Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 28679634
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2017 07;114(29):E5910-E5919
Although antigen cross-presentation in dendritic cells (DCs) is critical to the initiation of most cytotoxic immune responses, the intracellular mechanisms and traffic pathways involved are still unclear. One of the most critical steps in this process, the export of internalized antigen to the cytosol, has been suggested to be mediated by Sec61. Sec61 is the channel that translocates signal peptide-bearing nascent polypeptides into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), and it was also proposed to mediate protein retrotranslocation during ER-associated degradation (a process called ERAD). Here, we used a newly identified Sec61 blocker, mycolactone, to analyze Sec61’s contribution to antigen cross-presentation, ERAD, and transport of internalized antigens into the cytosol. As shown previously in other cell types, mycolactone prevented protein import into the ER of DCs. Mycolactone-mediated Sec61 blockade also potently suppressed both antigen cross-presentation and direct presentation of synthetic peptides to CD8 T cells. In contrast, it did not affect protein export from the ER lumen or from endosomes into the cytosol, suggesting that the inhibition of cross-presentation was not related to either of these trafficking pathways. Proteomic profiling of mycolactone-exposed DCs showed that expression of mediators of antigen presentation, including MHC class I and β2 microglobulin, were highly susceptible to mycolactone treatment, indicating that Sec61 blockade affects antigen cross-presentation indirectly. Together, our data suggest that the defective translocation and subsequent degradation of Sec61 substrates is the cause of altered antigen cross-presentation in Sec61-blocked DCs.