Nuclear location of an endogenously expressed antigen, EBNA1, restricts access to macroautophagy and the range of CD4 epitope display

CS Leung, Tracey Haigh, LK Mackay, Alan Rickinson, Graham Taylor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Whereas exogenously acquired proteins are the major source of antigens feeding the MHC class II pathway in antigen-presenting cells, some endogenously expressed antigens also access that pathway but the rules governing such access are poorly understood. Here we address this using Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-coded nuclear antigen EBNA1, a protein naturally expressed in EBV-infected B lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) and a source of multiple CD4(+) T cell epitopes. Using CD4(+) T cell clones against three indicator epitopes, we find that two epitopes are weakly displayed on the LCL surface whereas the third is undetectable, a pattern of limited epitope presentation that is maintained even when nuclear expression of EBNA1 is induced to high supraphysiological levels. Inhibitor and siRNA studies show that, of the two epitopes weakly presented under these conditions, one involves macroautophagy, and the second involves antigen delivery to the MHC II pathway by another endogenous route. In contrast, when EBNA1 is expressed as a cytoplasmic protein, all three CD4 epitopes are processed and presented much more efficiently, and all involve macroautophagy. We conclude that EBNA1's nuclear location limits its accessibility to the macroautophagy pathway and, in consequence, limits the level and range of EBNA1 CD4 epitopes naturally displayed on the infected cell surface.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2165-2170
Number of pages6
JournalNational Academy of Sciences. Proceedings
Volume107
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2010

Keywords

  • antigen processing
  • T cell
  • autophagy

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