Diversity of endogenous epitopes bound to MHC class II molecules limited by invariant chain

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Science  04 Mar 1994:
Vol. 263, Issue 5151, pp. 1284-1286
DOI: 10.1126/science.7510069


The invariant chain (Ii) binds nascent major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules, blocking peptide binding until the complex dissociates in the endosomes. This may serve to differentiate the MHC class I and II antigen presentation pathways and enable class II molecules to efficiently bind peptides in the endosomes. This hypothesis was addressed by probing spleen cells from a combination of knock-out and transgenic mice with a large panel of T cell hybridomas. The Ii molecule blocked the presentation of a range of endogenously synthesized epitopes, but some epitopes actually required Ii. Thus, the influence of Ii on presentation does not follow simple rules. In addition, mice expressing Ii were not tolerant to epitopes unmasked in its absence, a finding with possible implications for autoimmunity.

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