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Mol Immunol. 2003 Jan;39(12):697-706.

Accessory proteins and the assembly of human class I MHC molecules: a molecular and structural perspective.

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School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut, 372 Fairfield Road U-92, Storrs, CT 06269, USA.


The cell-surface presentation of antigenic peptides by class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules to CD8+ T-cell receptors is part of an immune surveillance mechanism aimed at detecting foreign antigens. This process is initiated in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) with the folding and assembly of class I MHC molecules which are then transported to the cell surface via the secretory pathway. In recent years, several accessory proteins have been identified as key components of the class I maturation process in the ER. These proteins include the lectin chaperones calnexin (CNX) and calreticulin (CRT), the thiol-dependent oxidoreductase ERp57, the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP), and the protein tapasin. This review presents the most recent advances made in characterizing the biochemical and structural properties of these proteins, and discusses how this knowledge advances our current understanding of the molecular events underlying the folding and assembly of human class I MHC molecules in the ER.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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