate with peptides derived from endogenously synthesized antigens. Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes can thus scan class I molecules and bound peptide on the surface of cells for foreign antigenic determinants. Recent evidence demonstrates that the products of trans-acting, non-class I genes in the class II region of the MHC are required in the class I antigen-processing pathway. There are genes (called HAM1 and HAM2 in the mouse) in this region that encode proteins postulated to be involved in the transport of peptide fragments into the endoplasmic reticulum for association with newly synthesized class I molecules. But, the mechanism by which such peptide fragments are produced remains a mystery. At least two genes encoding subunits of the low-molecular mass polypeptide (LMP) complex are tightly linked to the HAM1 and HAM2 genes. We show that the LMP complex is closely related to the proteasome (multicatalytic proteinase complex), an intracellular protein complex that has multiple proteolytic activities. We speculate that the LMP complex may have a role in MHC class I antigen processing, and therefore that the MHC contains a cluster of genes required for distinct functions in the antigen processing pathway.
This article was published in Nature
and referenced in Journal of Drug Metabolism & Toxicology