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Virus-like particles (VLP) induce efficient CTL responses although they do not carry any genetic information. Here, we analyzed MHC class I associated presentation of VLP-derived CTL-epitopes in vivo. After intradermal injection of VLP containing the immunodominant epitope (p33) of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (p33-VLP), presentation of peptide p33 in draining lymph nodes was largely restricted to CD8(-) skin-derived dendritic cells (DC). Surprisingly, and in contrast to findings with tumor cells, TAP1-deficient DC and macrophages mediated efficient cross-presentation of VLP-derived p33 in vivo and in vitro. However, the ability of TAP1-deficient DC to cross-present p33-VLP was reduced compared to wild-type DC, indicating that in DC, both TAP-dependent and TAP-independent pathways were operative. In contrast, macrophages cross-presented p33-VLP normally in the absence of TAP. The TAP-dependent pathway of cross-presentation is therefore confined to DC while both macrophages and DC harbor the TAP-independent pathway. In summary, the results show that VLP-derived epitopes are cross-presented by CD8(-) DC in vivo in a partial TAP-independent fashion and highlight important differences in the processing machinery of DC versus macrophages.

Original publication




Journal article


Eur J Immunol

Publication Date





818 - 825


ATP Binding Cassette Transporter, Subfamily B, Member 2, ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters, Animals, Antigen Presentation, Antigens, Viral, B-Lymphocytes, CD8 Antigens, Dendritic Cells, Glycoproteins, H-2 Antigens, Hepatitis B Core Antigens, Histocompatibility Antigen H-2D, Immunization, Immunodominant Epitopes, Injections, Intradermal, Lymph Nodes, Macrophages, Peritoneal, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Mice, Transgenic, Peptide Fragments, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta, Recombinant Fusion Proteins, Spleen, T-Lymphocytes, Viral Proteins