Vol 44 No. 7: 551-554 [PDF] [Full Text]
Human leukocyte antigen E in human cytomegalovirus infection: friend or foe?
Fang Gong1, Shengli Song2, Guozhong Lv3, Yuhong Pan1, Dongqing Zhang2, and Hong Jiang2*
1 Department of Laboratory medicine, The Third Hospital Affiliated to Nantong University, Wuxi 214041, China; 2 Department of Immunology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200025, China; 3 Department of Microbial Pathogenesis, The Third Hospital Affiliated to Nantong University, Wuxi 214041, China

Abstract  Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a well-studied β-herpesvirus virus, which adopts a variety of strategies to evade immune surveillance. It has been reported that in HCMV-infected cells, classical major histocompatibility (MHC) class I molecules are down-regulated, but the MHC class Ib molecule human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-E is normally expressed or even overexpressed on the cell surface. HLA-E has been first described to interact with CD94/NKG2 receptors expressed mainly on the surface of natural killer (NK) cells, thus confining its role to the regulation of NK-cell function. The engagement of CD94/NKG2A with HLA-E, with a signal peptide of the HCMV glycoprotein UL40, usually induces inhibitory signals. However, HLA-E also serves as a ligand for the TCR expressed by αβCD8+ T cells. Recognition of peptides presented by HLA-E may result in CD8+ effector T-cell activation. These findings will help to understand more on both pathogenic and protective roles of HLA-E in HCMV infection. In this review, we discussed recent studies about the roles of HLA-E in HCMV infection.


Received   2012-1-2  


* Correspondence address  Tel/Fax: +86-21-63846590-776633; E-mail: Hongjiang1949@yahoo.com.cn

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