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J Exp Med. 2000 Jun 5;191(11):1957-64.

Receptor-mediated uptake of antigen/heat shock protein complexes results in major histocompatibility complex class I antigen presentation via two distinct processing pathways.

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  • 1Laboratory of Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-1892, USA.


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) derived from tumors or virally infected cells can stimulate antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell responses in vitro and in vivo. Although this antigenicity is known to arise from HSP-associated peptides presented to the immune system by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules, the cell biology underlying this presentation process remains poorly understood. Here we show that HSP 70 binds to the surface of antigen presenting cells by a mechanism with the characteristics of a saturable receptor system. After this membrane interaction, processing and MHC class I presentation of the HSP-associated antigen can occur via either a cytosolic (transporter associated with antigen processing [TAP] and proteasome-dependent) or an endosomal (TAP and proteasome-independent) route, with the preferred pathway determined by the sequence context of the optimal antigenic peptide within the HSP-associated material. These findings not only characterize two highly efficient, specific pathways leading to the conversion of HSP-associated antigens into ligands for CD8(+) T cells, they also imply the existence of a mechanism for receptor-facilitated transmembrane transport of HSP or HSP-associated ligands from the plasma membrane or lumen of endosomes into the cytosol.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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