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2.  CD1a and MHC Class I Follow a Similar Endocytic Recycling Pathway 
Traffic (Copenhagen, Denmark)  2008;9(9):10.1111/j.1600-0854.2008.00781.x.
CD1 proteins are a family of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) class I-like antigen-presenting molecules that present lipids to T cells. The cytoplasmic tails (CT) of all human CD1 isoforms, with the exception of CD1a, contain tyrosine-based sorting motifs, responsible for the internalization of proteins via the clathrin-mediated pathway. The role of the CD1a CT, which does not possess any sorting motifs, as well as its mode of internalization are not known. We investigated the internalization and recycling pathways followed by CD1a and the role of its CT. We found that CD1a can be internalized via a clathrin- and dynamin-independent pathway and that it follows a Rab22a- and ARF6-dependent recycling pathway, similarly to other cargo internalized independently of clathrin. We also found that the CD1a CT is S-acylated. However, this post-translational modification does not determine the rate of internalization or recycling of the protein, or its localization to detergent-resistant membrane microdomains (DRM), where we found CD1a to be enriched. We also show that plasma membrane DRM are essential for efficient CD1a-mediated antigen presentation. These findings place CD1a closer to MHC class I in its trafficking and potential antigen-loading compartments, among CD1 isoforms. Furthermore, we identify CD1a as a new marker for the clathrin- and dynamin-independent and DRM-dependent pathway of internalization as well as the Rab22a- and ARF6-dependent recycling pathway.
PMCID: PMC3839101  PMID: 18564371
internalization; recycling; S-acylation; clathrin; dynamin; CD1; MHC class I; cytoplasmic tail
3.  Bacteria and Protozoa Differentially Modulate the Expression of Rab Proteins 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(7):e39858.
Phagocytic cells represent an important line of innate defense against microorganisms. Uptake of microorganisms by these cells involves the formation of a phagosome that matures by fusing with endocytic compartments, resulting in killing of the enclosed microbe. Small GTPases of the Rab family are key regulators of vesicular trafficking in the endocytic pathway. Intracellular pathogens can interfere with the function of these proteins in order to subvert host immune responses. However, it is unknown if this subversion can be achieved through the modulation of Rab gene expression. We compared the expression level of 23 distinct Rab GTPases in mouse macrophages after infection with the protozoan Plasmodium berghei, and the bacteria Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica. We found that P. berghei induces an increase in the expression of a different set of Rab genes than E. coli and S. enterica, which behaved similarly. Strikingly, when one of the Rab proteins whose expression was increased by P. berghei, namely Rab14, was silenced, we observed a significant increase in the phagocytosis of P. berghei, whereas Rab14 overexpression led to a decrease in phagocytosis. This suggests that the parasite might induce the increase of Rab14 expression for its own advantage. Similarly, when Rab9a, whose expression was increased by E. coli and S. enterica, was silenced, we observed an increase in the phagocytosis of both bacterial species, whereas Rab9a overexpression caused a reduction in phagocytosis. This further suggests that the modulation of Rab gene expression could represent a mechanism of immune evasion. Thus, our study analyzes the modulation of Rab gene expression induced by bacteria and protozoa and suggests that this modulation could be necessary for the success of microbial infection.
PMCID: PMC3401185  PMID: 22911692
4.  Lysosomal Trafficking, Antigen Presentation, and Microbial Killing Are Controlled by the Arf-like GTPase Arl8b 
Immunity  2011;35(2):182-193.
Antigen presentation and microbial killing are critical arms of host defense that depend upon cargo trafficking into lysosomes. Yet, the molecular regulators of traffic into lysosomes are only partly understood. Here, using a lysosome-dependent immunological screen of a trafficking shRNA library, we identified the Arf-like GTPase Arl8b as a critical regulator of cargo delivery to lysosomes. Homotypic fusion and vacuole protein sorting (HOPS) complex members were identified as effectors of Arl8b and were dependent on Arl8b for recruitment to lysosomes, suggesting that Arl8b-HOPS plays a general role in directing traffic to lysosomes. Moreover, the formation of CD1 antigen-presenting complexes in lysosomes, their delivery to the plasma membrane, and phagosome-lysosome fusion were all markedly impaired in Arl8b silenced cells resulting in corresponding defects in T cell activation and microbial killing. Together, these results define Arl8b as a key regulator of lysosomal cellular and immunological functions.
Graphical Abstract
► Arl8b silencing reduces lysosomal CD1d antigen presentation to NKT-cells ► Arl8b controls trafficking of endocytosed dextran, LDL, and CD1d to lysosomes ► Arl8b binds VPS41 and recruits HOPS Complex members to lysosomes ► Arl8b controls phagosome to lysosome trafficking and microbial killing
PMCID: PMC3584282  PMID: 21802320
5.  Primary deficiency of microsomal triglyceride transfer protein in human abetalipoproteinemia is associated with loss of CD1 function 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2010;120(8):2889-2899.
Abetalipoproteinemia (ABL) is a rare Mendelian disorder of lipid metabolism due to genetic deficiency in microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP). It is associated with defects in MTP-mediated lipid transfer onto apolipoprotein B (APOB) and impaired secretion of APOB-containing lipoproteins. Recently, MTP was shown to regulate the CD1 family of lipid antigen-presenting molecules, but little is known about immune function in ABL patients. Here, we have shown that ABL is characterized by immune defects affecting presentation of self and microbial lipid antigens by group 1 (CD1a, CD1b, CD1c) and group 2 (CD1d) CD1 molecules. In dendritic cells isolated from ABL patients, MTP deficiency was associated with increased proteasomal degradation of group 1 CD1 molecules. Although CD1d escaped degradation, it was unable to load antigens and exhibited functional defects similar to those affecting the group 1 CD1 molecules. The reduction in CD1 function resulted in impaired activation of CD1-restricted T and invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells and reduced numbers and phenotypic alterations of iNKT cells consistent with central and peripheral CD1 defects in vivo. These data highlight MTP as a unique regulator of human metabolic and immune pathways and reveal that ABL is not only a disorder of lipid metabolism but also an immune disease involving CD1.
PMCID: PMC2912200  PMID: 20592474
6.  Regulation of CD1 Antigen-presenting Complex Stability* 
The Journal of Biological Chemistry  2010;285(16):11937-11947.
For major histocompatibility complex class I and II molecules, the binding of specific peptide antigens is essential for assembly and trafficking and is at the center of their quality control mechanism. However, the role of lipid antigen binding in stabilization and quality control of CD1 heavy chain (HC)·β2-microglobulin (β2m) complexes is unclear. Furthermore, the distinct trafficking and loading routes of CD1 proteins take them from mildly acidic pH in early endososmal compartments (pH 6.0) to markedly acidic pH in lysosomes (pH 5.0) and back to neutral pH of the cell surface (pH 7.4). Here, we present evidence that the stability of each CD1 HC·β2m complex is determined by the distinct pH optima identical to that of the intracellular compartments in which each CD1 isoform resides. Although stable at acidic endosomal pH, complexes are only stable at cell surface pH 7.4 when bound to specific lipid antigens. The proposed model outlines a quality control program that allows lipid exchange at low endosomal pH without dissociation of the CD1 HC·β2m complex and then stabilizes the antigen-loaded complex at neutral pH at the cell surface.
PMCID: PMC2852931  PMID: 20133943
Antigens MHC; Glycolipids; Immunology/Antigen; Immunology/Antigen Processing; Lipid; Protein/Stability; CD1; NKT Cell
7.  CD1c bypasses lysosomes to present a lipopeptide antigen with 12 amino acids 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2009;206(6):1409-1422.
The recent discovery of dideoxymycobactin (DDM) as a ligand for CD1a demonstrates how a nonribosomal lipopeptide antigen is presented to T cells. DDM contains an unusual acylation motif and a peptide sequence present only in mycobacteria, but its discovery raises the possibility that ribosomally produced viral or mammalian proteins that commonly undergo lipidation might also function as antigens. To test this, we measured T cell responses to synthetic acylpeptides that mimic lipoproteins produced by cells and viruses. CD1c presented an N-acyl glycine dodecamer peptide (lipo-12) to human T cells, and the response was specific for the acyl linkage as well as the peptide length and sequence. Thus, CD1c represents the second member of the CD1 family to present lipopeptides. lipo-12 was efficiently recognized when presented by intact cells, and unlike DDM, it was inactivated by proteases and augmented by protease inhibitors. Although lysosomes often promote antigen presentation by CD1, rerouting CD1c to lysosomes by mutating CD1 tail sequences caused reduction in lipo-12 presentation. Thus, although certain antigens require antigen processing in lysosomes, others are destroyed there, providing a hypothesis for the evolutionary conservation of large CD1 families containing isoforms that survey early endosomal pathways.
PMCID: PMC2715062  PMID: 19468063
8.  Membrane Targeting of Rab GTPases Is Influenced by the Prenylation MotifD⃞ 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2003;14(5):1882-1899.
Rab GTPases are regulators of membrane traffic. Rabs specifically associate with target membranes via the attachment of (usually) two geranylgeranyl groups in a reaction involving Rab escort protein and Rab geranylgeranyl transferase. In contrast, related GTPases are singly prenylated by CAAX prenyl transferases. We report that di-geranylgeranyl modification is important for targeting of Rab5a and Rab27a to endosomes and melanosomes, respectively. Transient expression of EGFP-Rab5 mutants containing two prenylatable cysteines (CGC, CC, CCQNI, and CCA) in HeLa cells did not affect endosomal targeting or function, whereas mono-cysteine mutants (CSLG, CVLL, or CVIM) were mistargeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and were nonfunctional. Similarly, Rab27aCVLL mutant is also mistargeted to the ER and transgenic expression on a Rab27a null background (Rab27aash) did not rescue the coat color phenotype, suggesting that Rab27aCVLL is not functional in vivo. CAAX prenyl transferase inhibition and temperature-shift experiments further suggest that Rabs, singly or doubly modified are recruited to membranes via a Rab escort protein/Rab geranylgeranyl transferase-dependent mechanism that is distinct from the insertion of CAAX-containing GTPases. Finally, we show that both singly and doubly modified Rabs are extracted from membranes by RabGDIα and propose that the mistargeting of Rabs to the ER results from loss of targeting information.
PMCID: PMC165084  PMID: 12802062
10.  Functional redundancy of Rab27 proteins and the pathogenesis of Griscelli syndrome 
Griscelli syndrome (GS) patients and the corresponding mouse model ashen exhibit defects mainly in two types of lysosome-related organelles, melanosomes in melanocytes and lytic granules in CTLs. This disease is caused by loss-of-function mutations in RAB27A, which encodes 1 of the 60 known Rab GTPases, critical regulators of vesicular transport. Here we present evidence that Rab27a function can be compensated by a closely related protein, Rab27b. Rab27b is expressed in platelets and other tissues but not in melanocytes or CTLs. Morphological and functional tests in platelets derived from ashen mice are all within normal limits. Both Rab27a and Rab27b are found associated with the limiting membrane of platelet-dense granules and to a lesser degree with α-granules. Ubiquitous transgenic expression of Rab27a or Rab27b rescues ashen coat color, and melanocytes derived from transgenic mice exhibit widespread peripheral distribution of melanosomes instead of the perinuclear clumping observed in ashen melanocytes. Finally, transient expression in ashen melanocytes of Rab27a or Rab27b, but not other Rab’s, restores peripheral distribution of melanosomes. Our data suggest that Rab27b is functionally redundant with Rab27a and that the pathogenesis of GS is determined by the relative expression of Rab27a and Rab27b in specialized cell types.
PMCID: PMC151050  PMID: 12122117
11.  Rab27a Is Required for Regulated Secretion in Cytotoxic T Lymphocytes 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2001;152(4):825-834.
Rab27a activity is affected in several mouse models of human disease including Griscelli (ashen mice) and Hermansky-Pudlak (gunmetal mice) syndromes. A loss of function mutation occurs in the Rab27a gene in ashen (ash), whereas in gunmetal (gm) Rab27a dysfunction is secondary to a mutation in the α subunit of Rab geranylgeranyl transferase, an enzyme required for prenylation and activation of Rabs. We show here that Rab27a is normally expressed in cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs), but absent in ashen homozygotes (ash/ash). Cytotoxicity and secretion assays show that ash/ash CTLs are unable to kill target cells or to secrete granzyme A and hexosaminidase. By immunofluorescence and electron microscopy, we show polarization but no membrane docking of ash/ash lytic granules at the immunological synapse. In gunmetal CTLs, we show underprenylation and redistribution of Rab27a to the cytosol, implying reduced activity. Gunmetal CTLs show a reduced ability to kill target cells but retain the ability to secrete hexosaminidase and granzyme A. However, only some of the granules polarize to the immunological synapse, and many remain dispersed around the periphery of the CTLs. These results demonstrate that Rab27a is required in a final secretory step and that other Rab proteins also affected in gunmetal are likely to be involved in polarization of the granules to the immunological synapse.
PMCID: PMC2195783  PMID: 11266472
Rab27a; cytotoxic T lymphocyte; secretory lysosomes; immunological synapse; Arp2/3

Results 1-11 (11)