The induction of CTL responses by vaccines is important to combat infectious diseases and cancer. Biodegradable poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres and synthetic long peptides are efficiently internalized by professional APCs and prime CTL responses after cross-presentation of Ags on MHC class I molecules. Specifically, they mainly use the cytosolic pathway of cross-presentation that requires endosomal escape, proteasomal processing, and subsequent MHC class I loading of Ags in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and/or the endosome. The vesicle SNARE protein Sec22b has been described as important for this pathway by mediating vesical trafficking for the delivery of ER-derived proteins to the endosome. As this function has also been challenged, we investigated the role of Sec22b in cross-presentation of the PLGA microsphere–encapsulated model Ag OVA and a related synthetic long peptide. Using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing, we generated Sec22b knockouts in two murine C57BL/6-derived APC lines and found no evidence for an essential role of Sec22b. Although pending experimental evidence, the target SNARE protein syntaxin 4 (Stx4) has been suggested to promote cross-presentation by interacting with Sec22b for the fusion of ER-derived vesicles with the endosome. In the current study, we show that, similar to Sec22b, Stx4 knockout in murine APCs had very limited effects on cross-presentation under the conditions tested. This study contributes to characterizing cross-presentation of two promising Ag delivery systems and adds to the discussion about the role of Sec22b/Stx4 in related pathways. Our data point toward SNARE protein redundancy in the cytosolic pathway of cross-presentation.

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