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Previously, using synthetic glycopeptides carrying a natural cytosolic type of monosaccharide O-beta-linked N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) glycosylation of serine residues, we have shown that glycopeptides act as suitable substrates for TAP-mediated transport into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and that they bind efficiently to class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules and can elicit glycopeptide-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses in mice. Recently, we have reported that peptides presented by human class I MHC molecules in vivo encompass a small but significant amount of peptides which seem to be carrying O-beta-linked monosaccharide GlcNAc. In the present report we provide further evidence that glycosylated peptides are indeed presented by class I MHC molecules in vivo. Thus, peptides derived from HLA-A*0201 were purified by wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) lectin affinity chromatography as previously described. Subsequently, the peptides contained in the WGA-eluate were subjected to sequence analysis by Edman degradation. It was found that the peptides derived from HLA-A*0201 which had been retained by the O-GlcNAc-binding lectin WGA did indeed carry a HLA-A*0201 binding motif. Furthermore, using an enzymatic labeling procedure we present evidence that the HLA-A*0201-derived peptides which bind to the WGA lectin are glycosylated with terminal GlcNAc residues. Together, these data provide further evidence for the natural presentation by human class I MHC of glycopeptides carrying terminal O-GlcNAc residues in vivo.

Original publication




Journal article


Tissue antigens

Publication Date





129 - 135


Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen.


Humans, Galactosyltransferases, Acetylglucosamine, Glycopeptides, Wheat Germ Agglutinins, Histocompatibility Antigens Class I, Chromatography, Affinity, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Sequence Analysis, Protein, Antigen Presentation, Protein Processing, Post-Translational, Protein Binding, Glycosylation