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Tissue Antigens. 2008 Jun;71(6):495-506. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0039.2008.01051.x.

Peptides: the cornerstone of HLA-B27 biology and pathogenetic role in spondyloarthritis.

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Centro de Biología Molecular Severo Ochoa, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain.


The association of human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B27 to ankylosing spondylitis is one of the strongest between a major histocompatibility complex molecule and a disease. Yet, the basis for this association remains unknown. Several hypotheses, each based on a particular feature of HLA-B27, guide much of the current research on the pathogenesis of this disease, but none has yet satisfactorily explained its mechanism and the differential association of B27 subtypes to it. In this review, the pathogenetic role of HLA-B27 will be analyzed from a global perspective of its biology, emphasizing the interdependency of multiple molecular features and the likely influence of disease-modifying gene products. From this perspective, peptide binding emerges as the cornerstone of all other biological properties.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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