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J Biol Chem. 2007 Dec 28;282(52):37836-43. Epub 2007 Oct 31.

Identification of a lysosomal peptide transport system induced during dendritic cell development.

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Institute of Biochemistry, Biocenter, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Max-von-Laue-Strasse 9, Frankfurt, Germany.


The delivery of protein fragments to major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-loading compartments of professional antigen-presenting cells is essential in the adaptive immune response against pathogens. Apart from the crucial role of the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) for peptide loading of MHC class I molecules in the endoplasmic reticulum, TAP-independent translocation pathways have been proposed but not identified so far. Based on its overlapping substrate specificity with TAP, we herein investigated the ABC transporter ABCB9, also named TAP-like (TAPL). Remarkably, TAPL expression is strongly induced during differentiation of monocytes to dendritic cells and to macrophages. TAPL does not, however, restore MHC class I surface expression in TAP-deficient cells, demonstrating that TAPL alone or in combination with single TAP subunits does not form a functional transport complex required for peptide loading of MHC I in the endoplasmic reticulum. In fact, by using quantitative immunofluorescence and subcellular fractionation, TAPL was detected in the lysosomal compartment co-localizing with the lysosome-associated membrane protein LAMP-2. By in vitro assays, we demonstrate a TAPL-specific translocation of peptides into isolated lysosomes, which strictly requires ATP hydrolysis. These results suggest a mechanism by which antigenic peptides have access to the lysosomal compartment in professional antigen-presenting cells.

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