Diversity in MHC Class II Antigen Presentation

Immunology. 2002 Mar;105(3):252-62. doi: 10.1046/j.0019-2805.2001.01358.x.


Processing exogenous and endogenous proteins for presentation by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules to T cells is the defining function of antigen-presenting cells (APC) as major regulatory cells in the acquired immune response. MHC class II-restricted antigen presentation to CD4 T cells is achieved by an essentially common pathway that is subject to variation with regard to the location and extent of degradation of protein antigens and the site of peptide binding to MHC class II molecules. These subtle variations reveal a surprising flexibility in the ways a diverse peptide repertoire is displayed on the APC surface. This diversity may have profound consequences for the induction of immunity to infection and tumours, as well as autoimmunity and tolerance.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigen Presentation*
  • Autoimmunity
  • Endosomes / immunology
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Infections / immunology
  • Neoplasms / immunology
  • Phagosomes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology


  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II