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Trends Immunol. 2010 Nov;31(11):414-21. doi: 10.1016/ Epub 2010 Sep 24.

Topological journey of parasite-derived antigens for presentation by MHC class I molecules.

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Division of Immunology and Pathogenesis, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-3200, USA.


Within cells of their host, many bacteria and parasites inhabit specialized compartments, such as a modified phagosome for Mycobacterium tuberculosis or a parasitophorous vacuole for Toxoplasma gondii. These locations could exclude microbial material from entry into the MHC class I surveillance pathway. Remarkably, however, under these circumstances, cells can still signal the presence of invading pathogens to circulating CD8(+) T cells, which typically play a key role in protection against such intracellular organisms. Here, we review MHC I presentation pathways in various contexts, ranging from model antigens in non-infectious settings to pathogen-infected cells. We suggest that presentation of intracellular pathogens can be described as not just one, but several distinct pathways; perhaps because diverse pathogens have evolved different strategies to interact with host cells.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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