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T cell help in humoral immunity includes interactions of B cells with activated extrafollicular CD4 and follicular T helper (Tfh) cells. Each can promote antibody responses but Tfh cells play critical roles during germinal center (GC) reactions. After restimulation of their antigen receptor (TCR) by B cells, helper T cells act on B cells via CD40 ligand and secreted cytokines that guide Ig class switching. Hypoxia is a normal feature of GC, raising questions about molecular mechanisms governing the relationship between hypoxia response mechanisms and T cell help to antibody responses. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIF) are prominent among mechanisms that mediate cellular responses to limited oxygen but also are induced by lymphocyte activation. We now show that loss of HIF-1α or of both HIF-1α and HIF-2α in CD4 T cells compromised essential functions in help during antibody responses. HIF-1α depletion from CD4 T cells reduced frequencies of antigen-specific GC B cells, Tfh cells, and overall antigen-specific Ab after immunization with sheep red blood cells. Compound deficiency of HIF-1α and HIF-2α led to humoral defects after hapten-carrier immunization. Further, HIF promoted CD40L expression while restraining the FoxP3-positive CD4 cells in the CXCR5 follicular regulatory population. Glycolysis increases T helper cytokine expression, and HIF promoted glycolysis in T helper cells via TCR or cytokine stimulation, as well as their production of cytokines that direct antibody class switching. Indeed, IFN-γ elaboration by HIF-deficient in vivo-generated Tfh cells was impaired. Collectively, the results indicate that HIF transcription factors are vital components of the mechanisms of help during humoral responses.
The ability of primary tumor cells to invade into adjacent tissues, followed by the formation of local or distant metastasis, is a lethal hallmark of cancer. Recently, locomoting clusters of tumor cells have been identified in numerous cancers and associated with increased invasiveness and metastatic potential. However, how the collective behaviors of cancer cells are coordinated and their contribution to cancer invasion remain unclear. Here we show that collective invasion of breast cancer cells is regulated by the energetic statuses of leader and follower cells. Using a combination of in vitro spheroid and ex vivo organoid invasion models, we found that cancer cells dynamically rearrange leader and follower positions during collective invasion. Cancer cells invade cooperatively in denser collagen matrices by accelerating leader-follower switching thus decreasing leader cell lifetime. Leader cells exhibit higher glucose uptake than follower cells. Moreover, their energy levels, as revealed by the intracellular ATP/ADP ratio, must exceed a threshold to invade. Forward invasion of the leader cell gradually depletes its available energy, eventually leading to leader-follower transition. Our computational model based on intracellular energy homeostasis successfully recapitulated the dependence of leader cell lifetime on collagen density. Experiments further supported model predictions that decreasing the cellular energy level by glucose starvation decreases leader cell lifetime whereas increasing the cellular energy level by AMP-activated kinase (AMPK) activation does the opposite. These findings highlight coordinated invasion and its metabolic regulation as potential therapeutic targets of cancer.
Infection by is the primary cause of gastric adenocarcinoma. The most potent virulence factor is cytotoxin-associated gene A (CagA), which is translocated by a type 4 secretion system (T4SS) into gastric epithelial cells and activates oncogenic signaling pathways. The gene encodes for a key component of the T4SS and can undergo gene rearrangements. We have shown that the cancer chemopreventive agent α-difluoromethylornithine (DFMO), known to inhibit the enzyme ornithine decarboxylase, reduces -mediated gastric cancer incidence in Mongolian gerbils. In the present study, we questioned whether DFMO might directly affect pathogenicity. We show that output strains isolated from gerbils treated with DFMO exhibit reduced ability to translocate CagA in gastric epithelial cells. Further, we frequently detected genomic modifications in the middle repeat region of the gene of output strains from DFMO-treated animals, which were associated with alterations in the CagY protein. Gerbils did not develop carcinoma when infected with a DFMO output strain containing rearranged or the parental strain in which the wild-type was replaced by with DFMO-induced rearrangements. Lastly, we demonstrate that in vitro treatment of by DFMO induces oxidative DNA damage, expression of the DNA repair enzyme MutS2, and mutations in , demonstrating that DFMO directly affects genomic stability. Deletion of abrogated the ability of DFMO to induce rearrangements directly. In conclusion, DFMO-induced oxidative stress in leads to genomic alterations and attenuates virulence.
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a major human pathogen and member of the genus in the Flaviviridae family. In contrast to most other insect-transmitted flaviviruses, ZIKV also can be transmitted sexually and from mother to fetus in humans. During recent outbreaks, ZIKV infections have been linked to microcephaly, congenital disease, and Guillain-Barré syndrome. Neutralizing antibodies have potential as therapeutic agents. We report here a 4-Å-resolution cryo-electron microscopy structure of the ZIKV virion in complex with Fab fragments of the potently neutralizing human monoclonal antibody ZIKV-195. The footprint of the ZIKV-195 Fab fragment expands across two adjacent envelope (E) protein protomers. ZIKV neutralization by this antibody is presumably accomplished by cross-linking the E proteins, which likely prevents formation of E protein trimers required for fusion of the viral and cellular membranes. A single dose of ZIKV-195 administered 5 days after virus inoculation showed marked protection against lethality in a stringent mouse model of infection.
Influenza is a yearly threat to global public health. Rapid changes in influenza surface proteins resulting from antigenic drift and shift events make it difficult to readily identify antibodies with broadly neutralizing activity against different influenza subtypes with high frequency, specifically antibodies targeting the receptor binding domain (RBD) on influenza HA protein. We developed an optimized computational design method that is able to optimize an antibody for recognition of large panels of antigens. To demonstrate the utility of this multistate design method, we used it to redesign an antiinfluenza antibody against a large panel of more than 500 seasonal HA antigens of the H1 subtype. As a proof of concept, we tested this method on a variety of known antiinfluenza antibodies and identified those that could be improved computationally. We generated redesigned variants of antibody C05 to the HA RBD and experimentally characterized variants that exhibited improved breadth and affinity against our panel. C05 mutants exhibited improved affinity for three of the subtypes used in design by stabilizing the CDRH3 loop and creating favorable electrostatic interactions with the antigen. These mutants possess increased breadth and affinity of binding while maintaining high-affinity binding to existing targets, surpassing a major limitation up to this point.
Copyright © 2019 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.
Scaffold proteins tether and orient components of a signaling cascade to facilitate signaling. Although much is known about how scaffolds colocalize signaling proteins, it is unclear whether scaffolds promote signal amplification. Here, we used arrestin-3, a scaffold of the ASK1-MKK4/7-JNK3 cascade, as a model to understand signal amplification by a scaffold protein. We found that arrestin-3 exhibited >15-fold higher affinity for inactive JNK3 than for active JNK3, and this change involved a shift in the binding site following JNK3 activation. We used systems biochemistry modeling and Bayesian inference to evaluate how the activation of upstream kinases contributed to JNK3 phosphorylation. Our combined experimental and computational approach suggested that the catalytic phosphorylation rate of JNK3 at Thr-221 by MKK7 is two orders of magnitude faster than the corresponding phosphorylation of Tyr-223 by MKK4 with or without arrestin-3. Finally, we showed that the release of activated JNK3 was critical for signal amplification. Collectively, our data suggest a "conveyor belt" mechanism for signal amplification by scaffold proteins. This mechanism informs on a long-standing mystery for how few upstream kinase molecules activate numerous downstream kinases to amplify signaling.
Eukaryotic DNA primases contain a [4Fe4S] cluster in the C-terminal domain of the p58 subunit (p58C) that affects substrate affinity but is not required for catalysis. We show that, in yeast primase, the cluster serves as a DNA-mediated redox switch governing DNA binding, just as in human primase. Despite a different structural arrangement of tyrosines to facilitate electron transfer between the DNA substrate and [4Fe4S] cluster, in yeast, mutation of tyrosines Y395 and Y397 alters the same electron transfer chemistry and redox switch. Mutation of conserved tyrosine 395 diminishes the extent of p58C participation in normal redox-switching reactions, whereas mutation of conserved tyrosine 397 causes oxidative cluster degradation to the [3Fe4S] species during p58C redox signaling. Switching between oxidized and reduced states in the presence of the Y397 mutations thus puts primase [4Fe4S] cluster integrity and function at risk. Consistent with these observations, we find that yeast tolerate mutations to Y395 in p58C, but the single-residue mutation Y397L in p58C is lethal. Our data thus show that a constellation of tyrosines for protein-DNA electron transfer mediates the redox switch in eukaryotic primases and is required for primase function in vivo.
Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.
The rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant pathogenic bacteria has accelerated the search for new antibiotics. Many clinically used antibacterials were discovered through culturing a single microbial species under nutrient-rich conditions, but in the environment, bacteria constantly encounter poor nutrient conditions and interact with neighboring microbial species. In an effort to recapitulate this environment, we generated a nine-strain actinomycete community and used 16S rDNA sequencing to deconvolute the stochastic production of antimicrobial activity that was not observed from any of the axenic cultures. We subsequently simplified the community to just two strains and identified sp. AA4 as the producing strain and M145 as an inducing strain. Bioassay-guided isolation identified amycomicin (AMY), a highly modified fatty acid containing an epoxide isonitrile warhead as a potent and specific inhibitor of Amycomicin targets an essential enzyme (FabH) in fatty acid biosynthesis and reduces infection in a mouse skin-infection model. The discovery of AMY demonstrates the utility of screening complex communities against specific targets to discover small-molecule antibiotics.
Histone posttranslational modifications (PTMs) regulate chromatin dynamics, DNA accessibility, and transcription to expand the genetic code. Many of these PTMs are produced through cellular metabolism to offer both feedback and feedforward regulation. Herein we describe the existence of Lys and Arg modifications on histones by a glycolytic by-product, methylglyoxal (MGO). Our data demonstrate that adduction of histones by MGO is an abundant modification, present at the same order of magnitude as Arg methylation. These modifications were detected on all four core histones at critical residues involved in both nucleosome stability and reader domain binding. In addition, MGO treatment of cells lacking the major detoxifying enzyme, glyoxalase 1, results in marked disruption of H2B acetylation and ubiquitylation without affecting H2A, H3, and H4 modifications. Using RNA sequencing, we show that MGO is capable of altering gene transcription, most notably in cells lacking GLO1. Finally, we show that the deglycase DJ-1 protects histones from adduction by MGO. Collectively, our findings demonstrate the existence of a previously undetected histone modification derived from glycolysis, which may have far-reaching implications for the control of gene expression and protein transcription linked to metabolism.
Copyright © 2018 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.