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Trogocytosis and cross-dressing in antigen presentation


  • Schriek, Patrick
  • Villadangos, Jose A


Current Opinion in Immunology, Volume 83, 2023-08-31

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Antigen (Ag)-presenting cells capture or synthesize Ags that are processed into peptides bound and displayed on the plasma membrane by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. Here, we review a mechanism that enables cells to present Ag-loaded MHC molecules that they have not produced themselves, namely trogocytosis. During trogocytosis, a cell acquires fragments from another living cell without, in most cases, affecting the viability of the donor cell. The trogocytic cell can incorporate into its own plasma membrane (becoming cross-dressed) proteins acquired from the donor cell, including intact Ag and MHC molecules. Trogocytosis and cross-dressing expand the immunological functions that immune and nonimmune cells are able to carry out, with both beneficial and deleterious consequences.