Cross-presentation of tumor associated antigens through tumor-derived autophagosomes

Autophagy. 2009 May;5(4):576-7. doi: 10.4161/auto.5.4.8366. Epub 2009 May 6.


Cross-presentation of exogenous antigens by host professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) plays a pivotal role in the initiation and development of T-cell immune responses to tumor-associated antigens, including self or mutated self-antigens derived from tumor cells, and foreign antigens derived from infectious agents. Cross-presentation requires multiple steps that involve the antigens' synthesis and compartmentalization in donor cells, packaging and delivery, and processing and presentation by MHC class I molecules on professional APCs. The intricate pathways that lead to protein degradation and the formation of MHC I-peptide complexes inside the APC are well documented for both soluble and particulate antigens. However, much less is known about how cross-presentation is regulated by the protein degradation pathways in antigen-donor cells (ADCs), including autophagy-mediated lysosomal proteolysis and proteasomal degradation. The exact nature or form of the antigens derived from donor cells at the time of delivery to the APC for cross-presentation is very controversial.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Neoplasm / immunology*
  • Autophagy
  • Cross-Priming / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lysosomes / metabolism
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Phagosomes / immunology*
  • Phagosomes / pathology
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex / metabolism


  • Antigens, Neoplasm
  • Proteasome Endopeptidase Complex