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Cell. 1989 Jul 28;58(2):305-15.

Presentation of CMV immediate-early antigen to cytolytic T lymphocytes is selectively prevented by viral genes expressed in the early phase.

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Department of Virology University of Ulm, Federal Republic of Germany.


The regulation of antigen processing and presentation to MHC class I-restricted cytolytic T lymphocytes was studied in cells infected with murine cytomegalovirus. Recognition by cytolytic T lymphocytes of the phosphoprotein pp89, the immunodominant viral antigen expressed in the immediate-early phase of infection, was selectively prevented during the subsequent expression of viral early genes. The surface expression of MHC class I glycoproteins and their capacity to present externally added pp89-derived antigenic peptides were not affected. Because recognition of several other antigens occurred during the early phase, a general failure in processing and presentation was excluded. Since neither rate of synthesis, amount, stability, nor nuclear transport of pp89 was modified, the failure in recognition indicates a selective interference with pp89 antigen processing and presentation.

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