Cell surface expression of major histocompatibility class I antigens is modulated by P-glycoprotein transporter.
P-glycoprotein (Mdr1), a member of the ABC superfamily, is a pump able to transport several compounds across plasma membranes. It displays a high level of similarity with the MHC-linked transporters TAP1 and TAP2 which are involved in the delivery of immunogenic peptides across the endoplasmic reticulum. In the present study we analyze the P-glycoprotein's ability to interfere with the biosynthetic pathway of the MHC class I molecules. Our results show that P-glycoprotein is involved in the modulation of the MHC class I expression in multidrug-resistant tumor cell lines, COS1 cells transfected with mdr1 gene, and human T lymphocytes. Epitope screening evokes the possibility that P-glycoprotein induces a modulation of the different MHC class I forms expressed on the cell surface. We propose that P-glycoprotein is involved in the transport of antigenic protein fragments from the cytosol into the endoplasmic reticulum. The suggested mechanism could be physiologically relevant in tissues displaying a high Mdr1 activity, where this transporter could contribute to the regulation of locoregional immune responses.
Masci, AM; Scala, S; Racioppi, L; Zappacosta, S
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