The major histocompatibility complex-encoded transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) is required for the efficient presentation of cytosolic antigens to class I-restricted T cells. TAP is thought to be formed by the interaction of two gene products, termed TAP1 and TAP2. We find that TAPs consisting either of human subunits, or mouse TAP1 and human TAP2, facilitate the presentation of numerous defined viral peptides to mouse class I-restricted T cells. As human and mouse TAP2 and TAP1 differ in 23 and 28% of their residues, respectively, this indicates that TAP1 and TAP2 can form a functional complex with partners considerably different from those they coevolved with. Moreover, these findings indicate that widely disparate TAPs facilitate delivery of the same peptides to class I molecules. These findings suggest that TAP polymorphism does not greatly influence the types of peptides presented to the immune system.

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