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PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e29805. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0029805. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Class II MHC self-antigen presentation in human B and T lymphocytes.

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Program in Immunology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America.


Human CD4(+) T cells process and present functional class II MHC-peptide complexes, but the endogenous peptide repertoire of these non-classical antigen presenting cells remains unknown. We eluted and sequenced HLA-DR-bound self-peptides presented by CD4(+) T cells in order to compare the T cell-derived peptide repertoire to sequences derived from genetically identical B cells. We identified several novel epitopes derived from the T cell-specific proteome, including fragments of CD4 and IL-2. While these data confirm that T cells can present peptides derived from the T-cell specific proteome, the vast majority of peptides sequenced after elution from MHC were derived from the common proteome. From this pool, we identified several identical peptide epitopes in the T and B cell repertoire derived from common endogenous proteins as well as novel endogenous epitopes with promiscuous binding. These findings indicate that the endogenous HLA-DR-bound peptide repertoire, regardless of APC type and across MHC isotype, is largely derived from the same pool of self-protein.

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