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The University of Southampton
Biological Sciences

An inverse correlation of cell surface expression level and peptide binding repertoire for MHC class I molecules is associated with disease resistance in chickens and humans Event

13:00 - 14:00
7 October 2014

For more information regarding this event, please telephone Kim Lipscombe on 02380 597747 or email .

Event details

Highly polymorphic MHC molecules are at the heart of adaptive immune responses, playing crucial roles in many kinds of disease and in vaccination.

We have found that the breadth of peptide presentation and the level of cell surface expression of class I molecules are inversely correlated in both chickens and humans. This relationship correlates with protective responses against infectious pathogens including Marek's disease virus leading to lethal tumours in chickens and HIV infection progressing to AIDS in humans. On the basis of the difference in peptide binding repertoire, we propose that there are two groups (or a range between extremes) of MHC class I molecules strategically evolved as generalists and specialists for different modes of pathogen resistance. We suggest that the difference in cell surface expression level ensures the development of optimal peripheral T cell responses. This fundamental relationship has ramifications ranging from immunology and medicine to ecology and conservation.

Further information:


Speaker information

Professor Jim Kaufman, is a Professor of Comparative Immunogenetics in the Department of Pathology, at the University of Cambridge.

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