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The MHC I immunopeptidome conveys to the cell surface an integrative view of cellular regulation.

Caron E, Vincent K, Fortier MH, Laverdure JP, Bramoullé A, Hardy MP, Voisin G, Roux PP, Lemieux S, Thibault P, Perreault C

Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC), Université de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Self/non-self discrimination is a fundamental requirement of life. Endogenous peptides presented by major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) molecules represent the essence of self for CD8 T lymphocytes. These MHC I peptides (MIPs) are collectively referred to as the immunopeptidome. From a systems-level perspective, very little is known about the origin, composition and plasticity of the immunopeptidome. Here, we show that the immunopeptidome, and therefore the nature of the immune self, is plastic and moulded by cellular metabolic activity. By using a quantitative high-throughput mass spectrometry-based approach, we found that altering cellular metabolism via the inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin results in dynamic changes in the cell surface MIPs landscape. Moreover, we provide systems-level evidence that the immunopeptidome projects at the cell surface a representation of biochemical networks and metabolic events regulated at multiple levels inside the cell. Our findings open up new perspectives in systems immunology and predictive biology. Indeed, predicting variations in the immunopeptidome in response to cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic factors could be relevant to the rational design of immunotherapeutic interventions.

Mol. Syst. Biol. 2011;7:533.

Pubmed ID: 21952136

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