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Curr Biol. 1998 Jun 4;8(12):713-6.

A role for the thiol-dependent reductase ERp57 in the assembly of MHC class I molecules.

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MRC Protein Phosphorylation Unit, University of Dundee, Scotland.


An important mammalian defence strategy against intracellular pathogens is the presentation of cytoplasmically derived short peptides by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules to cytotoxic T lymphocytes. MHC class I molecules assemble in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) with chaperones, including calnexin and calreticulin, before binding to the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP). We show here that the thiol-dependent reductase ERp57 (also known as ER60 protease) is involved in MHC class I assembly. ERp57 co-purified with the rat TAP complex (comprising TAP1 and TAP2), and associated with MHC class I molecules at an early stage in their biosynthesis. This association was sensitive to castanospermine, which inhibits the processing of glycoproteins. Human MHC class I molecules were also found to associate with ERp57. We conclude that ERp57 is a newly identified component of the MHC class I pathway, and that it appears to interact with MHC class I molecules before they associate with TAP.

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