3. Antigen Processing and Presentation by MHC Class I, II, and Nonclassical Molecules

  1. W. John W. Morrow PhD, DSc, FRCPath4,
  2. Nadeem A. Sheikh PhD5,
  3. Clint S. Schmidt PhD6 and
  4. D. Huw Davies PhD7
  1. Antony N. Antoniou PhD1,
  2. Izabela Lenart2,
  3. David B. Guiliano2 and
  4. Simon J. Powis PhD3

Published Online: 20 JUN 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch3

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

Vaccinology: Principles and Practice

How to Cite

Antoniou, A. N., Lenart, I., Guiliano, D. B. and Powis, S. J. (2012) Antigen Processing and Presentation by MHC Class I, II, and Nonclassical Molecules, in Vaccinology: Principles and Practice (eds W. J. W. Morrow, N. A. Sheikh, C. S. Schmidt and D. H. Davies), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118345313.ch3

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Seattle, WA, USA

  2. 5

    Dendreon Corporation, Seattle, WA, USA

  3. 6

    NovaDigm Therapeutics, Inc., Grand Forks, ND, USA

  4. 7

    University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Senior Research Fellow Department of Infection and Immunity/Centre of Rheumatology, University College London, London, UK

  2. 2

    Division of Infection and Immunity/Centre for Rheumatology, Windeyer Institute of Medical Science, University College London, London, UK

  3. 3

    School of Medicine, University of St Andrews, St Andrews, Fife, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 20 JUN 2012
  2. Published Print: 3 AUG 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405185745

Online ISBN: 9781118345313



  • MHC class I/II and nonclassical molecules;
  • antigen processing/presentation;
  • chaperones;
  • proteases;
  • cross-presentation;
  • proteasome;
  • invariant chain


A successful vaccine delivers the pathogenic agent or a component thereof in an immunogenic form, without eliciting the disease pathology, which enables an effective immune response with long-lasting protection. The effectiveness and protection offered by vaccination requires the successful activation of the acquired immune response elicited primarily by thymus (T) and bone marrow (B) derived lymphocytes. Activation of T lymphocytes requires engagement of their specialized T cell receptors with cell surface molecules encoded by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). These are categorized into MHC class I, class II, and nonclassical molecules. T lymphocytes control the magnitude of their own response and enable a successful B cell response. Therefore, the mechanism of peptide generation (antigen processing) and loading onto MHC molecules (antigen presentation) are pivotal to a successful immune response and effective vaccination, especially when considering the generation of recombinant vaccines.