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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Parameters that influence the efficiency of processing antigenic epitopes expressed in Salmonella typhimurium.

We investigated parameters that affect the efficiency with which antigenic epitopes from Salmonella typhimurium are processed for presentation to T lymphocytes. As a model system, the hen egg white lysozyme 52-61 [HEL(52-61)] epitope, which binds the murine major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC-II) molecule I-Ak, was expressed in soluble fusion proteins in S. typhimurium. Murine peritoneal macrophages mediated phagocytic processing of viable S. typhimurium expressing fusion proteins of the HEL epitope for presentation via I-Ak regardless of the bacterial compartment in which the epitope was contained (i.e., surface exposed, facing the periplasmic space, or in the cytoplasm). Minor differences in processing efficiency observed with different epitope compartmentalizations could be overcome by altering the relative expression level, indicating that epitope abundance is an important factor for efficient processing of epitopes from S. typhimurium. This processing pathway required phagocytosis of bacteria followed by passage through an acidic compartment, suggesting a pathway involving phagolysosomal degradation of the bacteria to liberate epitopes that bind MHC-II. HEL(52-61) was processed more efficiently from heat-killed S. typhimurium than from viable bacteria, and in addition, the HEL epitope was processed more efficiently from a rough lipopolysaccharide (LPS) strain than from its isogenic smooth LPS counterpart, most likely because of enhanced phagocytosis of the rough LPS strain. These data suggest that the efficiency of epitope processing from S. typhimurium for presentation via MHC-II is affected by bacterial viability, epitope abundance, and LPS phenotype, factors which may be important to consider in development of recombinant S. typhimurium vaccine strains.[1]


  1. Parameters that influence the efficiency of processing antigenic epitopes expressed in Salmonella typhimurium. Wick, M.J., Harding, C.V., Normark, S.J., Pfeifer, J.D. Infect. Immun. (1994) [Pubmed]
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