Stress management: MHC class I and class I-like molecules as reporters of cellular stress

Immunity. 2003 Oct;19(4):469-77. doi: 10.1016/s1074-7613(03)00272-3.


The evolutionarily ancient intracellular stress response protects cells from the effects of external and internal forces which perturb cellular metabolism. Members of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I-like superfamily act as cell surface indicators of the intracellular stress response. Cellular immunity employs these indicators as a cue for elimination of damaged, infected, and malignant cells, promoting the health of the individual and the evolutionary success of the species.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers
  • Chaperonin 60 / metabolism
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Multigene Family
  • Receptors, Immunologic / metabolism
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Biomarkers
  • Chaperonin 60
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Natural Killer Cell