A single nucleotide polymorphism in the Emp3 gene defines the H4 minor histocompatibility antigen.

Document Type


Publication Date



Base-Sequence, Chromosome-Mapping, DNA-Complementary, Epitopes, Isoantigens, Membrane-Glycoproteins, Mice, Minor-Histocompatibility-Antigens, Molecular-Sequence-Data, Polymorphism-Single-Nucleotide

JAX Source

Immunogenetics 2003 Aug; 55(5):284-95.


Minor histocompatibility antigens (minor H antigen) elicit strong T-cell-mediated responses during both graft rejection and graft versus leukemia (GvL) among MHC-matched individuals (where MHC is major histocompatibility complex). Employing expression-cloning methodology, we have identified a cDNA clone, MI-35, encoding the immunodominant H4b minor H antigen within the classical mouse H4 complex. The minimal antigenic epitope derived from H4b presented on Kb class I MHC is SGIVYIHL (SYL8) and the polymorphism is due to C-->T nucleotide modification in p3 resulting in the change of threonine (ACT) to isoleucine (ATT). The results presented here demonstrate that amino acid variation in the allelic epitopes results in the low abundance of H4a peptide. The differential peptide copy number resulted in an immunodominant cytotoxic T cells (CTL) response directed against H4b while the anti-B6 response directed against H4a was easily dominated. These results provide a molecular mechanism for the H4 minor H antigen and suggest a novel mechanism by which alloantigenic disparity caused by conservative amino acid changes can be augmented by posttranslational antigen processing events.