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Immunity. 1996 Aug;5(2):115-24.

A single residue exchange within a viral CTL epitope alters proteasome-mediated degradation resulting in lack of antigen presentation.

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Department of Immunohematology, Academic Hospital Leiden, The Netherlands.


CTL epitope (KSPWFTTL) encoded by AKV/MCF type of murine leukemia virus (MuLV) differs from the sequence in Friend/Moloney/Rauscher (FMR) type in one residue (RSPWFTTL). CTL experiments indicated defective processing of the FMR peptide in tumor cells. Proteasome-mediated digestion of AKV/MCF-type 26-mer peptides resulted in the early generation and higher levels of epitope-containing fragments than digestion of FMR-type peptides, explained by prominent cleavage next to R in the FMR sequence. The fragments were identified as 10- and 11-mer peptides and were efficiently translocated by TAP. The naturally presented AKV/MCF peptide is the 8-mer, indicating ER peptide trimming. In conclusion, a single residue exchange can cause CTL epitope destruction by specific proteasomal cleavage.

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