The v-Ki-ras Oncogene Up-Regulates Major Histocompatibility Class II Antigen Expression in Early-Passage Fibroblasts

  • R. L. Darley
  • A. G. Morris
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSA, volume 220)


A long-term goal of oncogene research is to understand how proto-oncogene products affect cell physiology and how their function is subverted in their mutationally activated form. Oncogene products are widely regarded as playing a role in cell growth and control, but they may also contribute to the malignant phenotype by influencing cell functions other than growth. The effect of oncogenes on the expression of antigens of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) is one such example. These molecules are of particular interest because both experimental (1–4) and clinical evidence (5,6) suggests their expression on cancer cells can correlate with the ability of the host to reject the tumour. The function of these molecules is integral to the process of immune recognition, and it is thought that their expression decreases the tumorigen-icity of cancer cells as a result of immunosurveillance by T cells. Modulation of MHC antigen expression by oncogenes, therefore, has a dual significance: not only may it provide information concerning the interaction of oncogenes with intracellular signalling pathways, but the outcome of this interaction may have indirect consequences for tumour growth.


Major Histocompatibility Complex Major Histocompatibility Complex Class Antigen Expression Fibroblast Line Major Histocompatibility Class 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. L. Darley
    • 1
  • A. G. Morris
    • 1
  1. 1.Cancer Research Campaign Interferon and Cellular Immunity Research Group, Department of Biological SciencesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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