H–2 class I antigens appear to direct the recognition of virus-infected and neoplastic transformed cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs)1,2. Here, to identify the regions of class I antigens involved in CTL recognition, four hybrid class I genes were constructed in which exons were exchanged between the H–2Kband H–2Db genes3,4. These class I genes were expressed in mouse L cells and recognition of the hybrid Kb/Dbantigens by CTLs and monoclonal antibodies specific for either Kb or Db was investigated4. The pattern of CTL and monoclonal antibody recognition obtained indicates three correlations between structure and function of class I antigens. First, most CTL recognition sites and alloantigenic determinants are located on domains 1 and 2 of the antigen molecule. Second, these CTL recognition sites and alloantigenic determinants are not influenced by interaction of domains 1 and 2 with polymorphic regions of domain 3. Third, in contrast, interaction between domains 1 and 2 alters these CTL recognition sites and alloantigenic determinants. The alteration of CTL recognition sites by interaction between domains 1 and 2 suggests that a CTL site may be formed by amino acids from both domains 1 and 2, or that the conformation of amino acids at a CTL site may be altered by interactions between domains 1 and 2. Through these two features, the conformation of CTL recognition sites on H–2 class I antigens may be sensitive to alteration by interaction of either domain 1 or 2 with viral antigens.
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Allen, H., Wraith, D., Pala, P. et al. Domain interactions of H–2 class I antigens alter cytotoxic T-cell recognition sites. Nature 309, 279–281 (1984). https://doi.org/10.1038/309279a0
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