The ability to generate specific cytotoxic responses using purified major histocompatibility complex (MHC) antigen in liposomes has made it possible to directly assess the importance of class I carbohydrate moieties in T cell recognition of alloantigen. Deglycosylation of affinity-purified H-2Kk to yield a single glycan-free product did not alter the specificity, the magnitude, nor the dose range of the cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response to the class I antigen. It can be concluded that carbohydrate moieties are not required to maintain the necessary conformation of the MHC protein, nor to interact with either the antigen-specific receptor or accessory proteins on precursor CTL.

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