Cut and trim: generating MHC class I peptide ligands

Curr Opin Immunol. 2001 Feb;13(1):13-8. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(00)00175-8.


Progress in understanding how peptide ligands are generated for MHC class I molecules took several interesting leaps and twists in the past year. Two independent lines of evidence suggest that most peptides are generated by proteasomal digestion of nascent proteins. The amino-terminally extended cytosolic precursors of an antigenic peptide were identified, bound to a mysterious carrier protein. Knowledge about the role of immunoproteasomes in antigen processing was fortified, cellular locales specialized for proteasomal degradation (and possibly antigenic-peptide production) were discovered and novel cytosolic proteases potentially involved in generating and trimming antigenic peptides were identified. The field is poised for quantitative analysis of the various pathways that contribute to the pool of peptides presented to the immune system by MHC class I molecules.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / immunology*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Peptides / metabolism*


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Ligands
  • Peptides