KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY KENNETH EWARD / BIOGRAFX / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Histocompatibility antigen. Computer graphic of part of a human histocompatibility antigen, a pro- tein molecule that the immune system uses to rec- ognise the body's own cells. Seen here is the antigen binding site of a class 1 histocompatibil- ity antigen. Its parts are colour-coded: beta- pleated sheet (yellow); alpha helix (magenta); random coil (blue/white). There are several series in the main grouping of these antigens, which is known as the Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA) system. The antigens' exact shapes are determined by the genes that a person inherits from their parents.
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