Reconstitution of an operational MHC class II compartment in nonantigen-presenting cells

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Science  02 Dec 1994:
Vol. 266, Issue 5190, pp. 1569-1573
DOI: 10.1126/science.7985028


Professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) have a distinct compartment in which class II molecules are proposed to acquire antigenic peptides. Genetic evidence suggests that human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DM, an unusual class II molecule, participates in this process. Peptide acquisition was reconstituted in nonprofessional APCs by transfection of class II, invariant chain (li), and H-2M, the murine equivalent of DM. The H-2M heterodimer appeared in an endosomal compartment, not at the cell surface, and the localization was independent of li. The data presented show that H-2M, class II, and li are the minimally required components for efficient formation of stable class II-peptide complexes, and thus for a functional class II compartment.