Induction of inflammatory and immune responses by HMGB1-nucleosome complexes: implications for the pathogenesis of SLE.
ABSTRACT: Autoantibodies against double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) and nucleosomes represent a hallmark of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, the mechanisms involved in breaking the immunological tolerance against these poorly immunogenic nuclear components are not fully understood. Impaired phagocytosis of apoptotic cells with consecutive release of nuclear antigens may contribute to the immune pathogenesis. The architectural chromosomal protein and proinflammatory mediator high mobility group box protein 1 (HMGB1) is tightly attached to the chromatin of apoptotic cells. We demonstrate that HMGB1 remains bound to nucleosomes released from late apoptotic cells in vitro. HMGB1-nucleosome complexes were also detected in plasma from SLE patients. HMGB1-containing nucleosomes from apoptotic cells induced secretion of interleukin (IL) 1beta, IL-6, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) alpha and expression of costimulatory molecules in macrophages and dendritic cells (DC), respectively. Neither HMGB1-free nucleosomes from viable cells nor nucleosomes from apoptotic cells lacking HMGB1 induced cytokine production or DC activation. HMGB1-containing nucleosomes from apoptotic cells induced anti-dsDNA and antihistone IgG responses in a Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2-dependent manner, whereas nucleosomes from living cells did not. In conclusion, HMGB1-nucleosome complexes activate antigen presenting cells and, thereby, may crucially contribute to the pathogenesis of SLE via breaking the immunological tolerance against nucleosomes/dsDNA.
Project description:It has been proposed that the anti-double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) response in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is antigen driven and that DNA or nucleosomes select anti-DNA reactive, somatically mutated B cells. We have used site-directed mutagenesis to systematically revert the somatic mutations of two human anti-dsDNA antibodies from SLE patients to analyze the resulting changes in DNA binding as well as binding to other autoantigens. Our data demonstrate that high-affinity binding to dsDNA and nucleosomes is acquired by somatic replacement mutations in a stepwise manner. Reactivity to surface structures of apoptotic cells is acquired by the same somatic mutations that generate high-affinity dsDNA binding. Importantly, revertant antibodies with germ-line V regions did not show any measurable DNA reactivity. We propose that anti-DNA autoantibodies are generated from nonautoreactive B cells during a normal immune response. B cells may acquire autoreactivity de novo during the process of somatic hypermutation. Nucleosomes, if available in lupus patients because of defects in clearing of apoptotic debris, might subsequently positively select high affinity anti-DNA B cells.
Project description:INTRODUCTION: The objective of this study was to compare the clinical usefulness of the new anti-double-stranded DNA nucleosome-complexed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Anti-dsDNA-NcX ELISA), which is based on dsDNA-loaded nucleosomes as antigens, with established test systems based on dsDNA or nucleosomes alone for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) diagnostics and determination of disease activity. METHODS: Sera from a cohort of 964 individuals comprising 207 SLE patients, 357 disease controls and 400 healthy donors were investigated using the Anti-dsDNA-NcX ELISA, Farr assay, Anti-dsDNA ELISA, Anti-nucleosome ELISA and Crithidia luciliae immunofluorescence (CLIF) assay, all of which are tests available from EUROIMMUN Medizinische Labordiagnostika AG (Lübeck, Germany). Receiver operating characteristic curve analyses were performed to compare the sensitivity and specificity of each assay. The test results yielded by these assays in a group of 165 fully characterized SLE patients were compared with the corresponding medical records. RESULTS: The Anti-dsDNA-NcX ELISA was found to have a sensitivity of 60.9% and a specificity of 98.9% in all 964 individuals at the manufacturer's cutoff of 100 U/ml. At a comparable specificity of 99%, the sensitivity amounted to 59.9% for the Anti-dsDNA-NcX ELISA, 54.1% for the Farr assay, 53.6% for the antinucleosome ELISA and 35.8% for the anti-dsDNA ELISA. The CLIF assay had a sensitivity of 28.0% and a specificity of 98.2%. The Anti-dsDNA-NcX ELISA correlated mostly with global disease activity in a cross-sectional analysis. In a longitudinal analysis of 20 patients with 69 patient visits, changes in Anti-dsDNA-NcX ELISA and antinucleosome ELISA results correlated highly with changes in disease activity over time. CONCLUSIONS: The use of dsDNA-complexed nucleosomes as antigens in ELISA leads to optimized determination of diagnosis and disease activity in SLE patients and is available for clinical practice.
Project description:The basic unit of genome packaging is the nucleosome, and nucleosomes have long been proposed to restrict DNA accessibility both to damage and to transcription. Nucleosome number in cells was considered fixed, but recently aging yeast and mammalian cells were shown to contain fewer nucleosomes. We show here that mammalian cells lacking High Mobility Group Box 1 protein (HMGB1) contain a reduced amount of core, linker, and variant histones, and a correspondingly reduced number of nucleosomes, possibly because HMGB1 facilitates nucleosome assembly. Yeast nhp6 mutants lacking Nhp6a and -b proteins, which are related to HMGB1, also have a reduced amount of histones and fewer nucleosomes. Nucleosome limitation in both mammalian and yeast cells increases the sensitivity of DNA to damage, increases transcription globally, and affects the relative expression of about 10% of genes. In yeast nhp6 cells the loss of more than one nucleosome in four does not affect the location of nucleosomes and their spacing, but nucleosomal occupancy. The decrease in nucleosomal occupancy is non-uniform and can be modelled assuming that different nucleosomal sites compete for available histones. Sites with a high propensity to occupation are almost always packaged into nucleosomes both in wild type and nucleosome-depleted cells; nucleosomes on sites with low propensity to occupation are disproportionately lost in nucleosome-depleted cells. We suggest that variation in nucleosome number, by affecting nucleosomal occupancy both genomewide and gene-specifically, constitutes a novel layer of epigenetic regulation.
Project description:Deficient clearance of apoptotic cells reportedly contributes to the etiopathogenesis of the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Based on this knowledge, we developed a highly specific and sensitive test for the detection of SLE autoantibodies (AAb) utilizing secondary NEcrotic cell (SNEC)-derived material as a substrate. The goal of the present study was to validate the use of SNEC as an appropriate antigen for the diagnosis of SLE in large cohort of patients. We confirmed the presence of apoptotically modified autoantigens on SNEC (dsDNA, high mobility group box 1 protein, apoptosis-associated chromatin modifications, e.g., histones H3-K27-me3; H2A/H4 AcK8,12,16; and H2B-AcK12). Anti-SNEC AAb were measured in the serum of 155 patients with SLE, 89 normal healthy donors (NHD), and 169 patients with other autoimmune connective tissue diseases employing SNEC-based indirect enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (SNEC ELISA). We compared the test performance of SNEC ELISA with the routine diagnostic tests dsDNA Farr radioimmunoassay (RIA) and nucleosome-based ELISA (<i>anti-dsDNA-NcX-ELISA</i>). SNEC ELISA distinguished patients with SLE with a specificity of 98.9% and a sensitivity of 70.6% from NHD clearly surpassing RIA and <i>anti-dsDNA-NcX-ELISA</i>. In contrast to the other tests, SNEC ELISA significantly discriminated patients with SLE from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, primary anti-phospholipid syndrome, spondyloarthropathy, psoriatic arthritis, and systemic sclerosis. A positive test result in SNEC ELISA significantly correlated with serological variables and reflected the uptake of opsonized SNEC by neutrophils. This stresses the relevance of SNECs in the pathogenesis of SLE. We conclude that SNEC ELISA allows for the sensitive detection of pathologically relevant AAb, enabling its diagnostic usage. A positive SNEC test reflects the opsonization of cell remnants by AAb, the neutrophil recruitment to tissues, and the enhancement of local and systemic inflammatory responses.
Project description:Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) driven by oncogenic K-Ras remains among the most lethal human cancers despite recent advances in modern medicine. The pathogenesis of PDAC is partly attributable to intrinsic chromosome instability and extrinsic inflammation activation. However, the molecular link between these two events in pancreatic tumorigenesis has not yet been fully established. Here, we show that intracellular high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) remarkably suppresses oncogenic K-Ras-driven pancreatic tumorigenesis by inhibiting chromosome instability-mediated pro-inflammatory nucleosome release. Conditional genetic ablation of either single or both alleles of HMGB1 in the pancreas renders mice extremely sensitive to oncogenic K-Ras-driven initiation of precursor lesions at birth, including pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasms, intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasms, and mucinous cystic neoplasms. Loss of HMGB1 in the pancreas is associated with oxidative DNA damage and chromosomal instability characterized by chromosome rearrangements and telomere abnormalities. These lead to inflammatory nucleosome release and propagate K-Ras-driven pancreatic tumorigenesis. Extracellular nucleosomes promote interleukin 6 (IL-6) secretion by infiltrating macrophages/neutrophils and enhance oncogenic K-Ras signaling activation in pancreatic lesions. Neutralizing antibodies to IL-6 or histone H3 or knockout of the receptor for advanced glycation end products all limit K-Ras signaling activation, prevent cancer development and metastasis/invasion, and prolong animal survival in Pdx1-Cre;K-RasG12D/+;Hmgb1-/- mice. Pharmacological inhibition of HMGB1 loss by glycyrrhizin limits oncogenic K-Ras-driven tumorigenesis in mice under inflammatory conditions. Diminished nuclear and total cellular expression of HMGB1 in PDAC patients correlates with poor overall survival, supporting intracellular HMGB1 as a novel tumor suppressor with prognostic and therapeutic relevance in PDAC.
Project description:The nucleosome is the basic structural repeating unit of chromatin. DNA damage and cell apoptosis release nucleosomes into the blood circulatory system, and increased levels of circulating nucleosomes have been observed to be related to inflammation and autoimmune diseases. However, how circulating nucleosomes trigger immune responses has not been fully elucidated. cGAS (cGMP-AMP synthase) is a recently discovered pattern recognition receptor that senses cytoplasmic double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). In this study, we employed in vitro reconstituted nucleosomes to examine whether extracellular nucleosomes can gain access to the cytoplasm of mammalian cells to induce immune responses by activating cGAS. We showed that nucleosomes can be taken up by various mammalian cells. Additionally, we found that in vitro reconstituted mononucleosomes and oligonucleosomes can be recognized by cGAS. Compared to dsDNA, nucleosomes exhibit higher binding affinities to cGAS but considerably lower potency in cGAS activation. Incubation of monocytic cells with reconstituted nucleosomes leads to limited production of type I interferons and proinflammatory cytokines via a cGAS-dependent mechanism. This proof-of-concept study reveals the cGAS-dependent immunogenicity of nucleosomes and highlights the potential roles of circulating nucleosomes in autoimmune diseases, inflammation, and antitumour immunity.
Project description:The process of base excision repair (BER) recognizes and repairs small lesions or inappropriate bases on DNA through either a short-patch or long-patch pathway. The enzymes involved in BER have been well-characterized on DNA substrates, and, somewhat surprisingly, many of these enzymes, including several DNA glycosylases, AP endonuclease (APE), FEN1 endonuclease, and DNA ligases, have been shown to have activity on DNA substrates within nucleosomes. DNA polymerase ? (Pol ?), however, exhibits drastically reduced or no activity on nucleosomal DNA. Interestingly, acetylation of Pol ?, by the acetyltransferase p300, inhibits its 5' dRP-lyase activity and presumably pushes repair of DNA substrates through the long-patch base excision repair (LP-BER) pathway. In addition to the major enzymes involved in BER, a chromatin architectural factor, HMGB1, was found to directly interact with and enhance the activity of APE1 and FEN1, and thus may aid in altering the structure of the nucleosome to be more accessible to BER factors. In this work, we investigated whether acetylation of Pol ?, either alone or in conjunction with HMGB1, facilitates its activity on nucleosome substrates. We find acetylated Pol ? exhibits enhanced strand displacement synthesis activity on DNA substrates, but, similar to the unmodified enzyme, has little or no activity on nucleosomes. Preincubation of DNA templates with HMGB1 has little or no stimulatory effect on Pol ? and even is inhibitory at higher concentrations. In contrast, preincubation of nucleosomes with HMGB1 rescues Pol ? gap-filling activity in nucleosomes, suggesting that this factor may help overcome the repressive effects of chromatin.
Project description:Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease resulting in autoantibody production, immune complex deposition, and complement activation. The standard biomarkers such as anti-dsDNA and complements (C3 and C4) do not always correlate with active clinical SLE. The heterogeneity of SLE patients may require additional biomarkers to designate disease activity. Ninety SLE patients participated in this study. Evaluation of disease activity was achieved with the Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Disease Activity Index 2000 (SLEDAI-2K) and modified SLEDAI-2K. The measured serum biomarkers were anti-dsDNA, C3, C4, ESR, interleukin-6 (IL-6), and circulating immune complexes (CIC). IL-6, ESR and CIC significantly increased in active clinical SLE. Complement, anti-dsDNA, ESR and CIC correlated with SLEDAI-2K while only anti-dsDNA, CIC, ESR and IL-6 correlated with modified SLEDAI-2K. A combination of biomarkers gave a higher odds ratio (OR) than any single biomarker. A combination of IL-6 or CIC exhibited the highest OR (OR?=?7.27, 95%CI (1.99-26.63), p?=?0.003) while either complement or anti-dsDNA showed a moderate odds ratio (OR?=?3.14, 95%CI (1.16-8.48), p?=?0.024) of predicting clinical active SLE. The combination of CIC and IL-6 strongly predicts active clinical SLE. CIC and IL-6 can be used in addition to standard biomarkers to determine SLE activity.
Project description:A hallmark of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the breaking of B-cell tolerance with the generation of high-affinity autoantibodies; however, the antibody-independent features of the B-cell compartment in SLE are less understood. In this study, we performed an extensive examination of B-cell subsets and their proinflammatory properties in a Chinese cohort of new-onset SLE patients. We observed that SLE patients exhibited an increased frequency of transitional B cells compared with healthy donors and rheumatoid arthritis patients. Plasma from SLE patients potently promoted the survival of transitional B cells in a type I IFN-dependent manner, which can be recapitulated by direct IFN-? treatment. Furthermore, the effect of IFN-? on enhanced survival of transitional B cells was associated with NF-?B pathway activation and reduced expression of the pro-apoptotic molecule Bax. Transitional B cells from SLE patients harbored a higher capacity to produce proinflammatory cytokine IL-6, which was also linked to the overactivated type I IFN pathway. In addition, the frequency of IL-6-producing transitional B cells was positively correlated with disease activity in SLE patients, and these cells were significantly reduced after short-term standard therapies. Thus, the current study provides a direct link between type I IFN pathway overactivation and the abnormally high frequency and proinflammatory properties of transitional B cells in active SLE patients, which contributes to the understanding of the roles of type I IFNs and B cells in the pathogenesis of SLE.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:To characterize the significance of correlated autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and its complication lupus nephritis (LN) in a large cohort of patients. METHODS:Clinical data were statistically analyzed in 1699 SLE patients with or without nephritis who were diagnosed and treated during 2002-2013 in the northeast region of China. Reactivity to a list of 16 autoantibodies was detected by the serum test Euroline ANA profile (IgG). Serum titers of the anti-nucleosome autoantibodies were measured by ELISA assays. Kidney biopsies were examined by pathologists. Immune complex deposition was identified by immunohistochemistry stain. RESULTS:Simultaneous positivity of anti-dsDNA, -nucleosome and -histone antibodies (3-pos) was prevalent in SLE patients with LN compared to Non-renal SLE patients (41% vs 11%, p< 0.001). Significant correlations were found between any two of the above three anti-nucleosome antibodies in LN patients. In comparison to non-3-pos cohorts, 3-pos patients with LN had significantly higher serum levels of the three antibodies and more active disease; was associated with type IV disease; suffered from more severe renal damages; received more intensive treatment and had worse disease outcome. The serum levels of these three autoantibodies in 3-pos LN patients were significantly decreased when they underwent clinical recovery. CONCLUSIONS:Simultaneous reactivity to anti-dsDNA, -nucleosome and -histone antibodies by Euroline ANA profile (IgG) may indicate severe nephropathy in patients with SLE.