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MHC Class I proteins are found on nearly all cells. Fragments of foreign proteins within the cell are bound to the MHC protein and presented on the surface of the cell. This marks the cell for phagocytes to eat it. MHC I is mainly used to fight viral attacks, which occur inside the cell.


MHC Class II proteins are only found on antigen presenting cells. These cells bind foreign protein found outside the cell, take it in and fragment it, then present the fragments on the MHC protein. T cells bind to the MHC and protein fragment, and can then trigger an immune response. MHC II is mainly used to fight bacterial attacks, which occur outside the cell.

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