Reorganization of multivesicular bodies regulates MHC class II 11 antigen presentation by dendritic cells

Monique Kleijmeer, Georg Ramm, Danita Schuurhuis, Janice Griffith, Maria Rescigno, Paola Ricciardi-Castagnoli, Alexander Y. Rudensky, Ferry Ossendorp, Cornelis J M Melief, Willem Stoorvogel, Hans J. Geuze

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243 Citations (Scopus)


Immature dendritic cells (DCs) sample their environment for antigens and after stimulation present peptide associated with major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) to naive T cells. We have studied the intracellular trafficking of MHC II in cultured DCs. In immature cells, the majority of MHC II was stored intracellularly at the internal vesicles of multivesicular bodies (MVBs). In contrast, DM, an accessory molecule required for peptide loading, was located predominantly at the limiting membrane of MVBs. After stimulation, the internal vesicles carrying MHC II were transferred to the limiting membrane of the MVB, bringing MHC II and DM to the same membrane domain. Concomitantly, the MVBs transformed into long tubular organelles that extended into the periphery of the cells. Vesicles that were formed at the tips of these tubules nonselectively incorporated MHC II and DM and presumably mediated transport to the plasma membrane. We propose that in maturing DCs, the reorganization of MVBs is fundamental for the timing of MHC II antigen loading and transport to the plasma membrane.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-63
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cell Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Antigen presentation
  • Dendritic cells
  • Endosomes
  • Lysosomes
  • Major histocompatibility complex

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