HLA supertypes and supermotifs: a functional perspective on HLA polymorphism

Curr Opin Immunol. 1998 Aug;10(4):478-82. doi: 10.1016/s0952-7915(98)80124-6.


A large fraction of HLA class I, and possibly class II, molecules can be classified into relatively few supertypes, characterized by overlapping peptide-binding repertoires and consensus B- and F-pocket structures. Cross-binding peptides are frequently recognized by specific T cells in the course of natural disease processes and in the context of multiple HLA molecules, validating the concept of HLA supertypes at the functional level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Communicable Diseases / immunology
  • Evolution, Molecular
  • HLA Antigens / immunology*
  • HLA-A2 Antigen / immunology
  • HLA-A3 Antigen / immunology
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic


  • HLA Antigens
  • HLA-A2 Antigen
  • HLA-A3 Antigen