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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Jan 1;88(1):301-4.

Reassociation with beta 2-microglobulin is necessary for Db class I major histocompatibility complex binding of an exogenous influenza peptide.

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  • 1Division of Lymphocyte Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA 02115.


A synthetic peptide corresponding to residues 365-380 of the influenza nucleoprotein (NP365-380) has been previously shown to associate with class I major histocompatibility complex-encoded molecules and to stimulate cytotoxic T lymphocytes [Townsend, A. R. M., Rothbard, J., Gotch, F. M., Bahadur, G., Wraith, D. & McMichael, A. J. (1986) Cell 44, 959-968]. We find that intact Db class I heterodimers on the cell surface are unreceptive to binding this antigen. However, NP365-380 readily associates with Db molecules on the plasma membrane in the presence of exogenous beta 2-microglobulin. In addition, there is a second pathway through which this peptide associates with class I molecules that requires energy and de novo protein synthesis. These findings have implications for maintaining the immunological identity of cells and for the use of peptides as vaccines for priming cytolytic T-cell immunity.

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