Indexed on: 02 May '14Published on: 02 May '14Published in: Frontiers in immunology
Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules are ligands for CD4(+) T cells and are critical for initiating the adaptive immune response. This review is focused on what is currently known about MHC class II organization at the plasma membrane of antigen presenting cells and how this affects antigen presentation to T cells. The organization and diffusion of class II molecules have been measured by a variety of biochemical and microscopic techniques. Membrane lipids and other proteins have been implicated in MHC class II organization and function. However, when compared with the organization of MHC class I or TCR complexes, much less is known about MHC class II. Since clustering of T cell receptors occurs during activation, the organization of MHC molecules prior to recognition and during synapse formation may be critical for antigen presentation.