Class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) alpha chain immunoglobulin domain
IgC_MHC_I_alpha3; Immunoglobulin (Ig) domain of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I alpha chain. Class I MHC proteins bind antigenic peptide fragments and present them to CD8+ T lymphocytes. Class I molecules consist of a transmembrane alpha chain and a small chain called the beta2 microglobulin. The alpha chain contains three extracellular domains, two of which fold together to form the peptide-binding cleft (alpha1 and alpha2), and one which has an Ig fold (alpha3). Peptide binding to class I molecules occurs in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and involves both chaperones and dedicated factors to assist in peptide loading. Class I MHC molecules are expressed on most nucleated cells.