An ITAM-signaling pathway controls cross-presentation of particulate but not soluble antigens in dendritic cells

Daniel B. Graham, Linda M. Stephenson, Kit Lam Siu, Karry Brim, Mi Lee Hyang, Jhoanne Bautista, Susan Gilfillan, Shreeram Akilesh, Keiko Fujikawa, Wojciech Swat

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54 Scopus citations


Dendritic cells (DC) possess a unique capacity for presenting exogenous antigen on major histocompatibility class I, a process that is referred to as cross-presentation, which serves a critical role in microbial and tumor immunity. During cross-presentation, antigens derived from pathogen-infected or tumor cells are internalized and processed by DCs for presentation to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). We demonstrate that a signaling pathway initiated by the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM)-containing adaptors DAP12 and FcRγ utilizes the Vav family of Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs) for processing and cross-presentation of particulate, but not soluble, antigens by DCs. Notably, this novel pathway is crucial for processing and presentation of particulate antigens, such as those associated with Listeria monocytogenes bacteria, yet it is not required for antigen uptake. Mechanistically, we provide evidence that in DCs, Vav GEFs are essential to link ITAM-dependent receptors with the activation of the NOX2 complex and production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which regulate phagosomal pH and processing of particulate antigens for cross-presentation. Importantly, we show that genetic disruption of the DAP12/FcRγ-Vav pathway leads to antigen presentation defects that are more profound than in DCs lacking NOX2, suggesting that ITAM signaling also controls cross-presentation in a ROS-independent manner. JEM

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2889-2897
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 26 2007


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