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Immunity. 1994 Oct;1(7):585-94.

Intracellular assembly and transport of endogenous peptide-MHC class II complexes.

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Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle 98195, USA.


To define the intracellular site of assembly of endogenous peptide-MHC class II complexes, an immunochemical approach was undertaken employing a monoclonal antibody specific for an endogenous peptide-class II complex in combination with subcellular fractionation. Here, we show that newly synthesized MHC class II molecules, upon exit from the Golgi, are delivered into a dense endocytic compartment (MIIC) distinct from late endosomes and lysosomes. Endogenous peptide-class II complexes are initially formed in this compartment and subsequently traffic through late endosomal vesicles prior to cell surface expression. Exogenous antigen delivered via immunoglobulin receptors is targeted to MIIC en route to lysosomes after passing through early and late endosomes. Processing of an endocytosed antigen was observed in this compartment. Our results suggest a specific role for MIIC in the processing of endogenous and exogenous proteins as well as the assembly of peptide-MHC class II complexes.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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