Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

HLA-E (human leucocyte antigen-E) is a conserved class I major histocompatibility molecule which has only limited polymorphism. It binds to the leader peptide derived from the polymorphic classical major histocompatibility molecules HLA-A, HLA-B and HLA-C. This peptide binding is highly specific and stabilizes the HLA-E protein, allowing it to migrate to the cell surface. A functioning TAP (transporter associated with antigen processing) molecule is required to transport these peptides into the endoplasmic reticulum, where they can interact with HLA-E. HLA-E then migrates to the cell surface, where it interacts with CD94/NKG2A receptors on natural killer cells. This interaction inhibits natural killer cell-mediated lysis of a cell displaying HLA-E. If the leader peptide is not present in the endoplasmic reticulum, HLA-E is unstable and is degraded before it reaches the cell surface. In damaged cells, such as virally infected or tumour cells, down-regulation of HLA-A, HLA-B and HLA-C production or inhibition of TAP prevents stabilization of HLA-E by the leader peptide. Under these circumstances, HLA-E does not reach the cell surface and the cell is then vulnerable to lysis by natural killer cells. The molecular mechanisms underlying this function of HLA-E have been revealed by crystallographic studies of the structure of HLA-E.

Type

Conference paper

Publication Date

07/2000

Volume

99

Pages

9 - 17

Keywords

Crystallography, Down-Regulation, Endoplasmic Reticulum, HLA Antigens, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Humans, Infection, Killer Cells, Natural, NK Cell Lectin-Like Receptor Subfamily C, Neoplasms, Protein Binding, Receptors, Immunologic, Receptors, Natural Killer Cell