Constitutive display of cryptic translation products by MHC class I molecules

Susan R. Schwab, Katy C. Li, Chulho Kang, Nilabh Shastri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules display tens of thousands of peptides on the cell surface, derived from virtually all endogenous proteins, for inspection by cytotoxic T cells (CTLs). We show that, in normal mouse cells, MHC I molecules present a peptide encoded in the 3′ "untranslated" region. Despite its rarity, the peptide elicits CTL responses and induces self-tolerance, establishing that immune surveillance extends well beyond conventional polypeptides. Furthermore, translation of this cryptic peptide occurs by a previously unknown mechanism that decodes the CUG initiation codon as leucine rather than the canonical methionine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1367-1371
Number of pages5
Issue number5638
StatePublished - Sep 5 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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