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J Immunol. 2005 Oct 15;175(8):5104-14.

Critical role for the tapasin-docking site of TAP2 in the functional integrity of the MHC class I-peptide-loading complex.

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  • 1University of Cologne, Institute for Genetics, Cologne, Germany.


The transporter associated with Ag processing (TAP) translocates antigenic peptides into the endoplasmic reticulum for binding onto MHC class I (MHC I) molecules. Tapasin organizes a peptide-loading complex (PLC) by recruiting MHC I and accessory chaperones to the N-terminal regions (N domains) of the TAP subunits TAP1 and TAP2. To investigate the function of the tapasin-docking sites of TAP in MHC I processing, we expressed N-terminally truncated variants of TAP1 and TAP2 in combination with wild-type chains, as fusion proteins or as single subunits. Strikingly, TAP variants lacking the N domain in TAP2, but not in TAP1, build PLCs that fail to generate stable MHC I-peptide complexes. This correlates with a substantially reduced recruitment of accessory chaperones into the PLC demonstrating their important role in the quality control of MHC I loading. However, stable surface expression of MHC I can be rescued in post-endoplasmic reticulum compartments by a proprotein convertase-dependent mechanism.

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