The human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6 encodes three classical class-I genes: human leukocyte antigens (HLA) A. B. and C. These polymorphic genes encode a 43- to 45-kDa cell surface glycoprotein that, in association with the 12-kDa β2-microglobulin molecule, functions in the presentation of nine amino acid peptides to the T-cell receptor of CD8-bearing T lymphocytes and killer inhibitory receptors on natural killer cells. In addition to these ubiquitously expressed, polymorphic proteins, the human genome also encodes several nonclassical MHC class-I-like, or class Ib, genes that, in general, encode nonpolymorphic molecules involved in various specific immunological functions. Many of these genes, including GDI, the neonatal Fc receptor for IgG, HLA-G, HLA-E, the MHC class-I chain-related gene A, and Hfe, are prominently displayed on epithelial cells, suggesting an important role in epithelial cell biology.
- Epithelium: Intestine
- Major histocompatibility complex
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