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Keyword - MHC I (KW-0490)

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A heterodimeric membrane protein composed of two non-covalently linked polypeptide chains, a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-encoded alpha chain and a non-MHC-encoded subunit B2M/beta2-microglobulin. Each MHC molecule consists of an extracellular peptide-binding cleft, followed by an immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain and transmembrane and cytoplasmic domains. The amino-terminal alpha-1 and alpha-2 segments of the alpha chain form the peptide-binding cleft. Expressed on all nucleated cells, displays peptides derived from cytosolic proteins for recognition by CD8-positive T cells. By scanning MHC I molecules, CD8-positive T cells can detect infected or tumor cells and eliminate them.


Cellular component

Gene Ontology


antigen processing and presentation of peptide antigen via MHC class I [ GO:0002474 ]
MHC class I protein complex [ GO:0042612 ]


ImmunityMHC ICellular componentBiological process
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