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Analysis of proteomic profiles and functional properties of human peripheral blood myeloid dendritic cells, monocyte-derived dendritic cells and the dendritic cell-like KG-1 cells reveals distinct characteristics

Claire Horlock1, Farouk Shakib1, Jafar Mahdavi1, Nick S Jones2, Herb F Sewell1 and Amir M Ghaemmaghami1*

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation, School of Molecular Medical Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK

2 Division of Otorhinolaryngology, School of Medical and Surgical Sciences, The University of Nottingham, Nottingham NG7 2UH, UK

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Genome Biology 2007, 8:R30  doi:10.1186/gb-2007-8-3-r30

Published: 1 March 2007



Dendritic cells (DCs) are specialized antigen presenting cells that play a pivotal role in bridging innate and adaptive immune responses. Given the scarcity of peripheral blood myeloid dendritic cells (mDCs) investigators have used different model systems for studying DC biology. Monocyte-derived dendritic cells (moDCs) and KG-1 cells are routinely used as mDC models, but a thorough comparison of these cells has not yet been carried out, particularly in relation to their proteomes. We therefore sought to run a comparative study of the proteomes and functional properties of these cells.


Despite general similarities between mDCs and the model systems, moDCs and KG-1 cells, our findings identified some significant differences in the proteomes of these cells, and the findings were confirmed by ELISA detection of a selection of proteins. This was particularly noticeable with proteins involved in cell growth and maintenance (for example, fibrinogen γ chain (FGG) and ubiquinol cytochrome c) and cell-cell interaction and integrity (for example, fascin and actin). We then examined the surface phenotype, cytokine profile, endocytic and T-cell-activation ability of these cells in support of the proteomic data, and obtained confirmatory evidence for differences in the maturation status and functional attributes between mDCs and the two DC models.


We have identified important proteomic and functional differences between mDCs and two DC model systems. These differences could have major functional implications, particularly in relation to DC-T cell interactions, the so-called immunological synapse, and, therefore, need to be considered when interpreting data obtained from model DC systems.