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To investigate how early events in antigen processing affect the repertoire of peptides presented by MHC class I molecules, we compared the presentation of the influenza A nucleoprotein epitope 265-273 by HLA-A3 class I molecules in human and mouse cells. Mouse cells that express HLA-A3 failed to present the NP265-273 peptide when contained within the full-length nucleoprotein, to HLA-A3-restricted human cytotoxic T lymphocytes. However, when the epitope was generated directly in the cytosol using a recombinant vaccinia virus that expressed the nonamer peptide, mouse cells were recognized by HLA-A3-restricted CTL. Poor transport of the peptide by mouse TAP was not responsible for the defect as co-infection of mouse cells with recombinant vaccinia viruses encoding the full-length nucleoprotein and the human TAP1 and TAP2 peptide transporter complex failed to restore presentation. These results therefore demonstrate a differential processing of the influenza nucleoprotein in mouse and human cells. This polymorphism influences the repertoire of peptides presented by MHC class I molecules at the cell surface.

Original publication




Journal article


European Journal of Immunology

Publication Date





625 - 635