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Most antigenic peptides presented by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules are produced by the proteasome. Here we show that a proteasome-independent peptide derived from the human tumor protein MAGE-A3 is produced directly by insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE), a cytosolic metallopeptidase. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte recognition of tumor cells was reduced after metallopeptidase inhibition or IDE silencing. Separate inhibition of the metallopeptidase and the proteasome impaired degradation of MAGE-A3 proteins, and simultaneous inhibition of both further stabilized MAGE-A3 proteins. These results suggest that MAGE-A3 proteins are degraded along two parallel pathways that involve either the proteasome or IDE and produce different sets of antigenic peptides presented by MHC class I molecules.

Original publication




Journal article


Nat Immunol

Publication Date





449 - 454


Antibodies, Blocking, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, Neoplasm, Cell Fractionation, Cell Line, Tumor, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Clone Cells, Cytosol, Glycopeptides, HLA-A1 Antigen, Humans, Insulysin, Interferon-gamma, Mass Spectrometry, Metalloendopeptidases, Neoplasm Proteins, Oligopeptides, Peptide Fragments, Phenanthrolines, Proteasome Inhibitors, RNA, Small Interfering, T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic