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Immunity. 1995 Nov;3(5):591-600.

The membrane-bound and soluble forms of HLA-G bind identical sets of endogenous peptides but differ with respect to TAP association.

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Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington 98104-2092, USA.


The class Ib antigen HLA-G is expressed as a membrane-bound protein like classical class Ia molecules (M.HLA-G) but, unlike typical class I, is also expressed as a soluble protein (S.HLA-G) with a unique C terminus. Our results show that, similar to classical class I proteins, the membrane-bound form of HLA-G associated with TAP, as evidenced by the ability to immunoprecipitate HLA-G class I heavy chain with TAP antisera. In contrast, the soluble G protein did not appear to associate with TAP in the same manner, since similar immunoprecipitation experiments failed to detect soluble G complex. A detailed analysis of peptides bound to the soluble and membrane HLA-G proteins expressed in the B lymphoblastoid cell line 721.221 showed that, like class Ia complexes, both HLA-G proteins consist of heavy and light chains complexed with nonameric peptides in a 1:1:1 ratio. The two proteins bind essentially the same set of peptides, which are derived from a variety of intracellular proteins and define a peptide motif for HLA-G. The peptides contain Leu at the C terminus and Pro or small hydrophobic amino acids in position 3 followed by Pro or Gly in position 4. The complexity of the bound peptides is lower than that found for some class Ia complexes, but is more similar to class Ia than to the limited repertoire of some murine class Ib molecules.

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