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Cell. 1993 Jul 30;74(2):257-68.

The chondroitin sulfate form of invariant chain can enhance stimulation of T cell responses through interaction with CD44.

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Department of Molecular Genetics and Cell Biology, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637.


Invariant chain (Ii) is a nonpolymorphic glycoprotein that associates with major histocompatibility complex class II molecules and has been shown to mediate several functions in class II-restricted antigen presentation. A small proportion of Ii is modified by the addition of chondroitin sulfate (Ii-CS), and this form of Ii is associated with class II on the surface of antigen-presenting cells. In this report we show that expression of Ii-CS dramatically enhanced the ability of class II-positive EL4 transfectants to stimulate class II-dependent allogeneic and mitogenic T cell responses. Antibody blocking studies and the ability of CD44 to bind directly to Ii-CS suggest that Ii-CS can function as an accessory molecule during T cell responses through interactions with CD44.

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