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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The HCMV gene products US11 and US2 differ in their ability to attack allelic forms of murine major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I heavy chains.

Human cytomegalovirus downregulates the expression of human class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules by accelerating destruction of newly synthesized class I heavy chains. The HCMV genome contains at least two genes, US11 and US2, each of which encode a product sufficient for causing the dislocation of newly synthesized class I heavy chains from the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum to the cytosol. Based on a comparison of their abilities to degrade the murine class I molecules H-2Kb, Kd, Db, Dd, and Ld, the US11 and US2 gene products have non-identical specificities for class I molecules. Specifically, in human astrocytoma cells (U373-MG) transfected with the US11 gene, the Kb, Db, Dd, and Ld molecules expressed via recombinant vaccinia virus are rapidly degraded, whereas in US2-transfected cells, only Db and Dd are significantly destabilized. The diversity in HCMV-encoded functions that interfere with class I-restricted presentation likely evolved in response to the polymorphism of the MHC.[1]


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