Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Bcl-xL regulates CD1d-mediated antigen presentation to NKT cells by altering CD1d trafficking through the endocytic pathway.

PMID 25070854


NKT cells are a unique subset of T cells that recognize glycolipid Ags presented in the context of CD1d molecules. NKT cells mount strong antitumor responses and are a major focus in developing effective cancer immunotherapy. It is known that CD1d molecules are constantly internalized from the cell surface, recycled through the endocytic compartments, and re-expressed on the cell surface. However, little is known about the regulation of CD1d-mediated Ag processing and presentation in B cell lymphoma. Prosurvival factors of the Bcl-2 family, such as Bcl-xL, are often upregulated in B cell lymphomas and are intimately linked to sphingolipid metabolism, as well as the endocytic compartments. We hypothesized that Bcl-xL can regulate CD1d-mediated Ag presentation to NKT cells. We found that overexpression or induction of Bcl-xL led to increased Ag presentation to NKT cells. Conversely, the inhibition or knockdown of Bcl-xL led to decreased NKT cell activation. Furthermore, knockdown of Bcl-xL resulted in the loss of CD1d trafficking to lysosome-associated membrane protein 1(+) compartments. Rab7, a late endosomal protein, was upregulated and CD1d molecules accumulated in the Rab7(+) late endosomal compartment. These results demonstrate that Bcl-xL regulates CD1d-mediated Ag processing and presentation to NKT cells by altering the late endosomal compartment and changing the intracellular localization of CD1d.