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Major Histocompatibility Complex is also known as MHC.

Major Histocompatibility Complex is also known as MHC. MHCs are essential for adaptive immunity. They are required to present antigen for the recognition by T cells. They are a set of genes coding for the surface proteins required to identify foreign antigens. In humans, the HLA (Human leukocyte antigen) complex works similar to MHC. There are two classes of MHC complex – Class I and Class II. Read on to explore the differences between these two classes:

Difference Between MHC Class I and MHC Class II Proteins

Present on almost all cells which have a nucleus

Has a comparatively limited distribution. Typically found in dendritic cells, macrophages, and B-cells

Derived from extracellular proteins

Enzymes involved (in generating peptides)

Presence of abundant antigens targets the cell for destruction

Presence of foreign antigens induce the production of antibodies

Recognized by CD8+ receptor of cytotoxic T cell

Recognized by CD4+ receptor of helper T cell