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, Volume 62, Issue 6, pp 409–418

First Online: 06 May 2010


The MHC class I gene family of rhesus macaques is characterised by considerable gene duplications. While a HLA-C-orthologous gene is absent, the Mamu-A and in particular the Mamu-B genes have expanded, giving rise to plastic haplotypes with differential gene content. Although some of the rhesus macaque MHC class I genes are known to be associated with susceptibility-resistance to infectious diseases, the functional significance of duplicated Mamu-A and Mamu-B genes and the expression pattern of their encoded proteins are largely unknown. Here, we present data of the subcellular localization of AcGFP-tagged Mamu-A and Mamu-B molecules. We found strong cell surface and low intracellular expression for Mamu-A1, Mamu-A2 and Mamu-A3-encoded molecules as well as for Mamu-B*01704, Mamu-B*02101, Mamu-B*04801, Mamu-B*06002 and Mamu-B*13401. In contrast, weak cell surface and strong intracellular expression was seen for Mamu-A4*1403, Mamu-B*01202, Mamu-B*02804, Mamu-B*03002, Mamu-B*05704, Mamu-I*010201 and Mamu-I*0121. The different expression patterns were assigned to the antigen-binding α1 and α2 domains, suggesting failure of peptide binding is responsible for retaining ‘intracellular’ Mamu class I molecules in the endoplasmic reticulum. These findings indicate a diverse functional role of the duplicated rhesus macaque MHC class I genes.

KeywordsMHC class I Mamu-A Mamu-B Subcellular localization Macaca mulatta The online version of the original article can be found at

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Autor: Cornelia Rosner - Philip H. Kruse - Torben Lübke - Lutz Walter


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