Mhc Functions Of

Janice Riberdy and Peter Doherty, St Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, USA

Copyright © 1998 Elsevier Ltd. All Rights Reserved.

Genes mapping to the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) encode the cell surface glycoproteins (class I and class II) recognized by self-monitoring and alloreactive T lymphocytes, the LMP2 and LMP7 components of the proteasome complex, two chains that comprise the transporter associated with antigen-processing (TAP) complex, the a and p chains of the H2M (mouse) or HLA-DM (human) molecule, the C4 component of the complement cascade, and the a and (3 forms of tumor necrosis factor (TNF). The MHC class I molecules were initially identified as the strong transplantation antigens, while the class II glycoproteins were first described as the immune response (Ir) gene products. In addition to the class I genes H2-K, H2-D and H2-L (mice) and HLA-A, -B, and -C (humans), there are multiple loci for class lb genes, H2-Q, T, and M (mouse) and HLA-E, F, G, H, I and J (human). DNA sequence analysis has also demonstrated the existence of many more genes that have not been associated with any product. Whether there is an underlying biological reason why this set of genes should be inherited as a complex has not been clarified.

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