Functional analysis of the human cytomegalovirus immune evasion protein, pUS322kDa

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Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is an important opportunistic pathogen that infrequently causes disease in individuals with mature immune systems. The HCMV US3 gene encodes a 22-kDa protein that interferes with immune recognition of virally infected cells. The 22-kDa US3 protein binds to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I complexes, retaining them in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), thereby decreasing the presentation of viral antigen to cytotoxic T cells. Our studies demonstrate that correct folding of the ER lumenal domain of the US3 protein is essential, but insufficient for interactions with MHC class I complexes. We demonstrate a requirement for the transmembrane domain of the 22-kDa US3 protein, confirming the results of others, and also show that the cytosolic carboxyl-terminal tail influences the function of the protein. Anchoring of the ER-lumenal immunoglobulin-like fold of the US3 protein to the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum is critical for the binding and retention of MHC class I complexes. © 2003 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.




Zhao, Y., & Biegalke, B. J. (2003). Functional analysis of the human cytomegalovirus immune evasion protein, pUS322kDa. Virology, 315(2), 353–361.

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