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Immunology. 2003 Oct;110(2):163-9.

The MHC class I antigen presentation pathway: strategies for viral immune evasion.

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School of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


Presumably because of the selective pressure exerted by the immune system, many viruses have evolved proteins that interfere with antigen presentation by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. These viruses utilize a whole variety of ingenious strategies to inhibit the MHC class I pathway. Viral proteins have been characterized that exploit bottlenecks in the MHC class I pathway, such as peptide translocation by the transporter associated with antigen processing. Alternatively, viral proteins can cause the degradation or mislocalization of MHC class I molecules. This is often achieved by the subversion of the host cell's own protein degradation and trafficking pathways. As a consequence elucidation of how these viral proteins act to subvert host cell function will continue to give important insights not only into virus-host interactions but also the function and mechanism of cellular pathways.

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