Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) aminopeptidases ERAP1 and ERAP2 (ERAPs) are crucial enzymes shaping the major histocompatibility complex I (MHC I) immunopeptidome. In the ER, these enzymes cooperate in trimming the N-terminal residues from precursors peptides, so as to generate optimal-length antigens to fit into the MHC class I groove. Alteration or loss of ERAPs function significantly modify the repertoire of antigens presented by MHC I molecules, severely affecting the activation of both NK and CD8+
T cells. It is, therefore, conceivable that variations affecting the presentation of pathogen-derived antigens might result in an inadequate immune response and onset of disease. After the first evidence showing that ERAP1-deficient mice are not able to control Toxoplasma gondii infection, a number of studies have demonstrated that ERAPs are control factors for several infectious organisms. In this review we describe how susceptibility, development, and progression of some infectious diseases may be affected by different ERAPs variants, whose mechanism of action could be exploited for the setting of specific therapeutic approaches.
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