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Nature. 1995 Nov 30;378(6556):457-62.

The structure of an intermediate in class II MHC maturation: CLIP bound to HLA-DR3.

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Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138, USA.


A complex between HLA-DR3 and a fragment of invariant chain called CLIP was isolated from a human cell line defective in antigen presentation and its X-ray crystal structure determined. Previous data indicate that this complex is an intermediate in class II histocompatibility maturation, occurring between invariant chain-DR3 and antigenic peptide-DR3 complexes. The structure shows that the CLIP fragment binds to DR3 in a way almost identical to that in which antigenic peptides bind class II histocompatibility glycoproteins. The structure is the substrate for the loading of antigenic peptides by an exchange process catalysed by DM.

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