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    Education: Major Histocompatibility Complex Tutorial now on YouTube
    Submitted by Eric Martz; posted on Saturday, July 25, 2020


    A tutorial on Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecular structure and function has been posted on YouTube (go to http://MolviZ.Org and click on MHC). It comes with an immediate-feedback quiz, and a set of open-ended questions to provoke discussion. A teachers's guide includes answers to the open-ended questions. The tutorial features 3D atomic-resolution structures, and covers:


    • Main functions of MHC classes I and II with CD8 and CD4 T lymphocytes.
    • Cells expressing each class of MHC.
    • Sources of peptides in the proteasome and lysosome.
    • Reduction of MHC I on virus-infected cells inviting Natural Killer Cells.
    • Severe immunodeficiency resulting from genetic absence of MHC II.
    • Structure of MHC class I: Alpha chain and domains, beta-2 microglobulin, peptide in cleft with closed ends, papain cleavage locus, CD8 binding site, secondary structure.
    • Evolutionary conservation of CD8 binding site and residues binding peptide anchor residues and ends. Variability in sequences of lips of the cleft due to alleles needed to accomodate wide range of peptides.
    • Peptide side chains buried (anchor residues) vs. exposed to T cell surveillance.
    • Comparison of two different peptides in MHC I from perspective of T cells.
    • Structure of MHC class II: Alpha and beta chains, peptide in cleft with open ends.


    The video is an enhanced screen capture of an interactive tutorial (free and open source) that became unusable in recent years because popular web browsers no longer support Java applets. Eventually, the interactive tutorial may be ported to JSmol, which works in popular browsers. Until then, the video is available, and may also increase awareness due to the popularity of YouTube.

    http://MolviZ.Org also has free, open source interactive tutorials on DNA, Hemoglobin, Antibody (also on YouTube), the Ramachandran Principle (also on YouTube), Lipid Bilayers and Membrane Channels, Collagen, the Lac Repressor, and many more.

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