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Abnormal class I assembly and peptide presentation in the nonobese diabetic mouse

Li, F., Guo, J., Fu, Y., Yan, G., Faustman, D.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 1994 v.91 no.23 pp. 11128-11132
mice, diabetes, major histocompatibility complex, histocompatibility antigens, autoimmunity, autoimmune diseases, structural genes, alleles, gene expression, animal models, T-lymphocytes
Presentation of self-antigens by major histocompatibility compatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules requires the function MHC class II-linked genes Tap-1 and Tap-2. Evidence suggests that interruption of self-peptide presentation results in reduced cell surface expression of MHC class I molecules and the interruption correlates with progression to diabetic autoimmunity in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice and humans. NOD mice possess a rare Tap-1 allele (Tap-1b); this is associated with reduced Tap-1 mRNA abundance in lymphocytes from diabetes-prone females and decreased conformationally correct class I molecules on the cell surface. In this study, we demonstrate that, similar to lymphoma cell lines with mutations in Tap-1 or Tap-2, the reduced expression of class I molecules on the surface of lymphocytes from diabetes-prone female NOD mice was normalized by incubation at low temperatures or by exposure to class I allele-specific peptides. As would be expected for cells that express surface class I molecules not associated with peptide, female NOD lymphocytes were resistant to lysis by class I-restricted, peptide-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Furthermore, the rate of class I exit from the endoplasmic reticulum of lymphocytes from female NOD mice was delayed as demonstrated by delayed glycosylation. Male NOD mice, which are not prone to diabetes, lacked these functional defects in class I assembly and had near-normal levels of Tap-1 mRNA and exhibited normal density of class I epitopes that were peptide filled. These results are consistent with the possibility that the rare Tap-1b allele is associated with a quantitative defect in Tap-1 expression that influences disease course.