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This article has been peer reviewed. It was published in: Frontiers in Immunology.

4, December 2013, 464.

The published version is available at DOI: 10.3389/fimmu.2013.00464 Copyright © Frontiers.


The standard model of Major Histocompatibility Complex class II (MHCII)-restricted antigen processing depicts a straightforward, linear pathway: internalized antigens are converted into peptides that load in a chaperone dependent manner onto nascent MHCII in the late endosome, the complexes subsequently trafficking to the cell surface for recognition by CD4(+) T cells (TCD4+). Several variations on this theme, both moderate and radical, have come to light but these alternatives have remained peripheral, the conventional pathway generally presumed to be the primary driver of TCD4+ responses. Here we continue to press for the conceptual repositioning of these alternatives toward the center while proposing that MHCII processing be thought of less in terms of discrete pathways and more in terms of a network whose major and minor conduits are variable depending upon many factors, including the epitope, the nature of the antigen, the source of the antigen, and the identity of the antigen-presenting cell.

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