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Dengue Virus (DENV) associated disease is a major public health problem. Assessment of HLA class II restricted DENV-specific responses is relevant for immunopathology and definition of correlates of protection. While previous studies characterized responses restricted by the HLA-DRB1 locus, the responses associated with other class II loci have not been characterized to date. Accordingly, we mapped HLA-DP, DQ, and DRB3/4/5 restricted DENV-specific CD4 T cell epitopes in PBMCs derived from the DENV endemic region Sri Lanka. We studied 12 DP, DQ, and DRB3/4/5 alleles that are commonly expressed and provide worldwide coverage >82% for each of the loci analyzed and >99% when combined. CD4+ T cells purified by negative selection were stimulated with pools of HLA-predicted binders for 2 weeks with autologous APC. Epitope reactive T cells were enumerated using IFNγ ELISPOT assay. This strategy was previously applied to identify DRB1 restricted epitopes. In parallel, membrane expression levels of HLA-DR, DP, and DQ proteins was assessed using flow cytometry. Epitopes were identified for all DP, DQ, and DRB3/4/5 allelic variants albeit with magnitudes significantly lower than the ones previously observed for the DRB1 locus. This was in line with lower membrane expression of HLA-DP and DQ molecules on the PBMCs tested, as compared to HLA-DR. Significant differences between loci were observed in antigen immunodominance. Capsid responses were dominant for DRB1/3/4/5 and DP alleles but negligible for the DQ alleles. NS3 responses were dominant in the case of DRB1/3/4/5 and DQ but absent in the case of DP. NS1 responses were prominent in the case of the DP alleles, but negligible in the case of DR and DQ. In terms of epitope specificity, repertoire was largely overlapping between DRB1 and DRB3/4/5, while DP and DQ loci recognized largely distinct epitope sets. The HLA-DP, DQ, and DRB3/4/5 loci mediate DENV-CD4 specific immune responses of lower magnitude as compared to HLA-DRB1, consistent with their lower levels of expression. The responses are associated with distinct and characteristic patterns of immunodominance, and variable epitope overlap across loci.
Mouse allergy in both laboratory workers and in inner-city children is associated with allergic rhinitis and asthma, posing a serious public health concern. Urine is a major source of mouse allergens, as mice spray urine onto their surroundings, where the proteins dry up and become airborne on dust particles. Here, we tested whether oligopeptides that are abundant in mouse urine may contribute to mouse allergic T cell response. Over 1,300 distinct oligopeptides were detected by mass spectrometry analysis of the low molecular weight filtrate fraction of mouse urine (LoMo). Posttranslationally modified peptides were common, accounting for almost half of total peptides. A pool consisting of 225 unique oligopeptides of 13 residues or more in size identified within was tested for its capacity to elicit T cell reactivity in mouse allergic donors. Following 14-day stimulation of PBMCs, we detected responses in about 95% of donors tested, directed against 116 distinct peptides, predominantly associated with Th2 cytokines (IL-5). Peptides from non-urine related proteins such as epidermal growth factor, collagen, and Beta-globin accounted for the highest response (15.9, 9.1, and 8.1% of the total response, respectively). Peptides derived from major urinary proteins (MUPs), kidney androgen-regulated protein (KAP), and uromodulin were the main T cell targets from kidney or urine related sources. Further analysis of enrichment of 4-1BB expressing cells demonstrated that LoMo pool-specific T cell reactivity can be detected directly in mouse allergic but not in non-allergic donors. Further cytometric analysis of responding cells revealed a bone fide memory T cell phenotype and confirmed their Th2 polarization. Overall, these data suggest that mouse urine-derived oligopeptides are a novel target for mouse allergy-associated T cell responses, which may contribute to immunopathological mechanisms in mouse allergy.
The integration of inflammatory signals is paramount in controlling the intensity and duration of immune responses. Eicosanoids, particularly PGE, are critical molecules in the initiation and resolution of inflammation and in the transition from innate to acquired immune responses. Microsomal PGE synthase 1 (mPGES1) is an integral membrane enzyme whose regulated expression controls PGE levels and is highly expressed at sites of inflammation. PGE is also associated with modulation of autoimmunity through altering the IL-23/IL-17 axis and regulatory T cell (Treg) development. During a type II collagen-CFA immunization response, lack of mPGES1 impaired the numbers of CD4 regulatory (Treg) and Th17 cells in the draining lymph nodes. Ag-experienced mPGES1 CD4 cells showed impaired IL-17A, IFN-γ, and IL-6 production when rechallenged ex vivo with their cognate Ag compared with their wild-type counterparts. Additionally, production of PGE by cocultured APCs synergized with that of Ag-experienced CD4 T cells, with mPGES1 competence in the APC compartment enhancing CD4 IL-17A and IFN-γ responses. However, in contrast with CD4 cells that were Ag primed in vivo, exogenous PGE inhibited proliferation and skewed IL-17A to IFN-γ production under Th17 polarization of naive T cells in vitro. We conclude that mPGES1 is necessary in vivo to mount optimal Treg and Th17 responses during an Ag-driven primary immune response. Furthermore, we uncover a coordination of autocrine and paracrine mPGES1-driven PGE production that impacts effector T cell IL-17A and IFN-γ responses.
Copyright © 2018 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
While progress has been made in characterizing humoral immunity to Zika virus (ZIKV) in humans, little is known regarding the corresponding T cell responses to ZIKV. Here, we investigate the kinetics and viral epitopes targeted by T cells responding to ZIKV and address the critical question of whether preexisting dengue virus (DENV) T cell immunity modulates these responses. We find that memory T cell responses elicited by prior infection with DENV or vaccination with tetravalent dengue attenuated vaccines (TDLAV) recognize ZIKV-derived peptides. This cross-reactivity is explained by the sequence similarity of the two viruses, as the ZIKV peptides recognized by DENV-elicited memory T cells are identical or highly conserved in DENV and ZIKV. DENV exposure prior to ZIKV infection also influences the timing and magnitude of the T cell response. ZIKV-reactive T cells in the acute phase of infection are detected earlier and in greater magnitude in DENV-immune patients. Conversely, the frequency of ZIKV-reactive T cells continues to rise in the convalescent phase in DENV-naive donors but declines in DENV-preexposed donors, compatible with more efficient control of ZIKV replication and/or clearance of ZIKV antigen. The quality of responses is also influenced by previous DENV exposure, and ZIKV-specific CD8 T cells from DENV-preexposed donors selectively upregulated granzyme B and PD1, unlike DENV-naive donors. Finally, we discovered that ZIKV structural proteins (E, prM, and C) are major targets of both the CD4 and CD8 T cell responses, whereas DENV T cell epitopes are found primarily in nonstructural proteins. The issue of potential ZIKV and DENV cross-reactivity and how preexisting DENV T cell immunity modulates Zika T cell responses is of great relevance, as the two viruses often cocirculate and Zika virus has been spreading in geographical regions where DENV is endemic or hyperendemic. Our data show that memory T cell responses elicited by prior infection with DENV recognize ZIKV-derived peptides and that DENV exposure prior to ZIKV infection influences the timing, magnitude, and quality of the T cell response. Additionally, we show that ZIKV-specific responses target different proteins than DENV-specific responses, pointing toward important implications for vaccine design against this global threat.
Copyright © 2017 American Society for Microbiology.
Select CMV epitopes drive life-long CD8 T cell memory inflation, but the extent of CD4 memory inflation is poorly studied. CD4 T cells specific for human CMV (HCMV) are elevated in HIV HCMV subjects. To determine whether HCMV epitope-specific CD4 T cell memory inflation occurs during HIV infection, we used HLA-DR7 (DRB1*07:01) tetramers loaded with the glycoprotein B DYSNTHSTRYV (DYS) epitope to characterize circulating CD4 T cells in coinfected HLA-DR7 long-term nonprogressor HIV subjects with undetectable HCMV plasma viremia. DYS-specific CD4 T cells were inflated among these HIV subjects compared with those from an HIV HCMV HLA-DR7 cohort or with HLA-DR7-restricted CD4 T cells from the HIV-coinfected cohort that were specific for epitopes of HCMV phosphoprotein-65, tetanus toxoid precursor, EBV nuclear Ag 2, or HIV gag protein. Inflated DYS-specific CD4 T cells consisted of effector memory or effector memory-RA subsets with restricted TCRβ usage and nearly monoclonal CDR3 containing novel conserved amino acids. Expression of this near-monoclonal TCR in a Jurkat cell-transfection system validated fine DYS specificity. Inflated cells were polyfunctional, not senescent, and displayed high ex vivo levels of granzyme B, CXCR1, CD38, or HLA-DR but less often coexpressed CD38 and HLA-DR The inflation mechanism did not involve apoptosis suppression, increased proliferation, or HIV gag cross-reactivity. Instead, the findings suggest that intermittent or chronic expression of epitopes, such as DYS, drive inflation of activated CD4 T cells that home to endothelial cells and have the potential to mediate cytotoxicity and vascular disease.
Copyright © 2017 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Genetic studies have shown the association of Parkinson's disease with alleles of the major histocompatibility complex. Here we show that a defined set of peptides that are derived from α-synuclein, a protein aggregated in Parkinson's disease, act as antigenic epitopes displayed by these alleles and drive helper and cytotoxic T cell responses in patients with Parkinson's disease. These responses may explain the association of Parkinson's disease with specific major histocompatibility complex alleles.
Goodpasture's disease is closely associated with HLA, particularly DRB1*1501. Other susceptible or protective HLA alleles are not clearly elucidated. The presentation models of epitopes by susceptible HLA alleles are also unclear. We genotyped 140 Chinese patients and 599 controls for four-digit HLA II genes, and extracted the encoding sequences from the IMGT/HLA database. T-cell epitopes of α3(IV)NC1 were predicted and the structures of DR molecule-peptide-T-cell receptor were constructed. We confirmed DRB1*1501 (OR = 4·6, P = 5·7 × 10 ) to be a risk allele for Goodpasture's disease. Arginine at position 13 (ARG13) (OR = 4·0, P = 1·0 × 10 ) and proline at position 11 (PRO11) (OR = 4·0, P = 2·0 × 10 ) on DRβ1, encoded by DRB1*1501, were associated with disease susceptibility. α (HGWISLWKGFSFIMF) was predicted as a T-cell epitope presented by DRB1*1501. Isoleucine , tryptophan , glycine , phenylalanine and phenylalanine , were presented in peptide-binding pockets 1, 4, 6, 7 and 9 of DR2b, respectively. ARG13 in pocket 4 interacts with tryptophan and forms a hydrogen bond. In conclusion, we propose a mechanism for DRB1*1501 susceptibility for Goodpasture's disease through encoding ARG13 and PRO11 on MHC-DRβ1 chain and presenting T-cell epitope, α , with five critical residues.
© 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Despite widespread uses of tetanus toxoid (TT) as a vaccine, model antigen and protein carrier, TT epitopes have been poorly characterized. Herein we defined the human CD4+ T cell epitope repertoire by reevaluation of previously described epitopes and evaluation of those derived from prediction of HLA Class II binding. Forty-seven epitopes were identified following in vitro TT stimulation, with 28 epitopes accounting for 90% of the total response. Despite this diverse range of epitopes, individual responses were associated with only a few immunodominant epitopes, with each donor responding on average to 3 epitopes. For the top 14 epitopes, HLA restriction could be inferred based on HLA typing of the responding donors. HLA binding predictions re-identified the vast majority of known epitopes, and identified 24 additional novel epitopes. With these epitopes, we created a TT epitope pool, which allowed us to characterize TT responses directly ex vivo using a cytokine-independent Activation Induced Marker (AIM) assay. These TT responses were highly Th1 or Th2 polarized, which was dependent upon the original priming vaccine, either the cellular DTwP or acellular DTaP formulation. This polarization remained despite the original priming having occurred decades past and a recent booster immunization with a reduced acellular vaccine formulation. While TT responses following booster vaccination were not durably increased in magnitude, they were associated with a relative expansion of CD4+ effector memory T cells.
BACKGROUND - Each year dengue virus (DENV) infects 400 million human but causes symptomatic disease in only a subset of patients, suggesting that host genetic factors may play a role. HLA molecules that restrict T-cell responses are one of the most polymorphic host factors in humans.
METHODS - Here we map HLA DRB1-restricted DENV-specific epitopes in individuals previously exposed to DENV, to identify the breadth and specificity of CD4(+) T-cell responses. To investigate whether HLA-specific variations in the magnitude of response might predict associations between dengue outcomes and HLA-DRB1 alleles, we assembled samples from hospitalized patients with known severity of disease.
RESULTS - The capsid protein followed by nonstructural protein 3 (NS3), NS2A, and NS5 were the most targeted proteins. We further noticed a wide variation in magnitude of T-cell responses as a function of the restricting DRB1 allele and found several HLA alleles that showed trends toward a lower risk of hospitalized disease were associated with a higher magnitude of T-cell responses.
CONCLUSIONS - Comprehensive identification of unique CD4(+) T-cell epitopes across the 4 DENV serotypes allows the testing of T-cell responses by use of a simple, approachable technique and points to important implications for vaccine design.
© The Author 2016. Published by Oxford University Press for the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For permissions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality from acute lower respiratory tract illness, with most individuals seropositive by age five. Despite the presence of neutralizing antibodies, secondary infections are common and can be severe in young, elderly, and immunocompromised persons. Preclinical vaccine studies for HMPV have suggested a need for a balanced antibody and T cell immune response to enhance protection and avoid lung immunopathology. We infected transgenic mice expressing human HLA-A*0201 with HMPV and used ELISPOT to screen overlapping and predicted epitope peptides. We identified six novel HLA-A2 restricted CD8(+) T cell (TCD8) epitopes, with M39-47 (M39) immunodominant. Tetramer staining detected M39-specific TCD8 in lungs and spleen of HMPV-immune mice. Immunization with adjuvant-formulated M39 peptide reduced lung virus titers upon challenge. Finally, we show that TCD8 from HLA-A*0201 positive humans recognize M39 by IFNγ ELISPOT and tetramer staining. These results will facilitate HMPV vaccine development and human studies.
Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.