Intracellular transport of class II MHC molecules directed by invariant chain

Nature. 1990 Dec 13;348(6302):600-5. doi: 10.1038/348600a0.


Three structural motifs in the invariant chain (li) control the intracellular transport of class II major histocompatibility complex molecules. An endoplasmic reticulum retention signal in the full-length li suggests a role for li in the alpha-beta heterodimer assembly. Another signal motif directs a truncated li, alone or associated with individual class II chains, to a degradation compartment by a pathway circumventing the Golgi. When this truncated li binds alpha-beta dimers, a third signal dominates, directing the complex by way of the Golgi to vesicles in the cell periphery, which may represent a subcompartment of recycling endosomes.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Transport
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • HeLa Cells / immunology
  • HeLa Cells / metabolism
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / genetics
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Oligonucleotide Probes
  • Signal Transduction
  • Transfection


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Histocompatibility Antigens Class II
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Oligonucleotide Probes