Secreted immunodominant Mycobacterium tuberculosis antigens are processed by the cytosolic pathway

Jeff E. Grotzke, Anne C. Siler, Deborah A. Lewinsohn, David M. Lewinsohn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Exposure to Mycobacterium tuberculosis can result in lifelong but asymptomatic infection in most individuals. Although CD8+ T cells are elicited at high frequencies over the course of infection in both humans and mice, how phagosomal M. tuberculosis Ags are processed and presented by MHC class I molecules is poorly understood. Broadly, both cytosolic and noncytosolic pathways have been described. We have previously characterized the presentation of three HLA-I epitopes from M. tuberculosis and shown that these Ags are processed in the cytosol, whereas others have demonstrated noncytosolic presentation of the 19-kDa lipoprotein as well as apoptotic bodies from M. tuberculosis-infected cells. In this paper, we now characterize the processing pathway in an additional six M. tuberculosis epitopes from four proteins in human dendritic cells. Addition of the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi trafficking inhibitor, brefeldin A, resulted in complete abrogation of Ag processing consistent with cytosolic presentation. However, although addition of the proteasome inhibitor epoxomicin blocked the presentation of two epitopes, presentation of four epitopes was enhanced. To further examine the requirement for proteasomal processing of an epoxomicin-enhanced epitope, an in vitro proteasome digestion assay was established. We find that the proteasome does indeed generate the epitope and that epitope generation is enhanced in the presence of epoxomicin. To further confirm that both the epoxomicin-inhibited and epoxomicinenhanced epitopes are processed cytosolically, we demonstrate that TAP transport and new protein synthesis are required for presentation. Taken together, these data demonstrate that immunodominant M. tuberculosis CD8 + Ags are processed and presented using a cytosolic pathway. Copyright

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4336-4343
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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