In the cytotoxic T-cell response to viruses, peptide antigens of cytoplasmic origin are presented at the cell surface by the highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules to CD8+ T-lymphocyte receptors. Peptide transporter molecules and other MHC-linked gene products have been implicated in the generation and import of antigenic peptides into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum for assembly with MHC class I glycoproteins. These accessory molecules in the antigen-presentation pathway map to a polymorphic region in the class II MHC, and the possibility of their allele-specific selectivity in antigen presentation has been raised. Here we show that additional, functionally polymorphic components are not apparent in an in vitro mouse MHC class I-restricted cytotoxic T-cell response to vaccinia and influenza viruses. When the mouse H-2Kd molecule was expressed via a recombinant vaccinia virus in target cells of different mouse MHC haplotypes or cells of rat, Syrian hamster, monkey, and human origin, efficient Kd-restricted and vaccinia virus-specific lysis was observed as measured with bulk effectors and at the clonal level. In addition, human transporters efficiently processed peptides originating from influenza virus nucleoprotein and hemagglutinin antigens as recognized by mouse influenza immune cytotoxic T cells
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