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J Exp Med. 2000 Jun 5;191(11):1965-74.

Cross-presentation of glycoprotein 96-associated antigens on major histocompatibility complex class I molecules requires receptor-mediated endocytosis.

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Institute for Cell Biology, Department of Immunology, University of Tübingen, Germany.


Heat shock proteins (HSPs) like glycoprotein (gp)96 (glucose-regulated protein 94 [grp94]) are able to induce specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) responses against cells from which they originate. Here, we demonstrate that for CTL activation by gp96-chaperoned peptides, specific receptor-mediated uptake of gp96 by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) is required. Moreover, we show that in both humans and mice, only professional APCs like dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages, and B cells, but not T cells, are able to bind gp96. The binding is saturable and can be inhibited using unlabeled gp96 molecules. Receptor binding by APCs leads to a rapid internalization of gp96, which colocalizes with endocytosed major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II molecules in endosomal compartments. Incubation of gp96 molecules isolated from cells expressing an adenovirus type 5 E1B epitope with the DC line D1 results in the activation of E1B-specific CTLs. This CTL activation can be specifically inhibited by the addition of irrelevant gp96 molecules not associated with E1B peptides. Our results demonstrate that only receptor-mediated endocytosis of gp96 molecules leads to MHC class I-restricted re-presentation of gp96-associated peptides and CTL activation; non-receptor-mediated, nonspecific endocytosis is not able to do so. Thus, we provide evidence on the mechanisms by which gp96 is participating in the cross-presentation of antigens from cellular origin.

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