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Trends Biochem Sci. 1997 Oct;22(10):377-82.

Endosomal proteases and antigen processing.

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


T cells are activated by fragments of antigenic proteins bound to major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules and displayed on the cell surface. MHC class II proteins scavenge processed protein antigens from within endosomal compartments. The antigenic peptides are generated within these and other intracellular compartments using the array of proteolytic enzymes normally involved in terminal protein degradation. Antigen-presenting cells use different mechanisms to exploit and control the activity of these enzymes so as to ensure the generation of a wide variety of peptides, while preventing the destruction of antigenic epitopes by excessive proteolysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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