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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology
IF: 1.404 5-Year IF: 3.347 SJR: 0.706 SNIP: 0.55 CiteScore™: 2.19

ISSN Print: 1040-8401
ISSN Online: 2162-6472

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Critical Reviews™ in Immunology

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevImmunol.2014009999
pages 215-225

Biological Function of HLA-DO (H2-O)

Xinjian Chen
ARUP Laboratories, Department of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
Peter E. Jensen
ARUP Laboratories, Department of Pathology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112


HLA-DO (H2-O) is a highly conserved nonpolymorphic major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII) like molecule expressed in B lymphocytes, dendritic cells, and thymic epithelial cells. The biological function of DO has been elusive. Recent studies using site-directed mutagenesis, crystallography, and enzyme kinetics demonstrate that DO functions strictly as an inhibitor rather than modifier of DM function. DO stably binds to DM at the catalytic site to block DM interaction with MHCII. While the new data establish the molecular mechanism of DO function, the reason that professional antigen-presenting cells (APCs) express DO to generate DO-DM complexes that are functionally inactive remains unclear. Despite the finding that DO inhibits DM, antigen presentation by H2-O-/- APCs is inefficient compared to wild-type (WT) APCs, and H2-O-/- mice are partially immunodeficient and spontaneously develop auto-antibodies to nuclear antigens. The results of functional studies raise the question of how an inhibitor of DM enhances antigen presentation and promotes immunity. In this review, we analyze the related findings from previous and recent studies. The integration of the all of the data allows us to propose a model explaining how DO enhances antigen presentation by inhibiting DM function.

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