Germinal center B cells regulate their capability to present antigen by modulation of HLA-DO

Kim S. Glazier, Sandra B. Hake, Helen M. Tobin, Amy Chadburn, Elaine J. Schattner, Lisa K. Denzin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Peptide acquisition by MHC class II molecules is catalyzed by HLA-DM (DM). In B cells, HLA-DO (DO) inhibits or modifies the peptide exchange activity of DM. We show here that DO protein levels are modulated during B cell differentiation. Remarkably, germinal center (GC) B cells, which have low levels of DO relative to naive and memory B cells, are shown to have enhanced antigen presentation capabilities. DM protein levels also were somewhat reduced in GC B cells; however, the ratio of DM to DO in GC B cells was substantially increased, resulting in more free DM in GC B cells. We conclude that modulation of DM and DO in distinct stages of B cell differentiation represents a mechanism by which B cells regulate their capacity to function as antigen-presenting cells. Efficient antigen presentation in GC B cells would promote GC B cell-T cell interactions that are essential for B cells to survive positive selection in the GC.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1063-1069
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Apr 15 2002
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


  • Antigen processing
  • Germinal center B cells
  • HLA-DM
  • HLA-DO
  • MHC class II


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