MHC and T cell responses


The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules of classes I and II, coded by the human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes on chromosome 6, are cell surface glycoproteins that play a major role in T cell-mediated immune recognition. Class I molecules are found on the surface of virtually all nucleated cells in humans, except neurons, and are involved in detection of viral infections in cells. Class II molecules are limited to specific antigen presenting cells. In both cases, T cell antigen recognition is triggered by the MHC presenting a short antigenic peptide fragment which binds to a specific T cell receptor (TCR) on the surface of T cells. In this chapter, we survey the nature of the MHC molecules and ...

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