Send to

Choose Destination
Immunity. 2005 Jul;23(1):29-40.

The kinetic stability of MHC class II:peptide complexes is a key parameter that dictates immunodominance.

Author information

David H. Smith Center for Vaccine Biology and Immunology, Aab Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York 14642, USA.


T cell priming to exogenous antigens reflects regulated antigen processing in dendritic cells, subsequent homing to lymph nodes, sustained interactions between T cells and antigen-bearing dendritic cells, and, ultimately, selective T cell activation and differentiation. In this study, we test the hypothesis that an intrinsic property of the class II:peptide complex is a key determinant that dictates the specificity of an emerging CD4 T cell response. We found that immunodominant peptides possess extremely long half-lives with class II molecules (t(1/2) > 150 hr), whereas cryptic peptides displayed half-lives of less than 10 hr. Furthermore, and most importantly, by using a peptide shuttle vector and four independent antigens, we demonstrate a direct, causative relationship between the half-life of peptide epitopes and their immunogenicity in vivo. Taken collectively, our results suggest the half-life of class II:peptide complexes is the primary parameter that dictates the ultimate hierarchy of the elicited T cell response.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center