Cytosol to lysosome transport of intracellular antigens during immune surveillance

Victoria L. Crotzer, Janice S. Blum

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


The delivery of intracellular substrates such as misfolded proteins and damaged organelles from the cytosol to the lysosome for degradation is crucial for cell survival. Multiple transport pathways including bulk autophagy (microautophagy and macroautophagy) and chaperone-mediated autophagy (CMA) have been identified to efficiently facilitate this transit of macromolecules from the cytoplasm to acidic vacuolar organelles. While autophagy plays a role in the general housekeeping of cells, it also functions in more specialized processes such as development and differentiation, responses to physiological stress and immunity. The presentation of both exogenous and endogenous antigens (Ag) by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules to CD4+ T lymphocytes is critical for the induction of tolerance to self Ag as well as the development of immunity against intracellular pathogens and tumors. Here, we discuss the class II-mediated presentation of several endogenous Ag, dependent on either macroautophagy or CMA for their transport from the cytosol to endosomal/ lysosomal compartments. Thus, the various pathways of autophagy as routes of cytoplasmic Ag delivery to lysosomes have significant implications for the MHC class II-mediated immune response to intracellular pathogens and cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2008


  • Cancer
  • Chaperone-mediated autophagy
  • Immunity and host defense
  • Lysosomal degradation
  • Macroautophagy
  • MHC class II Ag presentation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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