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Immunity. 1997 Mar;6(3):273-81.

The HLA-A*0201-restricted H-Y antigen contains a posttranslationally modified cysteine that significantly affects T cell recognition.

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Department of Chemistry, University of Virginia, Charlottesville 22901, USA.


A peptide recognized by two cytotoxic T cell clones specific for the human minor histocompatibility antigen H-Y and restricted by HLA-A*0201 was identified. This peptide originates from SMCY, as do two other H-Y epitopes, supporting the importance of this protein as a major source of H-Y determinants in mice and humans. In naturally processed peptides, T cells only recognize posttranslationally altered forms of this peptide that have undergone modification of a cysteine residue in the seventh position. One of these modifications involves attachment of a second cysteine residue via a disulfide bond. This modification has profound effects on T cell recognition and also occurs in other class I MHC-associated peptides, supporting its general importance as an immunological determinant.

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