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Int Immunol. 1994 Jan;6(1):101-11.

Class II histocompatibility molecules associate with calnexin during assembly in the endoplasmic reticulum.

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  • 1Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905.


Class II histocompatibility antigens are composed of polymorphic alpha and beta polypeptides which associate in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) with a third, non-polymorphic invariant polypeptide (Ii). The alpha beta Ii complexes are subsequently transported through the Golgi to the endosomes, where the Ii chain dissociates before the alpha beta complex is transported to the cell surface. Results from transport-defective class II expression variant studies suggest that class II intracellular transport is regulated in multiple intracellular compartments. Consistent with this, a large number of studies have demonstrated that protein folding and/or oligomerization is facilitated in the ER by a class of proteins collectively known as molecular chaperones. In this report, we show that the ER-resident protein calnexin associates with human and murine class II antigens. Specifically, calnexin associates in the ER with free Ii polypeptides and partially assembled wild-type class II complexes, including A alpha and/or A alpha Ii complexes, as well as with alpha beta dimers isolated from class II transport-defective cells. Calnexin also physically associates with alpha beta Ii complexes, but not with mature alpha beta dimers. These results suggest that calnexin may regulate class II intracellular transport by facilitating the production of transport competent molecules out of the ER. In addition, we report that the nucleotide sequence of the gene encoding murine calnexin shows a high degree of homology to human IP90 and dog calnexin at both the nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequence level. The isolation of cDNA fragments encoding murine calnexin will allow us to further evaluate the functional consequences of calnexin-class II interaction.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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