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Science. 2004 May 28;304(5675):1318-21.

CD8+ T cell cross-priming via transfer of proteasome substrates.

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  • 1Laboratory of Viral Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda MD, 20892-0440, USA.


"Cross-priming" describes the activation of naïve CD8+ T cells by professional antigen-presenting cells that have acquired viral or tumor antigens from "donor" cells. Antigen transfer is believed to be mediated by donor cell-derived molecular chaperones bearing short peptide ligands generated by proteasome degradation of protein antigens. We show here that cross-priming is based on the transfer of proteasome substrates rather than peptides. These findings are potentially important for the rational design of vaccines that elicit CD8+ T cell responses.

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