Tapasin Facilitation of Natural HLA-A and -B Allomorphs Is Strongly Influenced by Peptide Length, Depends on Stability, and Separates Closely Related Allomorphs.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Despite an abundance of peptides inside a cell, only a small fraction is ultimately presented by HLA-I on the cell surface. The presented peptides have HLA-I allomorph-specific motifs and are restricted in length. So far, detailed length studies have been limited to few allomorphs. Peptide-HLA-I (pHLA-I) complexes of different allomorphs are qualitatively and quantitatively influenced by tapasin to different degrees, but again, its effect has only been investigated for a small number of HLA-I allomorphs. Although both peptide length and tapasin dependence are known to be important for HLA-I peptide presentation, the relationship between them has never been studied. In this study, we used random peptide libraries from 7- to 13-mers and studied binding in the presence and absence of a recombinant truncated form of tapasin. The data show that HLA-I allomorphs are differentially affected by tapasin, different lengths of peptides generated different amounts of pHLA-I complexes, and HLA-A allomorphs are generally less restricted than HLA-B allomorphs to peptides of the classical length of 8-10 aa. We also demonstrate that tapasin facilitation varies for different peptide lengths, and that the correlation between high degree of tapasin facilitation and low stability is valid for different random peptide mixes of specific lengths. In conclusion, these data show that tapasin has specificity for the combination of peptide length and HLA-I allomorph, and suggest that tapasin promotes formation of pHLA-I complexes with high on and off rates, an important intermediary step in the HLA-I maturation process.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Immunology in the medical area
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3939-3947
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Publication categoryResearch

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