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1.  Novel Staphylococcal Glycosyltransferases SdgA and SdgB Mediate Immunogenicity and Protection of Virulence-Associated Cell Wall Proteins 
PLoS Pathogens  2013;9(10):e1003653.
Infection of host tissues by Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis requires an unusual family of staphylococcal adhesive proteins that contain long stretches of serine-aspartate dipeptide-repeats (SDR). The prototype member of this family is clumping factor A (ClfA), a key virulence factor that mediates adhesion to host tissues by binding to extracellular matrix proteins such as fibrinogen. However, the biological siginificance of the SDR-domain and its implication for pathogenesis remain poorly understood. Here, we identified two novel bacterial glycosyltransferases, SdgA and SdgB, which modify all SDR-proteins in these two bacterial species. Genetic and biochemical data demonstrated that these two glycosyltransferases directly bind and covalently link N-acetylglucosamine (GlcNAc) moieties to the SDR-domain in a step-wise manner, with SdgB appending the sugar residues proximal to the target Ser-Asp repeats, followed by additional modification by SdgA. GlcNAc-modification of SDR-proteins by SdgB creates an immunodominant epitope for highly opsonic human antibodies, which represent up to 1% of total human IgG. Deletion of these glycosyltransferases renders SDR-proteins vulnerable to proteolysis by human neutrophil-derived cathepsin G. Thus, SdgA and SdgB glycosylate staphylococcal SDR-proteins, which protects them against host proteolytic activity, and yet generates major eptopes for the human anti-staphylococcal antibody response, which may represent an ongoing competition between host and pathogen.
Author Summary
Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis are major bacterial pathogens that can cause life-threatening human diseases. Following entry into the circulation, S.aureus can infect virtually any organ. However, it must first counter antibacterial mechanisms of the innate immune system, including those involving macrophages and neutrophils. Important for staphylococcal adhesion to and successful colonization of host tissues, is a family of bacterial surface proteins containing multiple repeats of serine-aspartate repeats (SDR) adjacent to an adhesive A-domain. The biological functions of the SDR-domain of these SDR proteins remain elusive. We found that the SDR-domain of all staphylococcal SDR proteins is heavily glycosylated. We identified two novel glycosylases, SdgA and SdgB, which are responsible for glycosylation in two steps, and found that this glycosylation protects the adhesive SDR proteins against proteolytic attack by human neutrophil cathepin G. Since pathogen binding to human tissues, including the extracellular matrix protein fibrinogen, depends on SDR proteins, this glycosylation may be important for successful colonization of the human host. We also show that the SdgB-mediated glycosylation creates an immunodominant epitope for highly opsonic antibodies in humans. These antibodies account for a significant proportion of the total anti-staphylococcal IgG response.
PMCID: PMC3794999  PMID: 24130480
2.  Notch ligands Delta1 and Jagged1 transmit distinct signals to T-cell precursors 
Blood  2004;105(4):1440-1447.
Signaling through the Notch pathway plays an essential role in inducing T-lineage commitment and promoting the maturation of immature thymocytes. Using an in vitro culture system, we show that 2 different classes of Notch ligands, Jagged1 or Delta1, transmit distinct signals to T-cell progenitors. OP9 stromal cells expressing either Jagged1 or Delta1 inhibit the differentiation of DN1 thymocytes into the B-cell lineage, but only the Delta1-expressing stromal cells promote the proliferation and maturation of T-cell progenitors through the early double-negative (DN) stages of thymocyte development. Whereas the majority of bone marrow-derived stem cells do not respond to Jagged1 signals, T-cell progenitors respond to Jagged1 signals during a brief window of their development between the DN1 and DN3 stages of thymic development. During these stages, Jagged1 signals can influence the differentiation of immature thymocytes along the natural killer (NK) and γδ T-cell lineages.
PMCID: PMC2776671  PMID: 15486060
3.  Augmented IL-7 Signaling during Viral Infection Drives Greater Expansion of Effector T Cells but Does Not Enhance Memory1 
IL-7 signals are crucial for the survival of naive and memory T cells, and the IL-7R is expressed on the surface of these cells. Following viral infection, the IL-7R is expressed on only a subset of effector CD8 T cells, and has been demonstrated to be important for the survival of these memory precursors. IL-7 message levels remain relatively constant during the T cell response to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, but a short-lived burst of GM-CSF is observed soon after infection. Retroviral expression of a chimeric GM-CSF/IL-7R, in which binding of GM-CSF by T cells leads to IL-7 signaling, allows for the delivery of an IL-7 signal in all effector T cells expressing the receptor. In mice infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, CD8 and CD4 T cells transduced with this chimeric receptor underwent an enhanced proliferative response compared with untransduced populations in the same host. Similarly, TCR transgenic CD8 cells expressing the chimeric receptor produced higher effector numbers during the peak of the T cell response to infection. Surprisingly, the enhanced proliferation did not lead to higher memory numbers, as the subsequent contraction phase was more pronounced in the transduced cell populations. These findings demonstrate that artificial IL-7 signaling during an infection leads to significantly increased Ag-specific effector T cell numbers, but does not result in increased numbers of memory progeny. The extent of contraction may be dictated by intrinsic factors related to the number of prior cell divisions.
PMCID: PMC2775429  PMID: 16982881
4.  T Cells Develop Normally in the Absence of both Deltex1 and Deltex2▿ ‡  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2006;26(20):7358-7371.
Deltex1, Deltex2, and Deltex4 form a family of related proteins that are the mammalian homologues of Drosophila Deltex, a known regulator of Notch signals. Deltex1 is highly induced by Notch signaling in thymocytes, and overexpression of Deltex1 in T-cell progenitors can block Notch signals, suggesting that Deltex1 may play an important role in regulating Notch signals during T-cell development. A recent report found that T cells develop normally in mice carrying a targeted deletion in the Deltex1 gene (S. Storck, F. Delbos, N. Stadler, C. Thirion-Delalande, F. Bernex, C. Verthuy, P. Ferrier, J. C. Weill, and C. A. Reynaud, Mol. Cell. Biol. 25: 1437-1445, 2005), suggesting that other Deltex homologues may compensate in Deltex1-deficient T cells. We generated mice that lack expression of both Deltex1 and Deltex2 by gene targeting and further reduced expression of Deltex4 in Deltex1/Deltex2 double-deficient T-cell progenitors using RNA interference. Using a sensitive in vitro assay, we found that Notch signaling is more potent in cells expressing lower levels of Deltex proteins. Nevertheless, we were unable to detect any significant defects in thymocyte maturation in Deltex1/Deltex2 double-knockout mice. Together these data suggest that Deltex can act as a negative regulator of Notch signals in T cells but that endogenous levels of Deltex1 and Deltex2 are not important for regulating Notch signals during thymocyte development.
PMCID: PMC1636852  PMID: 16923970
5.  Cd8+ but Not Cd8− Dendritic Cells Cross-Prime Cytotoxic T Cells in Vivo 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2000;192(12):1685-1696.
Bone marrow–derived antigen-presenting cells (APCs) take up cell-associated antigens and present them in the context of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules to CD8+ T cells in a process referred to as cross-priming. Cross-priming is essential for the induction of CD8+ T cell responses directed towards antigens not expressed in professional APCs. Although in vitro experiments have shown that dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages are capable of presenting exogenous antigens in association with MHC class I, the cross-presenting cell in vivo has not been identified. We have isolated splenic DCs after in vivo priming with ovalbumin-loaded β2-microglobulin–deficient splenocytes and show that they indeed present cell-associated antigens in the context of MHC class I molecules. This process is transporter associated with antigen presentation (TAP) dependent, suggesting an endosome to cytosol transport. To determine whether a specific subset of splenic DCs is involved in this cross-presentation, we negatively and positively selected for CD8− and CD8+ DCs. Only the CD8+, and not the CD8−, DC subset demonstrates cross-priming ability. FACS® studies after injection of splenocytes loaded with fluorescent beads showed that 1 and 0.6% of the CD8+ and the CD8− DC subsets, respectively, had one or more associated beads. These results indicate that CD8+ DCs play an important role in the generation of cytotoxic T lymphocyte responses specific for cell-associated antigens.
PMCID: PMC2213493  PMID: 11120766
major histocompatibility complex class I; antigen presentation; antigen-presenting cell; cytotoxic T lymphocyte; cross-priming
6.  Crucial Role of the Interleukin 1 Receptor Family Member T1/St2 in T Helper Cell Type 2–Mediated Lung Mucosal Immune Responses 
T1/ST2 is an orphan receptor of unknown function that is expressed on the surface of murine T helper cell type 2 (Th2), but not Th1 effector cells. In vitro blockade of T1/ST2 signaling with an immunoglobulin (Ig) fusion protein suppresses both differentiation to and activation of Th2, but not Th1 effector populations. In a nascent Th2-dominated response, anti-T1/ST2 monoclonal antibody (mAb) inhibited eosinophil infiltration, interleukin 5 secretion, and IgE production. To determine if these effects were mediated by a direct effect on Th2 cells, we next used a murine adoptive transfer model of Th1- and Th2-mediated lung mucosal immune responses. Administration of either T1/ST2 mAb or T1/ST2-Ig abrogated Th2 cytokine production in vivo and the induction of an eosinophilic inflammatory response, but failed to modify Th1-mediated inflammation. Taken together, our data demonstrate an important role of T1/ST2 in Th2-mediated inflammatory responses and suggest that T1/ST2 may prove to be a novel target for the selective suppression of Th2 immune responses.
PMCID: PMC2195643  PMID: 10510079
inflammation; eosinophil; asthma; cytokines; immunoglobulin superfamily

Results 1-6 (6)