The presence of post-translational regulation of MHC class II (MHC II) under physiological conditions has been demonstrated recently in dendritic cells (DCs) that potently function as antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Here, we report that MARCH-I, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, plays a pivotal role in the post-translational regulation of MHC II in B cells. MARCH-I expression was particularly high in B cells, and the forced expression of MARCH-I induced the ubiquitination of MHC II. In B cells from MARCH-I-deficient mice (MARCH-I KO), the half-life of surface MHC II was prolonged and the ubiquitinated form of MHC II completely disappeared. In addition, MARCH-I-deficient B cells highly expressed exogenous antigen-loaded MHC II on their surface and showed high ability to present exogenous antigens. These results suggest that the function of MHC II in B cells is regulated through ubiquitination by MARCH-I.
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