Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Mol Immunol. 2001 Sep;38(5):329-46.

Presentation of antigens by MHC class II molecules: getting the most out of them.

Author information

  • 1The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, P.O. The Royal Melbourne Hospital, 3050, Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.


The function of MHC class II molecules is to bind peptides derived from antigens that access the endocytic route of antigen presenting cells and display them on the plasma membrane for recognition by CD4(+) T cells. Formation of the MHC II-peptide complexes entails the confluence of the antigens and the MHC II molecules in the same compartments of the endocytic route. There, both the antigens and the MHC II molecules undergo a series of orchestrated changes that involve proteases, other hydrolases and chaperones, culminating in the generation of a wide repertoire of MHC II-peptide combinations. All the events that lead to formation of MHC II-peptide complexes show a considerable degree of flexibility; this lack of strict rules is advantageous in that it provides T cells with the maximum amount of information, ensuring that pathogens do not go undetected.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk