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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1991 Nov 15;88(22):10094-8.

Two putative subunits of a peptide pump encoded in the human major histocompatibility complex class II region.

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  • 1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115.


The class II region of the human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) may encode several genes controlling the processing of endogenous antigen and the presentation of peptide epitopes by MHC class I molecules to cytotoxic T lymphocytes. A previously described peptide supply factor (PSF1) is a member of the multidrug-resistance family of transporters and may pump cytosolic peptides into the membrane-bound compartment where class I molecules assemble. A second transporter gene, PSF2, was identified 10 kilobases (kb) from PSF1, near the class II DOB gene. The complete sequences of PSF1 and PSF2 were determined from cDNA clones. The translation products are closely related in sequence and predicted secondary structure. Both contain a highly conserved ATP-binding fold and share 25% homology in a hydrophobic domain with a tentative number of eight membrane-spanning segments. Based on the principle dimeric organization of these two domains in other transporters, PSF1 and PSF2 may function as complementary subunits, independently as homodimers, or both. Taken together with previous genetic evidence, the coregulation of PSF1 and PSF2 by gamma interferon and the to-some-degree coordinate transcription of these genes suggest a common role in peptide-loading of class I molecules, although a distinct function of PSF2 cannot be ruled out.

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