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J Immunol. 1989 Jul 1;143(1):29-38.

Diminished antigen processing by endosomal acidification mutant antigen-presenting cells.

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Laboratory of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The role of acidified endosomes in Ag processing was investigated using mutant Chinese hamster ovary cells that express temperature sensitive defects in their acidification mechanism. These cells were transfected with MHC class II genes to convert them to APC. When such mutant cells were incubated at the nonpermissive temperature, losing early endosomal but not lysosomal acidification, their ability to process several native protein Ag was impaired. The nonpermissive temperature did not affect Ag processing by transfected wild type parental cells. Furthermore, T cells were stimulated normally under these conditions when the mutant cells presented antigenic peptide fragments, which do not require processing. The mutant cells were also not defective in the uptake and overall degradation of native antigen. The elimination of Ag processing by paraformaldehyde and chloroquine treatment of the Chinese hamster ovary cells indicates that these cells do not use a different process than physiologic APC. These results suggest that acidification of early endosomes is an important event in Ag processing.

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