DNGR-1 (CLEC9A) is a receptor for necrotic cells required by DCs to cross-prime CTLs against dead cell antigens in mice. It is currently unknown how DNGR-1 couples dead cell recognition to cross-priming. Here we found that DNGR-1 did not mediate DC activation by dead cells but rather diverted necrotic cell cargo into a recycling endosomal compartment, favoring cross-presentation to CD8+ T cells. DNGR-1 regulated cross-priming in non-infectious settings such as immunization with antigen-bearing dead cells, as well as in highly immunogenic situations such as infection with herpes simplex virus type 1. Together, these results suggest that DNGR-1 is a dedicated receptor for cross-presentation of cell-associated antigens. Our work thus underscores the importance of cross-priming in immunity and indicates that antigenicity and adjuvanticity can be decoded by distinct innate immune receptors. The identification of specialized receptors that regulate antigenicity of virus-infected cells reveals determinants of antiviral immunity that might underlie the human response to infection and vaccination.
Santiago Zelenay, Anna M. Keller, Paul G. Whitney, Barbara U. Schraml, Safia Deddouche, Neil C. Rogers, Oliver Schulz, David Sancho, Caetano Reis e Sousa