Coping with loss of perfection in the MHC class I peptide repertoire

Curr Opin Immunol. 2008 Feb;20(1):82-8. doi: 10.1016/j.coi.2007.12.004.


The MHC class I molecules present thousands of peptides (pMHC I) on the cell surface for immune surveillance by CD8 T cells. The pMHC I repertoire normally contains peptides of perfect length and sequences suitable for binding each MHC I. The peptides are made by first fragmenting cytoplasmic proteins. The fragments are then transported into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where they are trimmed to appropriate length by the ER aminopeptidase associated with antigen processing (ERAAP) to generate the final pMHC I. Here, we review studies on the role of ERAAP in generating pMHC I from endogenous or viral proteins and their ability to elicit CD8 T cell responses. The absence of ERAAP profoundly disrupts the pMHC I repertoire which can have major consequences on the immune responses to endogenous and viral antigens.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Leucyl Aminopeptidase / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Peptides / chemistry
  • Peptides / immunology*
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Viral Proteins / immunology


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class I
  • Peptides
  • Viral Proteins
  • Leucyl Aminopeptidase
  • puromycin-insensitive leucyl-specific aminopeptidase