The function of HLA class II molecules as peptide presenters to CD4+ T cells depends on the expression of associated molecules such as the invariant chain (Ii) and DM responsible for the correct transport of and high-stability peptide binding to the class II dimers. In organs affected by autoimmune diseases, endocrine epithelial cells express class II molecules, which presumably are involved in the presentation of self-peptides to autoreactive T cells. We have transfected the rat insulinoma cell line RINm5F with different combinations of HLA-DR, Ii and HLA-DM cDNAs and have studied how Ii and DM affect the transport and stability of class II molecules expressed by the different transfectants. Immunofluorescence and biochemical analysis showed that cells transfected with DR and DM in the absence of Ii expressed mostly stable molecules in their surface, and showed a lower accumulation of DR molecules in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) than cells expressing only DR. This suggests that, in the absence of invariant chain, DM molecules can not only exchange peptides other than class II-associated invariant chain peptide (CLIP) but may also be involved in the transport of class II molecules out of the ER towards the endosomal route. In addition, these data confirm that expression of DR alone or DR+Ii do not allow the formation of sodium dodecyl sulphate (SDS)-stable complexes, that cells expressing DR+Ii have most DR molecules occupied by CLIP and that Ii and DM molecules allow regular routing and peptide loading of class II molecules.
|Publication status||Published - 25 May 1999|
- Class II molecules
- Endocrine epithelial cells
- Intracellular transport
- Invariant chain