Non-conventional sources of peptides presented by MHC class I

Shelley R. Starck, Nilabh Shastri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Effectiveness of immune surveillance of intracellular viruses and bacteria depends upon a functioning antigen presentation pathway that allows infected cells to reveal the presence of an intracellular pathogen. The antigen presentation pathway uses virtually all endogenous polypeptides as a source to produce antigenic peptides that are eventually chaperoned to the cell surface by MHC class I molecules. Intriguingly, MHC I molecules present peptides encoded not only in the primary open reading frames but also those encoded in alternate reading frames. Here, we review recent studies on the generation of cryptic pMHC I. We focus on the immunological significance of cryptic pMHC I, and the novel translational mechanisms that allow production of these antigenic peptides from unconventional sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1471-1479
Number of pages9
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen presentation
  • Antigen processing
  • Cytotoxic T cells
  • Major histocompatibility complex
  • Protein synthesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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