Autophagy and proteasome interconnect to coordinate cross-presentation through MHC class I pathway in B cells

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Cross-presentation of exogenous protein antigens by B cells through the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I pathway in lymphoid malignancies, and transplant setting has been recognised as an important mediator of immune pathogenesis and T cell-mediated immune regulation. However, the precise mechanism of cross-presentation of exogenous antigens in B cells has remained unresolved. Here we have delineated a novel pathway for cross-presentation in B cells, which involves synergistic cooperation of the proteasome and autophagy. After endocytosis, protein antigen is processed through an autophagy- and proteasome-dependent pathway and CD8+ T-cell epitopes are loaded onto MHC class I molecules within the autophagolysomal compartment rather than the conventional secretory pathway, which requires transporters associated with antigen processingdependent transport. Interestingly, this cross-presentation was critically dependent on valosin-containing protein (VCP)/p97 ATPase through its participation in autophagy. Loss of VCP/p97 ATPase was coincident with accumulation of LC3-II and marked reduction in antigen presentation. These observations provide unique insight on how the autophagy and proteasomal degradation systems interconnect to coordinate MHC class I-restricted cross-presentation in B cells.

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