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Nat Immunol. 2000 Aug;1(2):151-5.

CD91: a receptor for heat shock protein gp96.

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Center for Immunotherapy of Cancer and Infectious Diseases, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington, CT 06030, USA.


Antigen presenting cells (APCs) can take up exogenous antigenic peptides chaperoned by heat shock protein gp96 and re-present them through the endogenous pathway on their major histocompatibility class I molecules. The high efficiency of this process has been attributed previously to a receptor for gp96 on APCs. The CD91 molecule (also called alpha 2-macroglobulin receptor or the low density lipoprotein-related protein) is shown here to be a cell surface receptor for the heat shock protein gp96. CD91 binds gp96 directly, rather than through another ligand for CD91. The previously known CD91 ligand, alpha 2-macroglobulin, inhibits re-presentation of gp96-chaperoned antigenic peptides by macrophages, as do antibodies to CD91. As gp96 is exclusively intracellular and is released as a result of necrotic but not apoptotic cell death, we propose that CD91 acts as a sensor for necrotic cell death.

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