Expression of HLA class I antigens in transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP)-deficient mutant cell lines.
Young NT., Mulder A., Cerundolo V., Claas FH., Welsh KI.
Cells lacking expression of the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) are deficient in surface HLA class I, yet express reduced levels of HLA-A2 antigen through TAP-independent processing pathways. We have analysed the expression of HLA-A, -B and -C antigens on the 721.174 and T2 TAP-deficient mutant cell lines using a panel of monoclonal antibodies specific for the HLA antigens encoded by the genotype of these cells. Our study has shown the constitutive expression of HLA-Cw1 molecules on the cell surface of both T2 and 721.174 cells and has confirmed that HLA-A2 and HLA-B51 are expressed at low levels. Transfection of 721.174 cells with cDNAs encoding TAP1 and TAP2 proteins did not fully restore HLA class I antigen expression on these cells, which appeared to be mainly due to a deficiency in expression of the HLA-B51-associated Bw4 epitope. This suggests that additional antigen-processing genes may be required for optimal generation of HLA-B-binding peptides. Our results indicate that TAP-independent pathways of antigen-processing provide peptides for functional expression of all three classical HLA class I molecules.