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Trends Cell Biol. 2004 Apr;14(4):175-83.

Membrane specializations and endosome maturation in dendritic cells and B cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, The New Research Building, Room 836, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Interest in the cell biology of antigen presentation is centered on dendritic cells (DCs) as initiators of the immune response. The ability to examine primary antigen-presenting cells, as opposed to cell lines, has opened a new window for study of antigen processing and peptide acquisition by Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC) products, especially where intracellular trafficking of peptide-Class-II complexes is concerned. Here, we review the dynamics of Class II MHC-positive intracellular structures in dendritic cells as well as B cells. We focus on the generation of multivesicular bodies, where Class II MHC products acquire antigenic peptide, on the endosomal transport of peptide-loaded Class II MHC to the cell surface and on the importance of Class II MHC localization in membrane microdomains.

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