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Cell. 2006 Jul 14;126(1):205-18.

NOX2 controls phagosomal pH to regulate antigen processing during crosspresentation by dendritic cells.

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Institut Curie, INSERM U653, Immunité et Cancer, 26 rue d'Ulm, 75248 Paris, Cedex 05, France.


To initiate adaptative cytotoxic immune responses, proteolytic peptides derived from phagocytosed antigens are presented by dendritic cells (DCs) to CD8+ T lymphocytes through a process called antigen "crosspresentation." The partial degradation of antigens mediated by lysosomal proteases in an acidic environment must be tightly controlled to prevent destruction of potential peptides for T cell recognition. We now describe a specialization of the phagocytic pathway of DCs that allows a fine control of antigen processing. The NADPH oxidase NOX2 is recruited to the DC's early phagosomes and mediates the sustained production of low levels of reactive oxygen species, causing active and maintained alkalinization of the phagosomal lumen. DCs lacking NOX2 show enhanced phagosomal acidification and increased antigen degradation, resulting in impaired crosspresentation. Therefore, NOX2 plays a critical role in conferring DCs the ability to function as specialized phagocytes adapted to process antigens rather than kill pathogens.

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