A cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) line, derived from the liver of a common chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes) with hepatitis C, specifically recognized a hepatitis C viral 9-mer peptide (KHP-DATYSR in single-letter amino acid code) bound by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecule, Patr-A04. This same CTL line also recognized the identical peptide bound by a structurally different class I molecule, Papa-A06, derived from the separate chimpanzee species, Pan paniscus or pygmy chimpanzee. These class I allotypes differ by six amino acids but, in spite of the structural differences, share the same antigen-presenting function. This is the first observation of antigen presentation to a given T cell receptor by different MHC class I allotypes from separate species.

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