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By tying peptide fragments originally distant in parental proteins, the proteasome can generate spliced peptides that are recognized by CTL. This occurs by transpeptidation involving a peptide-acyl-enzyme intermediate and another peptide fragment present in the catalytic chamber. Four main subtypes of proteasomes exist: the standard proteasome (SP), the immunoproteasome, and intermediate proteasomes β1-β2-β5i (single intermediate proteasome) and β1i-β2-β5i (double intermediate proteasome). In this study, we use a tandem mass tag-quantification approach to study the production of six spliced human antigenic peptides by the four proteasome subtypes. Peptides fibroblast growth factor-5172-176/217-220, tyrosinase368-373/336-340, and gp10040-42/47-52 are better produced by the SP than the other proteasome subtypes. The peptides SP110296-301/286-289, gp100195-202/191or192, and gp10047-52/40-42 are better produced by the immunoproteasome and double intermediate proteasome. The current model of proteasome-catalyzed peptide splicing suggests that the production of a spliced peptide depends on the abundance of the peptide splicing partners. Surprisingly, we found that despite the fact that reciprocal peptides RTK_QLYPEW (gp10040-42/47-52) and QLYPEW_RTK (gp10047-52/40-42) are composed of identical splicing partners, their production varies differently according to the proteasome subtype. These differences were maintained after in vitro digestions involving identical amounts of the splicing fragments. Our results indicate that the amount of splicing partner is not the only factor driving peptide splicing and suggest that peptide splicing efficiency also relies on other factors, such as the affinity of the C-terminal splice reactant for the primed binding site of the catalytic subunit.

Original publication




Journal article


J Immunol

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