Revisiting nonclassical HLA II functions in antigen presentation: Peptide editing and its modulation.
Álvaro-Benito, Miguel and Freund, Christian – 2020
The nonclassical major histocompatibility complex of class II molecules (ncMHCII) HLA-DM (DM) and HLA-DO (DO) feature essential functions for the selection of the peptides that are displayed by classical MHCII proteins (MHCII) for CD4+ Th cell surveillance. Thus, although the binding groove of classical MHCII dictates the main features of the peptides displayed, ncMHCII function defines the preferential loading of peptides from specific cellular compartments and the extent to which they are presented. DM acts as a chaperone for classical MHCII molecules facilitating peptide exchange and thereby favoring the binding of peptide-MHCII complexes of high kinetic stability mostly in late endosomal compartments. DO on the other hand binds to DM blocking its peptide-editing function in B cells and thymic epithelial cells, limiting DM activity in these cellular subsets. DM and DO distinct expression patterns therefore define specific antigen presentation profiles that select unique peptide pools for each set of antigen presenting cell. We have come a long way understanding the mechanistic underpinnings of such distinct editing profiles and start to grasp the implications for ncMHCII biological function. DM acts as filter for the selection of immunodominant, pathogen-derived epitopes while DO blocks DM activity under certain physiological conditions to promote tolerance to self. Interestingly, recent findings have shown that the unexplored and neglected ncMHCII genetic diversity modulates retroviral infection in mouse, and affects human ncMHCII function. This review aims at highlighting the importance of ncMHCII function for CD4+ Th cell responses while integrating and evaluating what could be the impact of distinct editing profiles because of natural genetic variations.