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MHC class I dimer formation by alteration of the cellular redox environment and induction of apoptosis

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Dinara Makhadiyeva, Lorraine Lam, Mohammad Moatari, Jasmine Vallance, Ying Zheng, Elaine C. Campbell, Simon J. Powis

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Many MHC class I molecules contain unpaired cysteine residues in their cytoplasmic tail domains, the function of which remains relatively uncharacterized. Recently, it has been shown that in the small secretory vesicles known as exosomes, fully folded MHC class I dimers can form through a disulphide bond between the cytoplasmic tail domain cysteines, induced by the low levels of glutathione in these extracellular vesicles. Here we address whether similar MHC class I dimers form in whole cells by alteration of the redox environment. Treatment of the HLA-B27-expressing EpsteinBarr virus-transformed B-cell line Jesthom, and the leukaemic T-cell line CEM transfected with HLA-B27 with the strong oxidant diamide, and the apoptosis-inducing and glutathione-depleting agents hydrogen peroxide and thimerosal, induced MHC class I dimers. Furthermore, induction of apoptosis by cross-linking FasR/CD95 on CEM cells with monoclonal antibody CH-11 also induced MHC class I dimers. As with exosomal MHC class I dimers, the formation of these structures on cells is controlled by the cysteine at position 325 in the cytoplasmic tail domain of HLA-B27. Therefore, the redox environment of cells intimately controls induction of MHC class I dimers, the formation of which may provide novel structures for recognition by the immune system.



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-139
Number of pages7
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2012

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