Central tolerance regulates B cells reactive with Goodpasture antigen alpha3(IV)NC1 collagen.
ABSTRACT: Patients and rodents with Goodpasture's syndrome (GPS) develop severe autoimmune crescentic glomerulonephritis, kidney failure, and lung hemorrhage due to binding of pathogenic autoantibodies to the NC1 domain of the alpha3 chain of type IV collagen. Target epitopes are cryptic, normally hidden from circulating Abs by protein-protein interactions and the highly tissue-restricted expression of the alpha3(IV) collagen chain. Based on this limited Ag exposure, it has been suggested that target epitopes are not available as B cell tolerogens. To determine how pathogenic anti-GPS autoantibody responses are regulated, we generated an Ig transgenic (Tg) mouse model that expresses an Ig that binds alpha3(IV)NC1 collagen epitopes recognized by serum IgG of patients with GPS. Phenotypic analysis reveals B cell depletion and L chain editing in Tg mice. To determine the default tolerance phenotype in the absence of receptor editing and endogenous lymphocyte populations, we crossed Tg mice two generations with mice deficient in Rag. Resulting Tg Rag-deficient mice have central B cell deletion. Thus, development of Tg anti-alpha3(IV)NC1 collagen B cells is halted in the bone marrow, at which point the cells are deleted unless rescued by a Rag enzyme-dependent process, such as editing. The central tolerance phenotype implies that tolerizing self-Ag is expressed in bone marrow.
Project description:Autoantibodies mediate organ destruction in multiple autoimmune diseases, yet their origins in patients remain poorly understood. To probe the genetic origins and structure of disease-associated autoantibodies, we engrafted immunodeficient mice with human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells and immunized with the non-collagenous-1 (NC1) domain of the alpha3 chain of type IV collagen. This antigen is expressed in lungs and kidneys and is targeted by autoantibodies in anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) nephritis and Goodpasture syndrome (GPS), prototypic human organ-specific autoimmune diseases. Using Epstein Barr virus transformation and cell fusion, six human anti-alpha3(IV)NC1 collagen monoclonal autoantibodies (mAb) were recovered, including subsets reactive with human kidney and with epitopes recognized by patients' IgG. Sequence analysis reveals a long to exceptionally long heavy chain complementarity determining region3 (HCDR3), the major site of antigen binding, in all six mAb. Mean HCDR3 length is 25.5 amino acids (range 20-36), generated from inherently long DH and JH genes and extended regions of non-templated N-nucleotides. Long HCDR3 are suited to forming noncontiguous antigen contacts and to binding recessed, immunologically silent epitopes hidden from conventional antibodies, as seen with self-antigen crossreactive broadly neutralizing anti-HIV Ig (bnAb). The anti-alpha3(IV)NC1 collagen mAb also show preferential use of unmutated variable region genes that are enriched among human chronic lymphocytic leukemia antibodies that share features with natural polyreactive Ig. Our findings suggest unexpected relationships between pathogenic anti-collagen Ig, bnAb, and autoreactive Ig associated with malignancy, all of which arise from B cells expressing unconventional structural elements that may require transient escape from tolerance for successful expansion.
Project description:Goodpasture syndrome is an autoimmune vascular disease associated with kidney and lung failure, with pathogenic circulating autoantibodies targeted to a set of discontinuous epitope sequences within the noncollagenous domain-1 (NC1) of the alpha3 chain of type IV collagen (alpha3(IV)NC1), the Goodpasture autoantigen. We demonstrate that basement membrane extracted NC1 domain preparations from Caenorhabditis elegans, Drosophila melanogaster, and Danio rerio do not bind Goodpasture autoantibodies, while Xenopus laevis, chicken, mouse and human alpha3(IV)NC1 domains bind autoantibodies. The alpha3(IV) chain is not present in C elegans and Drosophila melanogaster, but is first detected in the Danio rerio. Interestingly, native Danio rerio alpha3(IV)NC1 does not bind Goodpasture autoantibodies. Next, we cloned, sequenced, and generated recombinant Danio rerio alpha3(IV)NC1 domain. In contrast to recombinant human alpha3(IV)NC1 domain, there was complete absence of autoantibody binding to recombinant Danio rerio alpha3(IV)NC1. Three-dimensional molecular modeling from existing x-ray coordinates of human NC1 domain suggest that evolutionary alteration of electrostatic charge and polarity due to the emergence of critical serine, aspartic acid, and lysine residues, accompanied by the loss of asparagine and glutamine, contributes to the emergence of the 2 major Goodpasture epitopes on the human alpha3(IV)NC1 domain, as it evolved from the Danio rerio over 450 million years.
Project description:Anti-glomerular basement membrane nephritis and Goodpasture syndrome result from autoantibody (Ab)-mediated destruction of kidney and lung. Ab target the noncollagenous 1 (NC1) domain of alpha3(IV) collagen, but little is known about Ab origins or structure. This ignorance is due in part to the inability to recover monoclonal Ab by transformation of patients' blood cells. The aim of this study was to assess the suitability of two humanized models for this purpose.NOD-scid-gamma immunodeficient mice were engrafted either with human CD34+ hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) (Hu-HSC mice) and immunized with alpha3(IV)NC1 collagen containing the Goodpasture epitopes or with nephritis patients' peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) (Hu-PBL mice). After in vivo immune cell development and/or expansion, recovered human B cells were Epstein Barr virus (EBV)-transformed, screened for antigen (Ag) binding, electrofused with a mouse-human heterohybridoma, subcloned, and human Ab RNA sequenced by PCR after reverse transcription to cDNA. Flow cytometry was used to assess human B cell markers and differentiation in Hu-PBL mice.Sequence analysis of a human Ab derived from an immunized Hu-HSC mouse and reactive with alpha3(IV)NC1 collagen reveals that it is encoded by unmutated heavy and light chain genes. The heavy chain complementarity determining region 3, a major determinant of Ag binding, contains uncommon motifs, including an N-region somatically-introduced highly hydrophobic tetrapeptide and dual cysteines encoded by a uniquely human IGHD2-2 Ab gene segment that lacks a murine counterpart. Comparison of human and mouse autoantibodies suggests that structurally similar murine Ab may arise by convergent selection. In contrast to the Hu-HSC model, transformed human B cells are rarely recovered from Hu-PBL mice, in which human B cells terminally differentiate and lose expression of EBV receptor CD21, thus precluding their transformation and recovery.Hu-HSC mice reveal that potentially pathogenic B cells bearing unmutated Ig receptors reactive with the NC1 domain on alpha3(IV) collagen can be generated in, and not purged from, the human preimmune repertoire. Uniquely human gene elements are recruited to generate the antigen binding site in at least a subset of these autoantibodies, indicating that humanized models may provide insights inaccessible using conventional mouse models.
Project description:Organ deposition of autoantibodies against the noncollagenous-1 domain of the ?3 chain of type IV collagen leads to severe kidney and lung injury in anti-glomerular basement membrane disease. The origin and regulation of these highly pathogenic autoantibodies remains unknown. Anti-?3(IV) collagen B lymphocytes are predicted to mature in vivo ignorant of target antigen because ?3(IV) collagen expression is highly tissue restricted and pathogenic epitopes are cryptic. However, a recent analysis of an anti-?3(IV)NC1 collagen autoantibody transgenic mouse model revealed that developing B cells are rapidly silenced by deletion and editing in the bone marrow. To dissect the role of collagen as central tolerogen in this model, we determined B cell fate in autoantibody transgenic mice genetically lacking ?3(IV) collagen. We found that absence of the tissue target autoantigen has little impact on the fate of anti-?3(IV)NC1 B cells. This implies a more complex regulatory mechanism for preventing anti-glomerular basement membrane disease than has been previously considered, including the possibility that a second antigen present in bone marrow engages and tolerizes anti-?3(IV)NC1 collagen B cells.
Project description:The autoantigen in Goodpasture disease is the noncollagenous domain of alpha3 type IV collagen [alpha3(IV)NC1]. We previously demonstrated that IL-12p40(-/-) mice are protected from experimental autoimmune anti-glomerular basement membrane (anti-GBM) glomerulonephritis, seemingly defining a role for IL-12 in this disease; however, the recent identification of IL-23, a heterodimer composed of IL-12p40 and IL-23p19 subunits, raises the possibility that IL-23, rather than IL-12, may modulate this disease instead. We immunized wild-type, IL-12p35(-/-) (IL-12 deficient, IL-23 intact), IL-12p40(-/-) (deficient in both IL-12 and IL-23), and IL-23p19(-/-) (IL-12 intact, IL-23 deficient) mice with recombinant mouse alpha3(IV)NC1. Wild-type mice developed autoreactivity to alpha3(IV)NC1: Humoral responses, cellular responses, renal histologic abnormalities, leukocyte accumulation, autoantibody deposition, and IL-17A mRNA expression (a cytokine produced by the IL-23-maintained Th17 subset). IL-23 but not IL-12 was detected in the immune system. Regardless of the presence of IL-12, mice deficient in IL-23 were protected, but mice with IL-23 were not. Both IL-23-deficient strains exhibited lower autoantibody titers, reduced cellular reactivity, diminished cytokine production (IFN-gamma [Th1], IL-17A [Th17], TNF, and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1), and less renal disease and glomerular IgG deposition. The deficient responses in the absence of IL-23 were not due to increased regulatory T cells; IL-12p40(-/-) and IL-23p19(-/-) mice did not show increased proportions of CD4(+)CD25(+)FoxP3(+) cells or IL-10 levels early in the immune response. In conclusion, autoreactivity to the Goodpasture antigen is directed primarily by IL-23, absence of which results in hyporeactivity including but extending beyond a deficient Th17 response.
Project description:Goodpasture antigen, the non-collagenous domain of ?3 chain of type IV collagen [?3(IV)NC1], is the target antigen of anti-glomerular basement membrane (GBM) antibodies. The pathogenicity of T cell epitopes is not elucidated clearly. In this study, we aim to define the nephritogenic T cell epitopes and its critical amino acid residues. Twenty-four overlapping linear peptides were synthesized covering the whole sequence of human ?3(IV)NC1. Wistar-Kyoto rats were immunized with linear peptides, and experimental autoimmune glomerulonephritis was evaluated. Critical amino acid was identified by the loss of nephritogenic function after each amino acid substitution by alanine. Of the 24 peptides, P14 (?3127-148 ) could induce 90.5% (19/21) of WKY rats developing anti-GBM glomerulonephritis with proteinuria, elevated serum urea and creatinine, IgG linear deposit on GBM and substantial (in average 82.4 ± 5.6%) crescent formation in glomeruli. Lymphocytes of immunized rats proliferated in response to ?3127-148 and ?3(IV)NC1 in vitro. Sera of these rats recognized ?3127-148 and later on together with intact human ?3(IV)NC1. Antibodies towards ?3127-148 and intact ?3(IV)NC1 could also be detected from the kidney elutes. These antibodies showed no cross-reaction with each other, which implies intramolecular epitope spreading during disease progress. After sequential amino acid substitution, the ?3127-148 with substitution of tryptophan136 , isoleucine137 , leucine139 or tryptophan140 lost its nephritogenicity. Human ?3127-148 is a nephritogenic T cell epitope in WKY rats, with the critical amino acids as W136 I137 xL139 W140 . These findings might facilitate future investigation on microbial aetiology and potential specific immunotherapy of anti-GBM disease.
Project description:Proteolysis is essential during branching morphogenesis, but the roles of MT-MMPs and their proteolytic products are not clearly understood. Here, we discover that decreasing MT-MMP activity during submandibular gland branching morphogenesis decreases proliferation and increases collagen IV and MT-MMP expression. Specifically, reducing epithelial MT2-MMP profoundly decreases proliferation and morphogenesis, increases Col4a2 and intracellular accumulation of collagen IV, and decreases the proteolytic release of collagen IV NC1 domains. Importantly, we demonstrate the presence of collagen IV NC1 domains in developing tissue. Furthermore, recombinant collagen IV NC1 domains rescue branching morphogenesis after MT2-siRNA treatment, increasing MT-MMP and proproliferative gene expression via beta1 integrin and PI3K-AKT signaling. Additionally, HBEGF also rescues MT2-siRNA treatment, increasing NC1 domain release, proliferation, and MT2-MMP and Hbegf expression. Our studies provide mechanistic insight into how MT2-MMP-dependent release of bioactive NC1 domains from collagen IV is critical for integrating collagen IV synthesis and proteolysis with epithelial proliferation during branching morphogenesis.
Project description:Defective assembly of alpha 3 alpha 4 alpha 5(IV) collagen in the glomerular basement membrane causes Alport syndrome, a hereditary glomerulonephritis progressing to end-stage kidney failure. Assembly of collagen IV chains into heterotrimeric molecules and networks is driven by their noncollagenous (NC1) domains, but the sites encoding the specificity of these interactions are not known. To identify the sites directing quaternary assembly of alpha 3 alpha 4 alpha 5(IV) collagen, correctly folded NC1 chimeras were produced, and their interactions with other NC1 monomers were evaluated. All alpha1/alpha 5 chimeras containing alpha 5 NC1 residues 188-227 replicated the ability of alpha 5 NC1 to bind to alpha3NC1 and co-assemble into NC1 hexamers. Conversely, substitution of alpha 5 NC1 residues 188-227 by alpha1NC1 abolished these quaternary interactions. The amino-terminal 58 residues of alpha3NC1 encoded binding to alpha 5 NC1, but this interaction was not sufficient for hexamer co-assembly. Because alpha 5 NC1 residues 188-227 are necessary and sufficient for assembly into alpha 3 alpha 4 alpha 5 NC1 hexamers, whereas the immunodominant alloantigenic sites of alpha 5 NC1 do not encode specific quaternary interactions, the findings provide a basis for the rational design of less immunogenic alpha 5(IV) collagen constructs for the gene therapy of X-linked Alport patients.
Project description:Basement membranes are defining features of the cellular microenvironment; however, little is known regarding their assembly outside cells. We report that extracellular Cl(-) ions signal the assembly of collagen IV networks outside cells by triggering a conformational switch within collagen IV noncollagenous 1 (NC1) domains. Depletion of Cl(-) in cell culture perturbed collagen IV networks, disrupted matrix architecture, and repositioned basement membrane proteins. Phylogenetic evidence indicates this conformational switch is a fundamental mechanism of collagen IV network assembly throughout Metazoa. Using recombinant triple helical protomers, we prove that NC1 domains direct both protomer and network assembly and show in Drosophila that NC1 architecture is critical for incorporation into basement membranes. These discoveries provide an atomic-level understanding of the dynamic interactions between extracellular Cl(-) and collagen IV assembly outside cells, a critical step in the assembly and organization of basement membranes that enable tissue architecture and function. Moreover, this provides a mechanistic framework for understanding the molecular pathobiology of NC1 domains.
Project description:The detailed structural basis for the cryptic nature (crypticity) of a B cell epitope harbored by an autoantigen is unknown. Because the immune system may be ignorant of the existence of such "cryptic" epitopes, their exposure could be an important feature in autoimmunity. Here we investigated the structural basis for the crypticity of the epitopes of the Goodpasture autoantigen, the alpha3alpha4alpha5 noncollagenous-1 (NC1) hexamer, a globular domain that connects two triple-helical molecules of the alpha3alpha4alpha5 collagen IV network. The NC1 hexamer occurs in two isoforms as follows: the M-isoform composed of monomer subunits in which the epitopes are accessible to autoantibodies, and the D-isoform composed of both monomer and dimer subunits in which the epitopes are cryptic. The D-isoform was characterized with respect to quaternary structure, as revealed by mass spectrometry of dimer subunits, homology modeling, and molecular dynamics simulation. The results revealed that the D-isoform contains two kinds of cross-links as follows: S-hydroxylysyl-methionine and S-lysyl-methionine cross-links, which stabilize the alpha3alpha5-heterodimers and alpha4alpha4-homodimers, respectively. Construction and analysis of a three-dimensional model of the D-isoform of the alpha3alpha4alpha5 NC1 hexamer revealed that crypticity is a consequence of the following: (a) sequestration of key residues between neighboring subunits that are stabilized by domain-swapping interactions, and (b) by cross-linking of subunits at the trimer-trimer interface, which stabilizes the structural integrity of the NC1 hexamer and protects against binding of autoantibodies. The sequestrated epitopes and cross-linked subunits represent a novel structural mechanism for conferring immune privilege at the level of quaternary structure. Perturbation of the quaternary structure may be a key factor in the etiology of Goodpasture disease.