The oxidoreductase ERp57 is an integral component of the peptide loading complex of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules, formed during their chaperone-assisted assembly in the endoplasmic reticulum. Misfolded MHC class I molecules or those denied suitable peptides are retrotranslocated and degraded in the cytosol. The presence of ERp57 during class I assembly suggests it may be involved in the reduction of intrachain disulfides prior to retrotranslocation. We have studied the ability of ERp57 to reduce MHC class I molecules in vitro. Recombinant ERp57 specifically reduced partially folded MHC class I molecules, whereas it had little or no effect on folded and peptide-loaded MHC class I molecules. Reductase activity was associated with cysteines at positions 56 and 405 of ERp57, the N-terminal residues of the active CXXC motifs. Our data suggest that the reductase activity of ERp57 may be involved during the unfolding of MHC class I molecules, leading to targeting for degradation.