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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1999 Feb 24;255(3):591-5.

Thimet oligopeptidase (EC, a novel protein on the route of MHC class I antigen presentation.

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Department of Parasitology, Microbiology, and Immunology, School of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, 14049-900, Brazil.


The initial processing of antigens leading to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I antigenic peptides is carried out by the proteasome. However, how the final epitopes are generated and protected from degradation by cytosolic peptidases remains unknown. Coincidentally, peptides associated with the MHC class I molecules range from 8 to 13 amino acid residues, similarly to the optimum substrate size required for the cytosolic thimet oligopeptidase. Here we have investigated the putative intracellular function of thimet oligopeptidase related to antigen presentation. Using a well-characterized antigen-presenting cell system, we were able to demonstrate either inhibition or stimulation of CD8 T cell proliferation and cytotoxicity, manipulating intracellular thimet oligopeptidase levels with its specific inhibitor cFP-Ala-Ala-Tyr-pAb or loading the enzyme itself into the antigen-presenting cells. Our results suggest that thimet oligopeptidase should take an important function in the pathway of antigen presentation via MHC class I through a mechanism yet unknown.

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