Granzyme B delivery via perforin is restricted by size, but not by heparan sulfate-dependent endocytosis.
ABSTRACT: How granzymes gain entry into the cytosol of target cells during killer cell attack has been the subject of several studies in the past, but the effective delivery mechanism during target cell encounter has not been clarified. Here we show that granzyme B (GzmB) mutants lacking binding to negatively charged, essentially heparan-sulfate-containing membrane receptors are poorly endocytosed yet are delivered to the cytosol with efficacy similar to that of WT GzmB. In a cell-based system GzmB-deficient natural killer cells provided perforin (pfn) by natural polarized secretion and synergized with externally added GzmB. Whereas receptor (heparan sulfate)-dependent endocytosis was dispensable, delivery of larger cargo like that of GzmB fusion proteins and GzmB-antibody complexes was restricted by their size. Our data support the model in which granzymes are primarily translocated through repairable membrane pores of finite size and not by the disruption of endocytosed vesicles. We conclude that structurally related translocators, i.e., perforin and cholesterol-dependent cytolysins, deliver deathly cargo across host cell membranes in a similar manner.
Project description:How the pore-forming protein perforin delivers apoptosis-inducing granzymes to the cytosol of target cells is uncertain. Perforin induces a transient Ca2+ flux in the target cell, which triggers a process to repair the damaged cell membrane. As a consequence, both perforin and granzymes are endocytosed into enlarged endosomes called 'gigantosomes'. Here we show that perforin formed pores in the gigantosome membrane, allowing endosomal cargo, including granzymes, to be gradually released. After about 15 min, gigantosomes ruptured, releasing their remaining content. Thus, perforin delivers granzymes by a two-step process that involves first transient pores in the cell membrane that trigger the endocytosis of granzyme and perforin and then pore formation in endosomes to trigger cytosolic release.
Project description:Cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer cells destroy target cells via the polarized exocytosis of lytic effector proteins, perforin and granzymes, into the immunologic synapse. How these molecules enter target cells is not fully understood. It is debated whether granzymes enter via perforin pores formed at the plasma membrane or whether perforin and granzymes are first endocytosed and granzymes are then released from endosomes into the cytoplasm. We previously showed that perforin disruption of the plasma membrane induces a transient Ca(2+) flux into the target cell that triggers a wounded membrane repair response in which lysosomes and endosomes donate their membranes to reseal the damaged membrane. Here we show that perforin activates clathrin- and dynamin-dependent endocytosis, which removes perforin and granzymes from the plasma membrane to early endosomes, preserving outer membrane integrity. Inhibiting clathrin- or dynamin-dependent endocytosis shifts death by perforin and granzyme B from apoptosis to necrosis. Thus by activating endocytosis to preserve membrane integrity, perforin facilitates granzyme uptake and avoids the proinflammatory necrotic death of a membrane-damaged cell.
Project description:Cytotoxic T cells and natural killer cells can kill target cells based on their expression and release of perforin, granulysin, and granzymes. Genes encoding these molecules have been only poorly annotated in camelids. Based on bioinformatic analyses of genomic resources, sequences corresponding to perforin, granulysin, and granzymes were identified in genomes of camelids and related ungulate species, and annotation of the corresponding genes was performed. A phylogenetic tree was constructed to study evolutionary relationships between the species analyzed. Re-sequencing of all genes in a panel of 10 dromedaries and 10 domestic Bactrian camels allowed analyzing their individual genetic polymorphisms. The data showed that all extant Old World camelids possess functional genes for two pore-forming proteins (PRF1, GNLY) and six granzymes (GZMA, GZMB, GZMH, GZMK, GZMM, and GZMO). All these genes were represented as single copies in the genome except the GZMH gene exhibiting interspecific differences in the number of loci. High protein sequence similarities with other camelid and ungulate species were observed for GZMK and GZMM. The protein variability in dromedaries and Bactrian camels was rather low, except for GNLY and chymotrypsin-like granzymes (GZMB, GZMH).
Project description:When killer lymphocytes recognize infected cells, perforin delivers cytotoxic proteases (granzymes) into the target cell to trigger apoptosis. What happens to intracellular bacteria during this process is unclear. Human, but not rodent, cytotoxic granules also contain granulysin, an antimicrobial peptide. Here, we show that granulysin delivers granzymes into bacteria to kill diverse bacterial strains. In Escherichia coli, granzymes cleave electron transport chain complex I and oxidative stress defense proteins, generating reactive oxygen species (ROS) that rapidly kill bacteria. ROS scavengers and bacterial antioxidant protein overexpression inhibit bacterial death. Bacteria overexpressing a GzmB-uncleavable mutant of the complex I subunit nuoF or strains that lack complex I still die, but more slowly, suggesting that granzymes disrupt multiple vital bacterial pathways. Mice expressing transgenic granulysin are better able to clear Listeria monocytogenes. Thus killer cells play an unexpected role in bacterial defense.
Project description:Granule-associated perforin and granzymes (gzms) are key effector molecules of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (Tc cells) and natural killer cells and play a critical role in the control of intracellular pathogens and cancer. Based on the notion that many gzms, including A, B, C, K, H, and M exhibit cytotoxic activity in vitro, all gzms are believed to serve a similar function in vivo. However, more recent evidence supports the concept that gzms are not unidimensional but, rather, possess non-cytotoxic potential, including stimulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-viral activities. The present study shows that isolated mouse gzmB cleaves the actin-severing mouse protein, cytoplasmic gelsolin (c-gelsolin) in vitro. However, when delivered to intact target cells by ex vivo immune Tc cells, gzmB mediates c-gelsolin proteolysis via activation of caspases 3/7. The NH(2)-terminal c-gelsolin fragment generated by either gzmB or caspase 3 in vitro constitutively severs actin filaments without destroying the target cells. The observation that gzmB secreted by Tc cells initiates a caspase cascade that disintegrates the actin cytoskeleton in target cells suggests that this intracellular process may contribute to anti-viral host defense.
Project description:In the livers of susceptible C57BL/6 (B6) mice infected with Leishmania donovani, CD8(+) T cell mechanisms are required for granuloma assembly, macrophage activation, intracellular parasite killing, and self-cure. Since gene expression of perforin and granzymes A and B (GzmA and GzmB), cytolytic proteins linked to CD8(+) cell effector function, was enhanced in infected liver tissue, B6 mice deficient in these granular proteins were used to gauge host defense roles. Neither perforin nor GzmA was required; however, mice deficient in GzmB (GzmB(-/-), GzmB cluster(-/-), and GzmA×B cluster double knockout [DKO] mice) showed both delayed granuloma assembly and initially impaired control of parasite replication. Since these two defects in B6 mice were limited to early-stage infection, innately resistant 129/Sv mice were also tested. In this genetic setting, expression of both innate and subsequent T (Th1) cell-dependent acquired resistance, including the self-cure phenotype, was entirely derailed in GzmA×B cluster DKO mice. These results, in susceptible B6 mice for GzmB and in resistant 129/Sv mice for GzmA and/or the GzmB cluster, point to granzyme-mediated host defense regulation in the liver in experimental visceral leishmaniasis.
Project description:Perforin-mediated cytotoxicity is an essential host defense, in which defects contribute to tumor development and pathogenic disorders including autoimmunity and autoinflammation. How perforin (PFN) facilitates intracellular delivery of pro-apoptotic and inflammatory granzymes across the bilayer of targets remains unresolved. Here we show that cellular susceptibility to granzyme B (GzmB) correlates with rapid PFN-induced phosphatidylserine externalization, suggesting that pores are formed at a protein-lipid interface by incomplete membrane oligomers (or arcs). Supporting a role for these oligomers in protease delivery, an anti-PFN antibody (pf-80) suppresses necrosis but increases phosphatidylserine flip-flop and GzmB-induced apoptosis. As shown by atomic force microscopy on planar bilayers and deep-etch electron microscopy on mammalian cells, pf-80 increases the proportion of arcs which correlates with the presence of smaller electrical conductances, while large cylindrical pores decline. PFN appears to form arc structures on target membranes that serve as minimally disrupting conduits for GzmB translocation. The role of these arcs in PFN-mediated pathology warrants evaluation where they may serve as novel therapeutic targets.
Project description:Cytotoxic lymphocytes use the granule exocytosis pathway to kill pathogen-infected cells and tumor cells. Although many genes in this pathway have been extensively characterized (e.g., perforin, granzymes A and B), the role of granzyme C is less clear. We therefore developed a granzyme C-specific mAb and used flow cytometry to examine the expression of granzyme B and C in the lymphocyte compartments of wild-type and mutant GzmB(-/-) cre mice, which have a small deletion in the granzyme B gene. We detected granzyme B and C expression in CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells activated with CD3/CD28 beads or MLRs. Stimulation of NK cells in vitro with IL-15 also induced expression of both granzymes. Granzyme C up-regulation was delayed relative to granzyme B in wild-type lymphocytes, whereas GzmB(-/-) cre cells expressed granzyme C earlier and more abundantly on a per-cell basis, suggesting that the deleted 350-bp region in the granzyme B gene is important for the regulation of both granzymes B and C. Quantitative RT-PCR revealed that granzyme C protein levels were regulated by mRNA abundance. In vivo, a population of wild-type CD8alphaalpha(+) intraepithelial lymphocytes constitutively expressed granzyme B and GzmB(-/-) cre intraepithelial lymphocytes likewise expressed granzyme C. Using a model of a persistent murine CMV infection, we detected delayed expression of granzyme C in NK cells from infected hosts. Taken together, these findings suggest that granzyme C is activated with persistent antigenic stimulation, providing nonredundant backup protection for the host when granzyme B fails.
Project description:Granzyme B (GzmB) is a serine protease best known for inducing target cell apoptosis when released by cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) or natural killer cells with pore-forming perforin. As a result, GzmB detected in the serum of virus-infected individuals has typically been attributed to these sources. Here, we show that patients with recently diagnosed infectious mononucleosis caused by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have high circulating levels of GzmB that may be derived from infected B cells early in course of disease. We recently reported that human B cells from healthy donors secrete active GzmB when stimulated in vitro through B-cell receptor (BCR) ligation and interleukin (IL)-21. We found that infecting B cells with EBV greatly amplified GzmB secretion in response to the same stimuli, but the expression was terminated once the infection had become latent. Our results represent a rare instance of GzmB expression by non-CTL/natural killer cells in the context of infection with a human pathogen.
Project description:Exosomal transfers represent an important mode of intercellular communication. Syntenin is a small scaffold protein that, when binding ALIX, can direct endocytosed syndecans and syndecan cargo to budding endosomal membranes, supporting the formation of intraluminal vesicles that compose the source of a major class of exosomes. Syntenin, however, can also support the recycling of these same components to the cell surface. Here, by studying mice and cells with syntenin-knock out, we identify syntenin as part of dedicated machinery that integrates both the production and the uptake of secreted vesicles, supporting viral/exosomal exchanges. This study significantly extends the emerging role of heparan sulfate proteoglycans and syntenin as key components for macromolecular cargo internalization into cells.