Human CD1b and CD1c isoforms survey different intracellular compartments for the presentation of microbial lipid antigens

Volker Briken, Robin M. Jackman, Gerald F.M. Watts, Rick A. Rogers, Steven A. Porcelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Scopus citations


CD1b and CD1c are antigen-presenting molecules that mediate recognition of bacterial lipids by T cells, but it is currently not known whether these two molecules are redundant or are specialized to perform different immunological functions. Here, we show that the distribution of CD1c in human dendritic cells was characterized by a high ratio of cell surface to intracellular molecules, whereas CD1b showed a reciprocal pattern of distribution. In contrast to the accumulation of CD1b in lysosomal major histocompatibility complex class II compartments, intracellular CD1c molecules accumulated in other endocytic compartments, most likely early and late endosomes. Deletion of the cytoplasmic tail of CD1c, containing a tyrosine-based internalization motif, abolished most of its intracellular localization. Functional studies using T cells specific for defined lipid antigens revealed that in contrast to CD1b-mediated antigen presentation, antigen presentation by CD1c was resistant to drugs inhibiting endosomal acidification and was independent of endosomal localization of CD1c. Taken together, these results support the hypothesis that CD1b and CD1c are specialized to survey the lipid content of different intracellular compartments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)281-287
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 17 2000



  • Antigen presentation
  • CD1
  • Intracellular trafficking
  • Lipids
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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