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Immunol Rev. 1999 Apr;168:199-215.

Human pathogen subversion of antigen presentation.

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G. W. Hooper Foundation, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco 94143-0552, USA.


Many pathogens have co-evolved with their human hosts to develop strategies for immune evasion that involve disruption of the intracellular pathways by which antigens are bound by class I and class II molecules of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) for presentation to T cells. Here the molecular events in these pathways are reviewed and pathogen interference is documented for viruses, extracellular and intracellular bacteria and intracellular parasites. In addition to a general review, data from our studies of adenovirus, Chlamydia trachomatis and Coxiella burnetii are summarized. Adenovirus E19 is the first viral gene product described that affects class I MHC molecule expression by two separate mechanisms, intracellular retention of the class I heavy chain by direct binding and by binding to the TAP transporter involved in class I peptide loading. Coxiella and Chlamydia both affect peptide presentation by class II MHC molecules as a result of their residence in endocytic compartments, although the properties of the parasitophorous vacuoles they form are quite different. These examples of active interference with antigen presentation by viral gene products and passive interference by rickettsiae and bacteria are typical of the strategies used by these different classes of pathogens, which need to evade different types of immune responses. Pathogen-host co-evolution is evident in these subversion tactics for which the pathogen crime seems tailored to fit the immune system punishment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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