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Keywords:

  • Antigen presentation;
  • Antigen processing;
  • Complement opsonization;
  • Dendritic cells;
  • HIV-1

Induction of optimal HIV-1-specific T-cell responses, which can contribute to controlling viral infection in vivo, depends on antigen processing and presentation processes occurring in DCs. Opsonization can influence the routing of antigen processing and pathways used for presentation. We studied antigen proteolysis and the role of endocytic receptors in MHC class I (MHCI) and II (MHCII) presentation of antigens derived from HIV-1 in human monocyte-derived immature DCs (IDCs) and mature DCs, comparing free and complement opsonized HIV-1 particles. Opsonization of virions promoted MHCI presentation by DCs, indicating that complement opsonization routes more virions toward the MHCI presentation pathway. Blockade of macrophage mannose receptor (MMR) and β7-integrin enhanced MHCI and MHCII presentation by IDCs and mature DCs, whereas the block of complement receptor 3 decreased MHCI and MHCII presentation. In addition, we found that IDC and MDC proteolytic activities were modulated by HIV-1 exposure; complement-opsonized HIV-1 induced an increased proteasome activity in IDCs. Taken together, these findings indicate that endocytic receptors such as MMR, complement receptor 3, and β7-integrin can promote or disfavor antigen presentation probably by routing HIV-1 into different endosomal compartments with distinct efficiencies for degradation of viral antigens and MHCI and MHCII presentation, and that HIV-1 affects the antigen-processing machinery.