Search tips
Search criteria

Results 1-14 (14)

Clipboard (0)

Select a Filter Below

Year of Publication
1.  Going Pro to enhance T-cell immunogenicity: easy as π? 
European journal of immunology  2013;43(11):2814-2817.
MHC class I molecules bind intracellular oligopeptides and present them on the cell surface for CD8+ T-cell activation and recognition. Strong peptide/MHC class I (pMHC) interactions typically induce the best CD8+ T-cell responses; however, many immunotherapeutic tumor-specific peptides bind MHC with low affinity. To overcome this, immunologists can carefully alter peptides for enhanced MHC affinity but often at the cost of decreased T-cell recognition. A new report published in this issue of the European Journal of Immunology [Eur. J. Immunol. 2013. 43: XXXX-XXXX] shows that the substitution of proline (Pro) at the third residue (p3P) of a common tumor peptide increases pMHC affinity and complex stability while enhancing T-cell receptor recognition. X-ray crystallography indicates that stability is generated through newly introduced CH-π bonding between p3P and a conserved residue (Y159) in the MHC heavy chain. This finding highlights a previously unappreciated role for CH-π bonding in MHC peptide binding, and importantly, arms immunologists with a novel and possibly general approach for increasing pMHC stability without compromising T-cell recognition.
PMCID: PMC3890745  PMID: 24155147
altered peptide ligand; MHC class I; peptide; tumor-associated antigen
2.  Biogenesis of Influenza A Virus Hemagglutinin Cross-Protective Stem Epitopes 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(6):e1004204.
Antigenic variation in the globular domain of influenza A virus (IAV) hemagglutinin (HA) precludes effective immunity to this major human pathogen. Although the HA stem is highly conserved between influenza virus strains, HA stem-reactive antibodies (StRAbs) were long considered biologically inert. It is now clear, however, that StRAbs reduce viral replication in animal models and protect against pathogenicity and death, supporting the potential of HA stem-based immunogens as drift-resistant vaccines. Optimally designing StRAb-inducing immunogens and understanding StRAb effector functions require thorough comprehension of HA stem structure and antigenicity. Here, we study the biogenesis of HA stem epitopes recognized in cells infected with various drifted IAV H1N1 strains using mouse and human StRAbs. Using a novel immunofluorescence (IF)-based assay, we find that human StRAbs bind monomeric HA in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and trimerized HA in the Golgi complex (GC) with similar high avidity, potentially good news for producing effective monomeric HA stem immunogens. Though HA stem epitopes are nestled among several N-linked oligosaccharides, glycosylation is not required for full antigenicity. Rather, as N-linked glycans increase in size during intracellular transport of HA through the GC, StRAb binding becomes temperature-sensitive, binding poorly to HA at 4°C and well at 37°C. A de novo designed, 65-residue protein binds the mature HA stem independently of temperature, consistent with a lack of N-linked oligosaccharide steric hindrance due to its small size. Likewise, StRAbs bind recombinant HA carrying simple N-linked glycans in a temperature-independent manner. Chemical cross-linking experiments show that N-linked oligosaccharides likely influence StRAb binding by direct local effects rather than by globally modifying the conformational flexibility of HA. Our findings indicate that StRAb binding to HA is precarious, raising the possibility that sufficient immune pressure on the HA stem region could select for viral escape mutants with increased steric hindrance from N-linked glycans.
Author Summary
Extensive variation in the IAV HA globular domain severely impedes influenza vaccination. Recent findings demonstrate that StRAbs, specific Abs to the highly conserved stem region of HA, can protect hosts against a broad variety of influenza virus strains. In investigating the binding of StRAbs to HA during its biogenesis in IAV-infected cells, we find that these Abs can bind HA monomers prior to their trimerization in the GC. Binding to HA becomes temperature-dependent, however, as N-linked oligosaccharides mature during transport of trimerized HA through the GC to the cell surface. Our findings support the potential use of monomeric HA stem immunogens to induce broadly neutralizing Abs, but raise the possibility of eventual viral escape from StRAbs, based on structural alterations in the HA that increase steric hindrance of HA stem N-linked glycans on StRAb binding.
PMCID: PMC4055778  PMID: 24945804
3.  Anatomically restricted synergistic anti-viral activities of innate and adaptive immune cells in the skin 
Cell host & microbe  2013;13(2):155-168.
Despite extensive ex vivo investigation, the spatiotemporal organization of immune cells interacting with virus-infected cells in tissues remains uncertain. To address this, we used intravital multiphoton microscopy to visualize immune cell interactions with virus-infected cells following epicutaneous vaccinia virus (VV) infection of mice. VV infects keratinocytes in epidermal foci, and numerous migratory dermal inflammatory monocytes outlying the foci. We observed Ly6G+ innate immune cells infiltrating and controlling foci, while CD8+ T cells remained on the periphery killing infected monocytes. Most antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in the skin did not interact with virus-infected cells. Blocking the generation of reactive nitrogen species relocated CD8+ T cells into foci, modestly reducing viral titers. Depletion of Ly6G+ and CD8+ cells dramatically increased viral titers, consistent with their synergistic but spatially segregated viral clearance activities. These findings highlight previously unappreciated differences in the anatomic specialization of antiviral immune cell subsets.
PMCID: PMC3591514  PMID: 23414756
4.  Nuclear translation visualized by ribosome-bound nascent chain puromycylation 
The Journal of Cell Biology  2012;197(1):45-57.
A new method for visualizing translation in cells via standard immunofluorescence microscopy provides evidence for translation in the nucleoplasm and nucleolus.
Whether protein translation occurs in the nucleus is contentious. To address this question, we developed the ribopuromycylation method (RPM), which visualizes translation in cells via standard immunofluorescence microscopy. The RPM is based on ribosome-catalyzed puromycylation of nascent chains immobilized on ribosomes by antibiotic chain elongation inhibitors followed by detection of puromycylated ribosome-bound nascent chains with a puromycin (PMY)-specific monoclonal antibody in fixed and permeabilized cells. The RPM correlates localized translation with myriad processes in cells and can be applied to any cell whose translation is sensitive to PMY. In this paper, we use the RPM to provide evidence for translation in the nucleoplasm and nucleolus, which is regulated by infectious and chemical stress.
PMCID: PMC3317795  PMID: 22472439
5.  From optical bench to cageside: intravital microscopy on the long road to rational vaccine design 
Immunological Reviews  2011;239(1):209-220.
No anti-viral vaccine is perfect. For some important pathogens, there are no effective vaccines. Many current vaccines are based on the working principles of Jenner and Pasteur, i.e. empiric administration of attenuated or inactivated forms of the pathogen. Tapping the full potential of vaccination requires a thorough understanding of the mechanism of immune activation by pathogens and their individual components. Though the rate of discovery continues to accelerate, the complexity of the immune system is daunting, particularly when integrated into the overall physiology of the host. Here, we review the application of multiphoton microscopy to examine host-pathogen interactions, focusing on our recent efforts to understand mouse CD8+ T-cell responses to viruses at the level of cellular interactions in lymph nodes draining the infection site. We also discuss our recent efforts to understand the influence of the sympathetic nervous system on antiviral immunity, with the ultimate goal of appreciating the traditional elements of immunity as just one facet of the total organismal response to infection and immunization.
PMCID: PMC3401942  PMID: 21198674
intravital microscopy; sympathetic nervous system; T cell; vaccine; virus
6.  Chemokines control naive CD8+ T cell selection of optimal lymph node antigen presenting cells 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2011;208(12):2511-2524.
CCR5-binding chemokines produced in the draining lymph node after vaccinia virus infection guide naive CD8+ T cells toward DCs and away from the macrophage-rich zone, thereby facilitating optimal CD8+ T cell activation and cytokine production.
Naive antiviral CD8+ T cells are activated in the draining LN (DLN) by dendritic cells (DCs) presenting viral antigens. However, many viruses infect LN macrophages, which participate in initiation of innate immunity and B cell activation. To better understand how and why T cells select infected DCs rather than macrophages, we performed intravital microscopy and ex vivo analyses after infecting mice with vaccinia virus (VV), a large DNA virus that infects both LN macrophages and DCs. Although CD8+ T cells interact with both infected macrophages and DCs in the LN peripheral interfollicular region (PIR), DCs generate more frequent and stable interactions with T cells. VV infection induces rapid release of CCR5-binding chemokines in the LN, and administration of chemokine-neutralizing antibodies diminishes T cell activation by increasing T cell localization to macrophages in the macrophage-rich region (MRR) at the expense of PIR DCs. Similarly, DC ablation increases both T cell localization to the MRR and the duration of T cell–macrophage contacts, resulting in suboptimal T cell activation. Thus, virus-induced chemokines in DLNs enable antiviral CD8+ T cells to distinguish DCs from macrophages to optimize T cell priming.
PMCID: PMC3256957  PMID: 22042976
7.  Although Divergent in Residues of the Peptide-Binding Site, Conserved Chimpanzee Patr-AL and Polymorphic Human HLA-A*02 have Overlapping Peptide-Binding Repertoires 1 
Patr-AL is an expressed, non-polymorphic MHC class I gene carried by ∼50% of chimpanzee MHC haplotypes. Comparing Patr-AL+ and Patr-AL- haplotypes showed Patr-AL defines a unique 125kb genomic block flanked by blocks containing classical Patr-A and pseudogene Patr-H. Orthologous to Patr-AL are polymorphic orangutan Popy-A and the 5′ part of human pseudogene HLA-Y, carried by ∼10% of HLA haplotypes. Thus the AL gene alternatively evolved in these closely related species to become classical, non-classical and non-functional. Although differing by 30 amino acid substitutions in the peptide-binding α1 and α2 domains, Patr-AL and HLA-A*0201 bind overlapping repertoires of peptides; the overlap being comparable to that between the A*0201 and A*0207 subtypes differing by one substitution. Patr-AL thus has the A02 supertypic peptide-binding specificity. Patr-AL and HLA-A*0201 have similar three-dimensional structures, binding peptides in similar conformation. Although comparable in size and shape, the B and F specificity pockets of Patr-AL and HLA-A*0201 differ in both their constituent residues and contacts with peptide anchors. Uniquely shared by Patr-AL, HLA-A*0201, and other members of the A02 supertype are the absence of serine at position 9 in the B pocket and the presence of tyrosine at position 116 in the F pocket. Distinguishing Patr-AL from HLA-A*02 is an unusually electropositive upper face on the α2 helix. Stimulating PBMC from Patr-AL- chimpanzees with B cells expressing Patr-AL, produced potent alloreactive CD8 T cells with specificity for Patr-AL and no crossreactivity toward other MHC class I, including HLA-A*02. PBMC from Patr-AL+ chimpanzees are tolerant of Patr-AL.
PMCID: PMC3124313  PMID: 21209280
8.  Unexpected Role for the Immunoproteasome Subunit LMP2 in Antiviral Humoral and Innate Immune Responses 
Proteasomes are multisubunit proteases that initiate degradation of many Ags presented by MHC class I molecules. Vertebrates express alternate forms of each of the three catalytic proteasome subunits: standard subunits, and immunosubunits, which are constitutively expressed by APCs and are induced in other cell types by exposure to cytokines. The assembly of mixed proteasomes containing standard subunits and immunosubunits is regulated in a tissue specific manner. In this study, we report that the presence of mixed proteasomes in immune cells in LMP2−/− mice compromises multiple components that contribute to the generation of antiviral Ab responses, including splenic B cell numbers, survival and function of adoptively transferred B cells, Th cell function, and dendritic cell secretion of IL-6, TNF-α, IL-1β, and type I IFNs. These defects did not result from compromised overall protein degradation, rather they were associated with altered NF-κB activity. These findings demonstrate an important role for immunoproteasomes in immune cell function beyond their contribution to Ag processing.
PMCID: PMC2941094  PMID: 20228196
9.  Cutting Edge: Sympathetic Nervous System Increases Proinflammatory Cytokines and Exacerbates Influenza A Virus Pathogenesis 
Although the sympathetic nervous system innervates the lung, little is known about its participation in host immunity to pulmonary pathogens. In this study, we show that peripheral sympathectomy reduces mouse morbidity and mortality from influenza A virus-induced pneumonia due to reduced inflammatory influx of monocytes, neutrophils, and NK cells. Mortality was also delayed by treating mice with an α-adrenergic antagonist. Sympathectomy diminished the immediate innate cytokine responses, particularly IL-1, which was profoundly reduced. These findings demonstrate an unexpected role for the sympathetic nervous system in innate antiviral immunity and in exacerbating the pathology of a virus of great significance to human and animal health.
PMCID: PMC2941093  PMID: 20018617
10.  Hemagglutinin Receptor Binding Avidity Drives Influenza A Virus Antigenic Drift 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  2009;326(5953):734-736.
Rapid antigenic evolution in the influenza A virus hemagglutinin precludes effective vaccination with existing vaccines. To understand this phenomenon, we passaged virus in mice immunized with influenza. Neutralizing antibodies selected mutants with single amino acid hemagglutinin substitutions that increased virus binding to cell surface glycan receptors. Passaging these high avidity-binding mutants in naïve mice, but not immune mice, selected for additional hemagglutinin substitutions that decreased cellular receptor binding avidity. Analyzing a panel of monoclonal antibody hemagglutinin escape mutants revealed a positive correlation between receptor binding avidity and escape from polyclonal antibodies. We propose that in response to variation in neutralizing antibody pressure between individuals, influenza A virus evolves by adjusting receptor binding avidity via amino acid substitutions throughout the hemagglutinin globular domain, many of which simultaneously alter antigenicity.
PMCID: PMC2784927  PMID: 19900932
11.  Caught in the Act: Intravital Multiphoton Microscopy of Host-Pathogen Interactions 
Cell host & microbe  2009;5(1):13-21.
Intravital multiphoton microscopy provides a unique opportunity to discover and characterize biological phenomena in the natural context of living organisms. Here we provide an overview of multiphoton microscopy with particular attention to its application for studying host-pathogen interactions.
PMCID: PMC2755632  PMID: 19154984
12.  Murine Norovirus Infection Has No Significant Effect on Adaptive Immunity to Vaccinia Virus or Influenza A Virus ▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(14):7357-7360.
Murine norovirus (MNV) is endemic in many research mouse colonies. Although MNV infections are typically asymptomatic in immunocompetent mice, the effects of MNV infection on subsequent experimental viral infections are poorly documented. Here, we infected C57BL/6 mice with MNV and then with either vaccinia virus or influenza A virus. MNV infection had no effect on CD8+ T-cell or antibody responses to secondary viruses or to secondary virus-induced morbidity or mortality. While our findings suggest that MNV has little influence on host immunity in immunocompetent mice, we would urge caution regarding the potential effects of MNV on immune responses to viruses and other pathogens, which must be determined on a system-by-system basis.
PMCID: PMC2704774  PMID: 19403665
13.  Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase Establishes and Broadens Anti-Viral CD8+ T Cell Immunodominance Hierarchies 
The action of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) on mouse T cell receptor (TCR) genes accounts for ∼ 90% of T cell repertoire diversity. We report that in TdT -/- mice, total TCD8+ responses to influenza and vaccinia viruses are reduced by ∼ 30% relative to wt mice. We find that TCD8+ responses to 3 subdominant influenza virus determinants are reduced to background values in TdT -/- mice while responses to 3 immunodominant determinants undergo a major reshuffling. A similar reshuffling occurs in TCD8+ responses to immunodominant vaccinia virus determinants, and is clearly based on broad differences in TCR family usage and CDR3 length between wt and TdT -/- mice. These findings demonstrate that TdT plays a critical role in the magnitude and breadth of anti-viral TCD8+ responses toward individual determinants and suggests that germline TCR repertoire bias towards the most dominant determinants is a major factor in establishing immunodominance hierarchies.
PMCID: PMC2587314  PMID: 18566432
14.  New lane in the information highway: alternative reading frame peptides elicit T cells with potent antiretrovirus activity 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2007;204(11):2501-2504.
CD8+ T cells rapidly recognize virus-infected cells due to the generation of antigenic peptides from defective ribosomal products (DRiPs) that are encoded by standard open reading frames (ORFs). New data now show that alternative reading frame (ARF) DRiPs can also induce robust CD8+ T cell responses. ARF-specific T cells control retroviral replication and select for viral escape in monkeys, providing the most compelling evidence to date for the biological relevance of ARF immunosurveillance.
PMCID: PMC2118496  PMID: 17954574

Results 1-14 (14)