Characterization of MHC class II-presented peptides generated from an antigen targeted to different endocytic compartments

Eur J Immunol. 2000 Aug;30(8):2333-43. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(2000)30:8<2333::AID-IMMU2333>3.0.CO;2-F.


We evaluated the capacity of the secretory pathway or of different endocytic compartments in B cell lines to generate MHC class II-presented peptides from the antigen ovalbumin (OVA). Sorting signals from the transferrin receptor (TFR), targeted a chimeric OVA fusion protein to early endosomes and led to the generation of 8 of 12 presented peptides. Sorting signals from the lysosome-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP-1), targeted an OVA fusion protein to lysosomes, and led to the generation of 9 of 12 peptides. In contrast, OVA with only a signal sequence led to the generation of only 2 presented peptides. There were both qualitative and quantitative differences in the generation of peptides from the different fusion proteins, suggesting that multiple distinct compartments are involved in generating different epitopes. One peptide was presented better from the TFR fusion protein, while all others were presented better from the LAMP-1 construct. Twelve peptides were generated from exogenously supplied OVA, including 3 peptides that were not generated from any of the fusion proteins. Since most endogenously synthesized foreign antigens are rarely presented on class II molecules, these studies further suggest a strategy whereby antigens in DNA-based vaccines could be targeted to endocytic compartments to enhance immunogenicity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Cell Line
  • Endocytosis*
  • Endosomes / metabolism
  • Epitopes
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Ovalbumin / immunology
  • Receptors, IgG / immunology
  • Receptors, Transferrin / immunology
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / immunology


  • Epitopes
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Receptors, IgG
  • Receptors, Transferrin
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • Ovalbumin