The publication data currently available has been vetted by Vanderbilt faculty, staff, administrators and trainees. The data itself is retrieved directly from NCBI's PubMed and is automatically updated on a weekly basis to ensure accuracy and completeness.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact us.
OBJECTIVE - Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) is a B cell signaling protein that also contributes to innate immunity. BTK inhibitors prevent autoimmune arthritis but have off-target effects, and the mechanisms of protection remain unknown. We undertook these studies using genetic deletion to investigate the role of BTK in adaptive and innate immune responses that drive inflammatory arthritis.
METHODS - BTK-deficient K/BxN mice were generated to study the role of BTK in a spontaneous model that requires both adaptive and innate immunity. The K/BxN serum-transfer model was used to bypass the adaptive system and elucidate the role of BTK in innate immune contributions to arthritis.
RESULTS - BTK deficiency conferred disease protection to K/BxN mice, confirming outcomes of BTK inhibitors. B lymphocytes were profoundly reduced, more than in other models of BTK deficiency. Subset analysis revealed loss of B cells at all developmental stages. Germinal center B cells were also decreased, with downstream effects on numbers of follicular helper T cells and greatly reduced autoantibodies. In contrast, total IgG was only mildly decreased. Strikingly, and in contrast to small molecule inhibitors, BTK deficiency had no effect in the serum-transfer model of arthritis.
CONCLUSION - BTK contributes to autoimmune arthritis primarily through its role in B cell signaling and not through innate immune components.
© 2016, American College of Rheumatology.
Approximately 500,000 people are hospitalized with severe dengue illness annually. Antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE) of dengue virus (DENV) infection is believed to contribute to the pathogenic cytokine storm described in severe dengue patients, but the precise signaling pathways contributing to elevated cytokine production are not elucidated. IL-1β is a potent inflammatory cytokine that is frequently elevated during severe dengue, and the unique dual regulation of IL-1β provides an informative model to study ADE-induced cytokines. This work utilizes patient-derived anti-DENV mAbs and primary human monocytes to study ADE-induced IL-1β and other cytokines. ADE of DENV serotype 2 (DENV-2) elevates mature IL-1β secretion by monocytes independent of DENV replication by 4 h postinoculation (hpi). Prior to this, DENV immune complexes activate spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) within 1 hpi. Syk induces elevated IL1B, TNF, and IL6 mRNA by 2 hpi. Syk mediates elevated IL-1β secretion by activating ERK1/2, and both Syk and ERK1/2 inhibitors ablated ADE-induced IL-1β secretion. Maturation of pro-IL-1β during ADE requires caspase-1 and NLRP3, but caspase-1 is suboptimally increased by ADE and can be significantly enhanced by a typical inflammasome agonist, ATP. Importantly, this inflammatory Syk-ERK signaling axis requires DENV immune complexes, because DENV-2 in the presence of serotype-matched anti-DENV-2 mAb, but not anti-DENV-1 mAb, activates Syk, ERK, and IL-1β secretion. This study provides evidence that DENV-2 immune complexes activate Syk to mediate elevated expression of inflammatory cytokines. Syk and ERK may serve as new therapeutic targets for interfering with ADE-induced cytokine expression during severe dengue.
© 2015 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
The filoviruses, including Marburg and Ebola, express a single glycoprotein on their surface, termed GP, which is responsible for attachment and entry of target cells. Filovirus GPs differ by up to 70% in protein sequence, and no antibodies are yet described that cross-react among them. Here, we present the 3.6 Å crystal structure of Marburg virus GP in complex with a cross-reactive antibody from a human survivor, and a lower resolution structure of the antibody bound to Ebola virus GP. The antibody, MR78, recognizes a GP1 epitope conserved across the filovirus family, which likely represents the binding site of their NPC1 receptor. Indeed, MR78 blocks binding of the essential NPC1 domain C. These structures and additional small-angle X-ray scattering of mucin-containing MARV and EBOV GPs suggest why such antibodies were not previously elicited in studies of Ebola virus, and provide critical templates for development of immunotherapeutics and inhibitors of entry.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The mechanisms by which neutralizing antibodies inhibit Marburg virus (MARV) are not known. We isolated a panel of neutralizing antibodies from a human MARV survivor that bind to MARV glycoprotein (GP) and compete for binding to a single major antigenic site. Remarkably, several of the antibodies also bind to Ebola virus (EBOV) GP. Single-particle EM structures of antibody-GP complexes reveal that all of the neutralizing antibodies bind to MARV GP at or near the predicted region of the receptor-binding site. The presence of the glycan cap or mucin-like domain blocks binding of neutralizing antibodies to EBOV GP, but not to MARV GP. The data suggest that MARV-neutralizing antibodies inhibit virus by binding to infectious virions at the exposed MARV receptor-binding site, revealing a mechanism of filovirus inhibition.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The neonatal Fc receptor (FcRn) is a major regulator of IgG and albumin homeostasis systemically and in the kidneys. We investigated the role of FcRn in the development of immune complex-mediated glomerular disease in mice. C57Bl/6 mice immunized with the noncollagenous domain of the α3 chain of type IV collagen (α3NC1) developed albuminuria associated with granular capillary loop deposition of exogenous antigen, mouse IgG, C3 and C5b-9, and podocyte injury. High-resolution imaging showed abundant IgG deposition in the expanded glomerular basement membrane, especially in regions corresponding to subepithelial electron dense deposits. FcRn-null and -humanized mice immunized with α3NC1 developed no albuminuria and had lower levels of serum IgG anti-α3NC1 antibodies and reduced glomerular deposition of IgG, antigen, and complement. Our results show that FcRn promotes the formation of subepithelial immune complexes and subsequent glomerular pathology leading to proteinuria, potentially by maintaining higher serum levels of pathogenic IgG antibodies. Therefore, reducing pathogenic IgG levels by pharmacologic inhibition of FcRn may provide a novel approach for the treatment of immune complex-mediated glomerular diseases. As proof of concept, we showed that a peptide inhibiting the interaction between human FcRn and human IgG accelerated the degradation of human IgG anti-α3NC1 autoantibodies injected into FCRN-humanized mice as effectively as genetic ablation of FcRn, thus preventing the glomerular deposition of immune complexes containing human IgG.
Copyright © 2014 by the American Society of Nephrology.
Structural flexibility in germline gene-encoded antibodies allows promiscuous binding to diverse antigens. The binding affinity and specificity for a particular epitope typically increase as antibody genes acquire somatic mutations in antigen-stimulated B cells. In this work, we investigated whether germline gene-encoded antibodies are optimal for polyspecificity by determining the basis for recognition of diverse antigens by antibodies encoded by three VH gene segments. Panels of somatically mutated antibodies encoded by a common VH gene, but each binding to a different antigen, were computationally redesigned to predict antibodies that could engage multiple antigens at once. The Rosetta multi-state design process predicted antibody sequences for the entire heavy chain variable region, including framework, CDR1, and CDR2 mutations. The predicted sequences matched the germline gene sequences to a remarkable degree, revealing by computational design the residues that are predicted to enable polyspecificity, i.e., binding of many unrelated antigens with a common sequence. The process thereby reverses antibody maturation in silico. In contrast, when designing antibodies to bind a single antigen, a sequence similar to that of the mature antibody sequence was returned, mimicking natural antibody maturation in silico. We demonstrated that the Rosetta computational design algorithm captures important aspects of antibody/antigen recognition. While the hypervariable region CDR3 often mediates much of the specificity of mature antibodies, we identified key positions in the VH gene encoding CDR1, CDR2, and the immunoglobulin framework that are critical contributors for polyspecificity in germline antibodies. Computational design of antibodies capable of binding multiple antigens may allow the rational design of antibodies that retain polyspecificity for diverse epitope binding.
Influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) mediates receptor binding and viral entry during influenza infection. The development of receptor analogs as viral-entry blockers has not been successful, which suggests that sialic acid may not be an ideal scaffold to obtain broad, potent HA inhibitors. Here, we report crystal structures of Fab fragments from three human antibodies that neutralize the 1957 pandemic H2N2 influenza virus in complex with H2 HA. All three antibodies use an aromatic residue to plug a conserved cavity in the HA receptor-binding site. Each antibody interacts with the absolutely conserved HA1 Trp153 at the cavity base through π-π stacking with the signature Phe54 of two VH1-69-encoded antibodies or a tyrosine from HCDR3 in the other antibody. This highly conserved interaction can be used as a starting point to design inhibitors targeting this conserved hydrophobic pocket in influenza viruses.
Pandemic influenza viruses often cause severe disease in middle-aged adults without preexisting comorbidities. The mechanism of illness associated with severe disease in this age group is not well understood. Here we find preexisting serum antibodies that cross-react with, but do not protect against, 2009 H1N1 influenza virus in middle-aged adults. Nonprotective antibody is associated with immune complex-mediated disease after infection. We detected high titers of serum antibody of low avidity for H1-2009 antigen, and low-avidity pulmonary immune complexes against the same protein, in severely ill individuals. Moreover, C4d deposition--a marker of complement activation mediated by immune complexes--was present in lung sections of fatal cases. Archived lung sections from middle-aged adults with confirmed fatal influenza 1957 H2N2 infection revealed a similar mechanism of illness. These observations provide a previously unknown biological mechanism for the unusual age distribution of severe cases during influenza pandemics.
Human autoimmune diseases are often characterized by a relative deficiency in CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Treg). We therefore hypothesized that expansion of Treg can ameliorate autoimmune pathology. We tested this hypothesis in an experimental model for autoimmune myasthenia gravis (MG), a B-cell-mediated disease characterized by auto-Ab directed against the acetylcholine receptor within neuromuscular junctions. We showed that injection of immune complexes composed of the cytokine IL-2 and anti-IL-2 mAb (JES6-1A12) induced an effective and sustained expansion of Treg, via peripheral proliferation of CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) cells and peripheral conversion of CD4(+)CD25(-)Foxp3(-) cells. The expanded Treg potently suppressed autoreactive T- and B-cell responses to acetylcholine receptor and attenuated the muscular weakness that is characteristic of MG. Thus, IL-2/anti-IL-2 mAb complexes can expand functional Treg in vivo, providing a potential clinical application of this modality for treatment of MG and other autoimmune disorders.
UNLABELLED - A rapid, single-step, solution-phase method for quantifying multiple proteomic biomarkers is described. Nanoscale quantum dot-antibody conjugates self-assemble into microscale aggregates in the presence of a specific antigen through antibody-antigen molecular recognition. These aggregates are easily discriminated from the individual components by flow cytometry. Quantum dot (QD) aggregates can be quantified and correlated to the antigen concentration. Two QD populations with distinct emission spectra are used for detecting two proteomics antigens in a single reaction volume. Multiplexed detection of vascular endothelial growth factor A and angiopoietin-2 is demonstrated at the physiologically relevant, picomolar concentration range. Nonmultiplexed detection of the antigens is also demonstrated, with a femtomolar sensitivity limit. This technique may be optimized for low-cost early detection and frequent screening of cancers and other diseases as well as detection of the biological response to therapy.
FROM THE CLINICAL EDITOR - In this paper a rapid, single-step, solution-phase method is described with multiplexed detection at physiological relevant picomolar concentration range and nonmultiplexed detection with a femtomolar sensitivity limit. The technique may enable low-cost early detection of cancers and other diseases as well as detection of the biological response to therapy.