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Hum Immunol. 2000 Nov;61(11):1169-76.

Can viruses help us to understand and classify the MHC class I molecules at the maternal-fetal interface?

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Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.


Placental expression of HLA-C, HLA-E, and HLA-G locus products is now well described. However, to date, the functional relevance of these MHC class I products at the maternal-fetal interface is incompletely described. We propose here that HLA-C, -E, and -G comprise a distinct and cohesive group of MHC class I products. This hypothesis is supported by a growing body of data, including that obtained through the study of viral immune evasion. Continued investigation of viral interactions with MHC class I products promises to help us to define those specific attributes of HLA-C, -E, and -G that define their common characteristics.

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