Author(s): Goletz TJ, Klimpel KR, Leppla SH, Keith JM, Berzofsky JA
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Abstract Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) recognize antigens derived from endogenously expressed proteins presented on the cell surface in the context of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. Because CTL are effective in antiviral and antitumor responses, the delivery of antigens to the class I pathway has been the focus of numerous efforts. Generating CTL by immunization with exogenous proteins is often ineffective because these antigens typically enter the MHC class II pathway. This review focuses on the usefulness of bacterial toxins for delivering antigens to the MHC class I pathway. Several toxins naturally translocate into the cytosol, where they mediate their cytopathic effects, and the mechanisms by which this occurs has been elucidated. Molecular characterization of these toxins identified the functional domains and enabled the generation of modified proteins that were no longer toxic but retained the ability to translocate into the cytosol. Thus, these modified toxins could be examined for their ability to carry peptides or whole proteins into the cytosolic processing pathway. Of the toxins studied-diphtheria, pertussis, Pseudomonas, and anthrax-the anthrax toxin appears the most promising in its ability to deliver large protein antigens and its efficiency of translocation.
This article was published in Hum Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Bioterrorism & Biodefense