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Eur J Immunol. 1994 Aug;24(8):1863-8.

Presentation of viral antigens restricted by H-2Kb, Db or Kd in proteasome subunit LMP2- and LMP7-deficient cells.

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Microbiology and Tumor Biology Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden.


In the class II region of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC(, four genes implicated in MHC class I-mediated antigen processing have been described. Two genes (TAP1 and TAP2) code for multimembrane-spanning ATP-binding transporter proteins and two genes (LMP2 and LMP7) code for subunits of the proteasome. While TAP1 and TAP2 have been shown to transport antigenic peptides from the cytosol into the endoplasmic reticulum, where the peptides associate with MHC class I molecules, the role of LMP2/7 in antigen presentation is less clear. Using antigen processing mutant T2 cells that lack TAP1/2 and LMP2/7 genes, it was recently shown that expression of TAP1/2 alone was sufficient for processing and presentation of the influenza matrix protein M1 as well as the minor histocompatibility antigen HA-2 by HLA-A2. To understand if presentation of a broader range of viral antigens occurs in the absence of LMP2/7, we transfected T2 cells with TAP1, TAP2 and either of the H-2Kb, Db or Kd genes and tested their ability to present vesicular stomatitis vires and influenza virus antigens to virus-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. We found that T2 cells, expressing TAP1/2 gene products, presented all tested viral antigens restricted through either the H-2Kb, Db or Kd class I molecules. We conclude that the proteasome subunits LMP2/7 as well as other gene products in the MHC class II region, except from TAP1/2, are not generally necessary for presentation of a broader panel of viral antigens to cytotoxic T cells. However, the present results do not exclude that LMP2/7 in a more subtle way may, or in rare cases completely, affect processing of antigen for presentation by MHC class I molecules.

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