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1.  Cooperation between Epstein-Barr Virus Immune Evasion Proteins Spreads Protection from CD8+ T Cell Recognition across All Three Phases of the Lytic Cycle 
PLoS Pathogens  2014;10(8):e1004322.
CD8+ T cell responses to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) lytic cycle expressed antigens display a hierarchy of immunodominance, in which responses to epitopes of immediate-early (IE) and some early (E) antigens are more frequently observed than responses to epitopes of late (L) expressed antigens. It has been proposed that this hierarchy, which correlates with the phase-specific efficiency of antigen presentation, may be due to the influence of viral immune-evasion genes. At least three EBV-encoded genes, BNLF2a, BGLF5 and BILF1, have the potential to inhibit processing and presentation of CD8+ T cell epitopes. Here we examined the relative contribution of these genes to modulation of CD8+ T cell recognition of EBV lytic antigens expressed at different phases of the replication cycle in EBV-transformed B-cells (LCLs) which spontaneously reactivate lytic cycle. Selective shRNA-mediated knockdown of BNLF2a expression led to more efficient recognition of immediate-early (IE)- and early (E)-derived epitopes by CD8+ T cells, while knock down of BILF1 increased recognition of epitopes from E and late (L)-expressed antigens. Contrary to what might have been predicted from previous ectopic expression studies in EBV-negative model cell lines, the shRNA-mediated inhibition of BGLF5 expression in LCLs showed only modest, if any, increase in recognition of epitopes expressed in any phase of lytic cycle. These data indicate that whilst BNLF2a interferes with antigen presentation with diminishing efficiency as lytic cycle progresses (IE>E>>L), interference by BILF1 increases with progression through lytic cycle (IE
Author Summary
Epstein Barr Virus (EBV), an oncogenic herpesvirus, infects and persists asymptomatically in the majority of humans. In immunocompetent individuals, EBV co-exists with its host as a lifelong infection in the face of strong anti-viral CD8+ T-cell responses. Evasion of this immune-response is presumed to be due in part to immune-modulating mechanisms of certain EBV-encoded proteins expressed during lytic cycle replication. Three such proteins (BNLF2a, BGLF5 and BILF1) have been identified biochemically as able to interfere with HLA-class I antigen presentation. In this study we investigated these proteins in the context of EBV-infected cells in lytic cycle, and their functional recognition by EBV virus-specific CD8+ T-cells. A novel feature of EBV biology was revealed; rather than demonstrating simple redundancy, evasion proteins effect optimum temporal protection at different phases of lytic cycle. BNLF2a strongly inhibited CD8+ T-cell recognition immediately after the EBV-infected cells entered lytic cycle, with its influence waning upon progression to later phases of lytic cycle. Conversely, BILF1 strongly inhibited recognition predominantly at the late phase of lytic cycle. Unexpectedly, despite its well-characterised molecular functions, BGLF5 had relatively little effect on recognition at any stage of lytic cycle. Our results help to explain the previously-identified unusual pattern of immunodominance of anti-EBV CD8+ T-cell responses.
PMCID: PMC4140850  PMID: 25144360
Characterization of the human EBV-specific CD4+ T cell response using MHC II tetramers reveals the latent EBV antigen response is more frequent than the lytic response with a delayed EBNA1 response that coincides with diminished cross-presentation.
Virus-specific CD4+ T cells are key orchestrators of host responses to viral infection yet, compared with their CD8+ T cell counterparts, remain poorly characterized at the single cell level. Here we use nine MHC II–epitope peptide tetramers to visualize human CD4+ T cell responses to Epstein–Barr virus (EBV), the causative agent of infectious mononucleosis (IM), a disease associated with large virus-specific CD8+ T cell responses. We find that, while not approaching virus-specific CD8+ T cell expansions in magnitude, activated CD4+ T cells specific for epitopes in the latent antigen EBNA2 and four lytic cycle antigens are detected at high frequencies in acute IM blood. They then fall rapidly to values typical of life-long virus carriage where most tetramer-positive cells display conventional memory markers but some, unexpectedly, revert to a naive-like phenotype. In contrast CD4+ T cell responses to EBNA1 epitopes are greatly delayed in IM patients, in line with the well-known but hitherto unexplained delay in EBNA1 IgG antibody responses. We present evidence from an in vitro system that may explain these unusual kinetics. Unlike other EBNAs and lytic cycle proteins, EBNA1 is not naturally released from EBV-infected cells as a source of antigen for CD4+ T cell priming.
PMCID: PMC3646497  PMID: 23569328
In patients with XLP, a primary immunodeficiency caused by mutations in SH2D1A, EBV infection can lead to somatic reversion of the disease-causing mutation selectively in effector memory CD8 T cells; reverted CD8 cells are better able to respond to and kill EBV-infected cells.
Patients with the primary immunodeficiency X-linked lymphoproliferative disease (XLP), which is caused by mutations in SH2D1A, are highly susceptible to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection. Nonetheless, some XLP patients demonstrate less severe clinical manifestations after primary infection. SH2D1A encodes the adaptor molecule SLAM-associated protein (SAP), which is expressed in T and natural killer cells and is required for cytotoxicity against B cells, the reservoir for EBV. It is not known why the clinical presentation of XLP is so variable. In this study, we report for the first time the occurrence of somatic reversion in XLP. Reverted SAP-expressing cells resided exclusively within the CD8+ T cell subset, displayed a CD45RA−CCR7− effector memory phenotype, and were maintained at a stable level over time. Importantly, revertant CD8+ SAP+ T cells, but not SAP− cells, proliferated in response to EBV and killed EBV-infected B cells. As somatic reversion correlated with EBV infection, we propose that the virus exerts a selective pressure on the reverted cells, resulting in their expansion in vivo and host protection against ongoing infection.
PMCID: PMC3348103  PMID: 22493517
The New England Journal of Medicine  2012;366(12):1090-1098.
The myelodysplastic syndromes are a group of hematologic disorders that often evolve into secondary acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The genetic changes that underlie progression from the myelodysplastic syndromes to secondary AML are not well understood.
We performed whole-genome sequencing of seven paired samples of skin and bone marrow in seven subjects with secondary AML to identify somatic mutations specific to secondary AML. We then genotyped a bone marrow sample obtained during the antecedent myelodysplastic-syndrome stage from each subject to determine the presence or absence of the specific somatic mutations. We identified recurrent mutations in coding genes and defined the clonal architecture of each pair of samples from the myelodysplastic-syndrome stage and the secondary-AML stage, using the allele burden of hundreds of mutations.
Approximately 85% of bone marrow cells were clonal in the myelodysplastic-syndrome and secondary-AML samples, regardless of the myeloblast count. The secondary-AML samples contained mutations in 11 recurrently mutated genes, including 4 genes that have not been previously implicated in the myelodysplastic syndromes or AML. In every case, progression to acute leukemia was defined by the persistence of an antecedent founding clone containing 182 to 660 somatic mutations and the outgrowth or emergence of at least one subclone, harboring dozens to hundreds of new mutations. All founding clones and subclones contained at least one mutation in a coding gene.
Nearly all the bone marrow cells in patients with myelodysplastic syndromes and secondary AML are clonally derived. Genetic evolution of secondary AML is a dynamic process shaped by multiple cycles of mutation acquisition and clonal selection. Recurrent gene mutations are found in both founding clones and daughter subclones. (Funded by the National Institutes of Health and others.)
PMCID: PMC3320218  PMID: 22417201
Nature Genetics  2011;44(1):53-57.
Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are hematopoietic stem cell disorders that often progress to chemotherapy-resistant secondary acute myeloid leukemia (sAML). We used whole genome sequencing to perform an unbiased comprehensive screen to discover all the somatic mutations in a sAML sample and genotyped these loci in the matched MDS sample. Here we show that a missense mutation affecting the serine at codon 34 (S34) in U2AF1 was recurrently mutated in 13/150 (8.7%) de novo MDS patients, with suggestive evidence of an associated increased risk of progression to sAML. U2AF1 is a U2 auxiliary factor protein that recognizes the AG splice acceptor dinucleotide at the 3′ end of introns and mutations are located in highly conserved zinc fingers in U2AF11,2. Mutant U2AF1 promotes enhanced splicing and exon skipping in reporter assays in vitro. This novel, recurrent mutation in U2AF1 implicates altered pre-mRNA splicing as a potential mechanism for MDS pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3247063  PMID: 22158538
The New England journal of medicine  2009;361(11):1058-1066.
The full complement of DNA mutations that are responsible for the pathogenesis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is not yet known.
We used massively parallel DNA sequencing to obtain a very high level of coverage (approximately 98%) of a primary, cytogenetically normal, de novo genome for AML with minimal maturation (AML-M1) and a matched normal skin genome.
We identified 12 acquired (somatic) mutations within the coding sequences of genes and 52 somatic point mutations in conserved or regulatory portions of the genome. All mutations appeared to be heterozygous and present in nearly all cells in the tumor sample. Four of the 64 mutations occurred in at least 1 additional AML sample in 188 samples that were tested. Mutations in NRAS and NPM1 had been identified previously in patients with AML, but two other mutations had not been identified. One of these mutations, in the IDH1 gene, was present in 15 of 187 additional AML genomes tested and was strongly associated with normal cytogenetic status; it was present in 13 of 80 cytogenetically normal samples (16%). The other was a nongenic mutation in a genomic region with regulatory potential and conservation in higher mammals; we detected it in one additional AML tumor. The AML genome that we sequenced contains approximately 750 point mutations, of which only a small fraction are likely to be relevant to pathogenesis.
By comparing the sequences of tumor and skin genomes of a patient with AML-M1, we have identified recurring mutations that may be relevant for pathogenesis.
PMCID: PMC3201812  PMID: 19657110
The identification of patients with inherited cancer susceptibility syndromes facilitates early diagnosis, prevention, and treatment. However, in many cases of suspected cancer susceptibility, the family history is unclear and genetic testing of common cancer susceptibility genes is unrevealing.
To apply whole-genome sequencing to a patient with suspected cancer susceptibility (and lacking a clear family history of cancer and no BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations) to identify rare or novel germline variants in cancer susceptibility genes.
Design, Setting, and Participant
Skin (normal) and bone marrow (leukemia) DNA were obtained from a patient with early-onset breast and ovarian cancer and therapy-related acute myeloid leukemia (t-AML), and analyzed with: 1) whole genome sequencing using paired end reads; 2) SNP genotyping; 3) RNA expression profiling; and 4) spectral karyotyping.
Main Outcome Measures
Structural variants, copy number alterations, single nucleotide variants and small insertions and deletions (indels) were detected and validated using the above platforms.
Whole genome sequencing revealed a novel, heterozygous 3 Kb deletion removing exons 7-9 of TP53 in the patient’s normal skin DNA, which was homozygous in the leukemia DNA as a result of uniparental disomy. In addition, a total of 28 validated somatic single nucleotide variations or indels in coding genes, 8 somatic structural variants, and 12 somatic copy number alterations were detected in the patient’s leukemia genome.
Whole genome sequencing can identify novel, cryptic variants in cancer susceptibility genes in addition to providing unbiased information on the spectrum of mutations in a cancer genome.
PMCID: PMC3170052  PMID: 21505135
In this study, high-throughput, next-generation sequencing was used to identify disease-causing mutations in a large set of unrelated families with autosomal dominant retinitis pigmentosa (adRP), a highly heterogeneous inherited disease. This is one of the first reports of the application of the technology to a large set of adRP families. Next-generation sequencing of a large set of candidate genes identified mutations in 24% of the families tested, bringing the mutation identification rate in this adRP cohort to 65%.
To determine whether massively parallel next-generation DNA sequencing offers rapid and efficient detection of disease-causing mutations in patients with monogenic inherited diseases. Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a challenging application for this technology because it is a monogenic disease in individuals and families but is highly heterogeneous in patient populations. RP has multiple patterns of inheritance, with mutations in many genes for each inheritance pattern and numerous, distinct, disease-causing mutations at each locus; further, many RP genes have not been identified yet.
Next-generation sequencing was used to identify mutations in pairs of affected individuals from 21 families with autosomal dominant RP, selected from a cohort of families without mutations in “common” RP genes. One thousand amplicons targeting 249,267 unique bases of 46 candidate genes were sequenced with the 454GS FLX Titanium (Roche Diagnostics, Indianapolis, IN) and GAIIx (Illumina/Solexa, San Diego, CA) platforms.
An average sequence depth of 70× and 125× was obtained for the 454GS FLX and GAIIx platforms, respectively. More than 9000 sequence variants were identified and analyzed, to assess the likelihood of pathogenicity. One hundred twelve of these were selected as likely candidates and tested for segregation with traditional di-deoxy capillary electrophoresis sequencing of additional family members and control subjects. Five disease-causing mutations (24%) were identified in the 21 families.
This project demonstrates that next-generation sequencing is an effective approach for detecting novel, rare mutations causing heterogeneous monogenic disorders such as RP. With the addition of this technology, disease-causing mutations can now be identified in 65% of autosomal dominant RP cases.
PMCID: PMC3053293  PMID: 20861475
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2011;121(4):1445-1455.
Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is a subtype of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). It is characterized by the t(15;17)(q22;q11.2) chromosomal translocation that creates the promyelocytic leukemia–retinoic acid receptor α (PML-RARA) fusion oncogene. Although this fusion oncogene is known to initiate APL in mice, other cooperating mutations, as yet ill defined, are important for disease pathogenesis. To identify these, we used a mouse model of APL, whereby PML-RARA expressed in myeloid cells leads to a myeloproliferative disease that ultimately evolves into APL. Sequencing of a mouse APL genome revealed 3 somatic, nonsynonymous mutations relevant to APL pathogenesis, of which 1 (Jak1 V657F) was found to be recurrent in other affected mice. This mutation was identical to the JAK1 V658F mutation previously found in human APL and acute lymphoblastic leukemia samples. Further analysis showed that JAK1 V658F cooperated in vivo with PML-RARA, causing a rapidly fatal leukemia in mice. We also discovered a somatic 150-kb deletion involving the lysine (K)-specific demethylase 6A (Kdm6a, also known as Utx) gene, in the mouse APL genome. Similar deletions were observed in 3 out of 14 additional mouse APL samples and 1 out of 150 human AML samples. In conclusion, whole genome sequencing of mouse cancer genomes can provide an unbiased and comprehensive approach for discovering functionally relevant mutations that are also present in human leukemias.
PMCID: PMC3069786  PMID: 21436584
Nature  2010;464(7291):999-1005.
Massively parallel DNA sequencing technologies provide an unprecedented ability to screen entire genomes for genetic changes associated with tumor progression. Here we describe the genomic analyses of four DNA samples from an African-American patient with basal-like breast cancer: peripheral blood, the primary tumor, a brain metastasis, and a xenograft derived from the primary tumor. The metastasis contained two de novo mutations and a large deletion not present in the primary tumor, and was significantly enriched for 20 shared mutations. The xenograft retained all primary tumor mutations, and displayed a mutation enrichment pattern that paralleled the metastasis (16 of 20 genes). Two overlapping large deletions, encompassing CTNNA1, were present in all three tumor samples. The differential mutation frequencies and structural variation patterns in metastasis and xenograft compared to the primary tumor suggest that secondary tumors may arise from a minority of cells within the primary.
PMCID: PMC2872544  PMID: 20393555
Journal of Virology  2009;83(18):9068-9078.
In immunocompetent individuals, the stability of the herpesvirus-host balance limits opportunities to study the disappearance of a virus-specific CD8+ T-cell response. However, we noticed that in HLA-A*0201-positive infectious mononucleosis (IM) patients undergoing primary Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, the initial CD8 response targets three EBV lytic antigen-derived epitopes, YVLDHLIVV (YVL), GLCTLVAML (GLC), and TLDYKPLSV (TLD), but only the YVL and GLC reactivities persist long-term; the TLD response disappears within 10 to 27 months. While present, TLD-specific cells remained largely indistinguishable from YVL and GLC reactivities in many phenotypic and functional respects but showed unique temporal changes in two markers of T-cell fate, interleukin 7 receptor alpha (IL-7Rα; CD127) and programmed death 1 (PD-1). Thus, following the antigen-driven downregulation of IL-7Rα seen on all populations in acute IM, in every case, the TLD-specific population recovered expression unusually quickly post-IM. As well, in four of six patients studied, TLD-specific cells showed very strong PD-1 upregulation in the last blood sample obtained before the cells’ disappearance. Our data suggest that the disappearance of this individual epitope reactivity from an otherwise stable EBV-specific response (i) reflects a selective loss of cognate antigen restimulation (rather than of IL-7-dependent signals) and (ii) is immediately preceded, and perhaps mediated, by PD-1 upregulation to unprecedented levels.
PMCID: PMC2738242  PMID: 19605492
Journal of Virology  2009;83(6):2783-2788.
The early lytic cycle protein of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), BNLF2a, has recently been shown to play a critical role in immune evasion by inhibiting the peptide transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP), thereby blocking antigen-specific CD8+ T-cell recognition of many lytic cycle antigens. Surprisingly, we now show that a peptide (50VLFGLLCLL58) from the hydrophobic C-terminal region of this small (60-amino-acid) EBV protein is efficiently presented by the common class I allele HLA-A2 for recognition by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. The mechanism for this unexpected finding was revealed by experiments showing that this epitope is processed and presented independently of TAP.
PMCID: PMC2648255  PMID: 19129449
Ding, Li | Getz, Gad | Wheeler, David A. | Mardis, Elaine R. | McLellan, Michael D. | Cibulskis, Kristian | Sougnez, Carrie | Greulich, Heidi | Muzny, Donna M. | Morgan, Margaret B. | Fulton, Lucinda | Fulton, Robert S. | Zhang, Qunyuan | Wendl, Michael C. | Lawrence, Michael S. | Larson, David E. | Chen, Ken | Dooling, David J. | Sabo, Aniko | Hawes, Alicia C. | Shen, Hua | Jhangiani, Shalini N. | Lewis, Lora R. | Hall, Otis | Zhu, Yiming | Mathew, Tittu | Ren, Yanru | Yao, Jiqiang | Scherer, Steven E. | Clerc, Kerstin | Metcalf, Ginger A. | Ng, Brian | Milosavljevic, Aleksandar | Gonzalez-Garay, Manuel L. | Osborne, John R. | Meyer, Rick | Shi, Xiaoqi | Tang, Yuzhu | Koboldt, Daniel C. | Lin, Ling | Abbott, Rachel | Miner, Tracie L. | Pohl, Craig | Fewell, Ginger | Haipek, Carrie | Schmidt, Heather | Dunford-Shore, Brian H. | Kraja, Aldi | Crosby, Seth D. | Sawyer, Christopher S. | Vickery, Tammi | Sander, Sacha | Robinson, Jody | Winckler, Wendy | Baldwin, Jennifer | Chirieac, Lucian R. | Dutt, Amit | Fennell, Tim | Hanna, Megan | Johnson, Bruce E. | Onofrio, Robert C. | Thomas, Roman K. | Tonon, Giovanni | Weir, Barbara A. | Zhao, Xiaojun | Ziaugra, Liuda | Zody, Michael C. | Giordano, Thomas | Orringer, Mark B. | Roth, Jack A. | Spitz, Margaret R. | Wistuba, Ignacio I. | Ozenberger, Bradley | Good, Peter J. | Chang, Andrew C. | Beer, David G. | Watson, Mark A. | Ladanyi, Marc | Broderick, Stephen | Yoshizawa, Akihiko | Travis, William D. | Pao, William | Province, Michael A. | Weinstock, George M. | Varmus, Harold E. | Gabriel, Stacey B. | Lander, Eric S. | Gibbs, Richard A. | Meyerson, Matthew | Wilson, Richard K.
Nature  2008;455(7216):1069-1075.
Determining the genetic basis of cancer requires comprehensive analyses of large collections of histopathologically well-classified primary tumours. Here we report the results of a collaborative study to discover somatic mutations in 188 human lung adenocarcinomas. DNA sequencing of 623 genes with known or potential relationships to cancer revealed more than 1,000 somatic mutations across the samples. Our analysis identified 26 genes that are mutated at significantly high frequencies and thus are probably involved in carcinogenesis. The frequently mutated genes include tyrosine kinases, among them the EGFR homologue ERBB4; multiple ephrin receptor genes, notably EPHA3; vascular endothelial growth factor receptor KDR; and NTRK genes. These data provide evidence of somatic mutations in primary lung adenocarcinoma for several tumour suppressor genes involved in other cancers—including NF1, APC, RB1 and ATM—and for sequence changes in PTPRD as well as the frequently deleted gene LRP1B. The observed mutational profiles correlate with clinical features, smoking status and DNA repair defects. These results are reinforced by data integration including single nucleotide polymorphism array and gene expression array. Our findings shed further light on several important signalling pathways involved in lung adenocarcinoma, and suggest new molecular targets for treatment.
PMCID: PMC2694412  PMID: 18948947
Nature  2008;456(7218):66-72.
Lay Summary
Acute myeloid leukemia is a highly malignant hematopoietic tumor that affects about 13,000 adults yearly in the United States. The treatment of this disease has changed little in the past two decades, since most of the genetic events that initiate the disease remain undiscovered. Whole genome sequencing is now possible at a reasonable cost and timeframe to utilize this approach for unbiased discovery of tumor-specific somatic mutations that alter the protein-coding genes. Here we show the results obtained by sequencing a typical acute myeloid leukemia genome and its matched normal counterpart, obtained from the patient’s skin. We discovered 10 genes with acquired mutations; two were previously described mutations thought to contribute to tumor progression, and 8 were novel mutations present in virtually all tumor cells at presentation and relapse, whose function is not yet known. Our study establishes whole genome sequencing as an unbiased method for discovering initiating mutations in cancer genomes, and for identifying novel genes that may respond to targeted therapies.
We used massively parallel sequencing technology to sequence the genomic DNA of tumor and normal skin cells obtained from a patient with a typical presentation of FAB M1 Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) with normal cytogenetics. 32.7-fold ‘haploid’ coverage (98 billion bases) was obtained for the tumor genome, and 13.9-fold coverage (41.8 billion bases) was obtained for the normal sample. Of 2,647,695 well-supported Single Nucleotide Variants (SNVs) found in the tumor genome, 2,588,486 (97.7%) also were detected in the patient’s skin genome, limiting the number of variants that required further study. For the purposes of this initial study, we restricted our downstream analysis to the coding sequences of annotated genes: we found only eight heterozygous, non-synonymous somatic SNVs in the entire genome. All were novel, including mutations in protocadherin/cadherin family members (CDH24 and PCLKC), G-protein coupled receptors (GPR123 and EBI2), a protein phosphatase (PTPRT), a potential guanine nucleotide exchange factor (KNDC1), a peptide/drug transporter (SLC15A1), and a glutamate receptor gene (GRINL1B). We also detected previously described, recurrent somatic insertions in the FLT3 and NPM1 genes. Based on deep readcount data, we determined that all of these mutations (except FLT3) were present in nearly all tumor cells at presentation, and again at relapse 11 months later, suggesting that the patient had a single dominant clone containing all of the mutations. These results demonstrate the power of whole genome sequencing to discover novel cancer-associated mutations.
PMCID: PMC2603574  PMID: 18987736
BMJ : British Medical Journal  2005;331(7520):829-830.
PMCID: PMC1246086  PMID: 16210283
Molecular Physics  2013;111(18-19):2865-2872.
The electron paramagnetic resonance technique of double electron-electron resonance (DEER) was used to measure nanometre-scale distances between nitroxide spin labels attached to the complement regulatory protein CD55 (also known as decay accelerating factor) and the von Willebrand factor A (vWF-A) domain of factor B. Following a thorough assessment of the quality of the data, distances obtained from good-quality measurements are compared to predicted distances from a previously hypothesised model for the complex and are found to be incompatible. The success of using these distances as restraints in multi-body docking routines is presented critically.
PMCID: PMC4056885  PMID: 24954957
DEER; distance restraints; CD55; vWF-A; decay acceleration

Results 1-16 (16)