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1.  X-linked susceptibility to mycobacteria is caused by mutations in NEMO impairing CD40-dependent IL-12 production 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2006;203(7):1745-1759.
Germline mutations in five autosomal genes involved in interleukin (IL)-12–dependent, interferon (IFN)-γ–mediated immunity cause Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial diseases (MSMD). The molecular basis of X-linked recessive (XR)–MSMD remains unknown. We report here mutations in the leucine zipper (LZ) domain of the NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO) gene in three unrelated kindreds with XR-MSMD. The mutant proteins were produced in normal amounts in blood and fibroblastic cells. However, the patients' monocytes presented an intrinsic defect in T cell–dependent IL-12 production, resulting in defective IFN-γ secretion by T cells. IL-12 production was also impaired as the result of a specific defect in NEMO- and NF-κB/c-Rel–mediated CD40 signaling after the stimulation of monocytes and dendritic cells by CD40L-expressing T cells and fibroblasts, respectively. However, the CD40-dependent up-regulation of costimulatory molecules of dendritic cells and the proliferation and immunoglobulin class switch of B cells were normal. Moreover, the patients' blood and fibroblastic cells responded to other NF-κB activators, such as tumor necrosis factor-α, IL-1β, and lipopolysaccharide. These two mutations in the NEMO LZ domain provide the first genetic etiology of XR-MSMD. They also demonstrate the importance of the T cell– and CD40L-triggered, CD40-, and NEMO/NF-κB/c-Rel–mediated induction of IL-12 by monocyte-derived cells for protective immunity to mycobacteria in humans.
doi:10.1084/jem.20060085
PMCID: PMC2118353  PMID: 16818673
2.  Novel self-epitopes derived from aggrecan, fibrillin, and matrix metalloproteinase-3 drive distinct autoreactive T-cell responses in juvenile idiopathic arthritis and in health 
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a heterogeneous autoimmune disease characterized by chronic joint inflammation. Knowing which antigens drive the autoreactive T-cell response in JIA is crucial for the understanding of disease pathogenesis and additionally may provide targets for antigen-specific immune therapy. In this study, we tested 9 self-peptides derived from joint-related autoantigens for T-cell recognition (T-cell proliferative responses and cytokine production) in 36 JIA patients and 15 healthy controls. Positive T-cell proliferative responses (stimulation index ≥2) to one or more peptides were detected in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of 69% of JIA patients irrespective of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genotype. The peptides derived from aggrecan, fibrillin, and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-3 yielded the highest frequency of T-cell proliferative responses in JIA patients. In both the oligoarticular and polyarticular subtypes of JIA, the aggrecan peptide induced T-cell proliferative responses that were inversely related with disease duration. The fibrillin peptide, to our knowledge, is the first identified autoantigen that is primarily recognized in polyarticular JIA patients. Finally, the epitope derived from MMP-3 elicited immune responses in both subtypes of JIA and in healthy controls. Cytokine production in short-term peptide-specific T-cell lines revealed production of interferon-γ (aggrecan/MMP-3) and interleukin (IL)-17 (aggrecan) and inhibition of IL-10 production (aggrecan). Here, we have identified a triplet of self-epitopes, each with distinct patterns of T-cell recognition in JIA patients. Additional experiments need to be performed to explore their qualities and role in disease pathogenesis in further detail.
doi:10.1186/ar2088
PMCID: PMC1794523  PMID: 17129378

Results 1-2 (2)