Defects in CTLA-4 are associated with abnormal regulatory T cell function in rheumatoid arthritis.
ABSTRACT: The ultimate goal for the treatment of autoimmunity is to restore immunological tolerance. Regulatory T cells (Treg) play a central role in immune tolerance, and Treg functional abnormalities have been identified in different autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We have previously shown that natural Treg from RA patients are competent at suppressing responder T cell proliferation but not cytokine production. Here, we explore the hypothesis that this Treg defect in RA is linked with abnormalities in the expression and function of CTLA-4. We demonstrate that CTLA-4 expression on Treg from RA patients was significantly reduced compared with healthy Treg and is associated with an increased rate of CTLA-4 internalization. Regulation of T cell receptor signaling by CTLA-4 was impaired in RA Treg and associated with delayed recruitment of CTLA-4 to the immunological synapse. Artificial induction of CTLA-4 expression on RA Treg restored their suppressive capacity. Furthermore, CTLA-4 blockade impaired healthy Treg suppression of T cell IFN-gamma production, but not proliferation, thereby recapitulating the unique Treg defect in RA. Our results suggest that defects in CTLA-4 could contribute to abnormal Treg function in RA and may represent a target for therapy for inducing long-lasting remission.
Project description:Regulatory T (Treg) cells, which maintain immune homeostasis and self-tolerance, form an immunological synapse (IS) with antigen-presenting cells (APCs). However, signaling events at the Treg cell IS remain unknown. Here we show that the kinase PKC-? associated with CTLA-4 and was recruited to the Treg cell IS. PKC-?-deficient Treg cells displayed defective suppressive activity, including suppression of tumor immunity but not of autoimmune colitis. Phosphoproteomic and biochemical analysis revealed an association between CTLA-4-PKC-? and the GIT2-?PIX-PAK complex, an IS-localized focal adhesion complex. Defective activation of this complex in PKC-?-deficient Treg cells was associated with reduced depletion of CD86 from APCs by Treg cells. These results reveal a CTLA-4-PKC-? signaling axis required for contact-dependent suppression and implicate this pathway as a potential cancer immunotherapy target.
Project description:Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) is a major negative regulatory molecule for T-cell activation with a complex biology and function. CTLA-4 is known to regulate homeostatic lymphoproliferation as well as tolerance induction and has been proposed to be an important effector molecule by which Treg cells suppress immunity. The immunoregulatory properties of CTLA-4 are primarily mediated by competition with the costimulator CD28 for ligand binding but also by delivering negative signals to T cells through its cytoplasmic tail. In this study, we addressed the effect of directly mutating the amino acid residue, Tyrosine 201 (Tyr201), of the intracellular domain of CTLA-4 in situ and its implications in T-cell function in the context of autoimmunity. Therefore, a novel CTLA-4 knock-in mouse (Y201V KI) was generated, in which Tyr201 was replaced by a valine that could not be phosphorylated. Mice expressing the CTLA-4 mutant molecule were generally healthy and did not show signs of disruption of T-cell homeostasis under steady-state conditions seen in CTLA-4 deficient mice. However, T cells isolated from Y201V KI mice expressed higher levels of CTLA-4 on the cell surface and displayed a Th2-biased phenotype following TCR stimulation. Furthermore, Y201V KI mice developed exacerbated disease as compared to wild-type upon antigen-specific T-cell activation in an in vivo model of EAE. Importantly, the Y201V mutation resulted in impaired suppressive activity of Treg cells while T effector function remained intact. These data suggest that effects associated with and mediated through Tyr201 of CTLA-4s intracellular domain are critical for Treg-cell function.
Project description:Cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4; CD152) is of pivotal importance for self-tolerance, with deficiency or unfavorable polymorphisms leading to autoimmune disease. Tolerance to self-antigens is achieved through thymic deletion of highly autoreactive conventional T (Tconv) cells and generation of FoxP3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells. The main costimulatory molecule, CD28, augments the negative selection of Tconv cells and promotes the generation of FoxP3(+) Treg cells. The role of its antagonistic homolog CTLA-4, however, remains a topic of debate. To address this topic, we investigated the thymic development of T cells in the presence and absence of CTLA-4 in a T-cell receptor (TCR) transgenic mouse model specific for the myelin basic protein peptide Ac1-9. We reveal that CTLA-4 is expressed in the corticomedullary region of the thymus. Its absence alters the response of CD4(+)CD8(-) thymocytes to self-antigen recognition, which affects the quantity of the Treg cells generated and broadens the repertoire of peripheral Tconv cells. T-cell repertoire alteration after deletion of CTLA-4 results from changes in TCR V? and J? segment selection as well as CDR3? composition in Tconv and Treg cells. CTLA-4, therefore, regulates the early development of self-reactive T cells in the thymus and plays a key role in central tolerance.
Project description:To investigate whether CTLA-4 +49?G/A (rs231775), a tagSNP in Asian, is a functional T1D SNP, we genotyped this SNP with 1035 T1D patients and 2575 controls in Chinese Han population. And 1280 controls measured insulin release and sensitivity based on an oral glucose tolerance test; 283 newly diagnosed T1D patients assayed C-peptide level based on a mixed-meal tolerance test. 31 controls were analyzed for different T cell subsets by multi-color flow cytometry. Under additive model, we found that CTLA-4 +49?G/A was significantly associated with T1D (P?=?2.82E-04, OR?=?1.25, 95% CI: 1.12-1.41), which was further confirmed by meta-analysis (P?=?1.19E-08, OR?=?1.65, 95% CI: 1.38-1.96) in Chinese Han population. Although we did not find any association between this SNP and beta-cell function in either healthy individuals or newly diagnosed T1D patients, healthy individuals carrying GG/GA genotypes had lower CTLA-4 expression in naïve or activated CD4 Treg subsets (P?=?0.0046 and 0.0317 respectively). A higher positive rate of IA-2A was observed among T1D patients with GG genotype compared with AA (OR?=?0.51, 95% CI: 0.30-0.84, p?=?0.008). Collectively, CTLA-4 +49?G/A reached a GWAS significant association with T1D risk in Chinese Han population, affects CTLA-4 expression in Treg subsets and subsequently humoral immunity in T1D patients.
Project description:It is generally acknowledged that cytotoxic T-lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 (CTLA-4/CD152) plays a pivotal role in the regulation of T-cell activation and the establishment of self-tolerance in the periphery. CTLA-4-deficient (CTLA-4KO) mice develop a lymphoproliferative disorder and die within 4 weeks of birth, suggesting a role for CTLA-4 in T-cell homeostasis or the development and activity of T-regulatory (Treg) cells. To study the role of CTLA-4 in the control of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), we have generated a CTLA-4KO mouse in which >90% of all CD4(+) T cells bear a Vbeta8.2 transgenic T-cell receptor that is specific for myelin basic protein peptide Ac1-9 (ASQKRPSQR). These mice do not develop spontaneous lymphoproliferative disease or EAE and are resistant to disease induction. This correlates with a higher frequency of functional FoxP3(+) Treg cells in the spleen and thymus of CTLA-4KO mice. The absence of CTLA-4-mediated suppression of CD28 signaling resulted in the early expression of FoxP3 on double-positive cells in the thymic cortex. We conclude that CTLA-4 is not essential for the peripheral function of FoxP3(+) Treg cells but plays a pivotal role in their thymic selection.
Project description:Foxp3(+) T regulatory cells (Tregs) are critically important for the maintenance of immunological tolerance, immune homeostasis, and prevention of autoimmunity. Dendritic cells (DCs) are one of the major targets of Treg-mediated suppression. Some studies have suggested that Treg-mediated suppression of DC function is mediated by the interaction of CTLA-4 on Tregs with CD80/CD86 on the DCs resulting in downregulation of CD80/CD86 expression and a decrease in costimulation. We have re-examined the effects of Tregs on mouse DC function in a model in which Ag-specific, induced Tregs (iTregs) are cocultured with DCs in the absence of T effector cells. iTreg-treated DCs are markedly defective in their capacity to activate naive T cells. iTregs from CTLA-4-deficient mice failed to induce downregulation of CD80/CD86, but DCs treated with CTLA-4-deficient iTregs still exhibited impaired capacity to activate naive T cells. The iTreg-induced defect in DC function could be completely reversed by anti-IL-10, and IL-10-deficient iTregs failed to downregulate DC function. iTreg-treated DCs expressed high levels of MARCH1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, recently found to degrade CD86 and MHC class II on the DCs and expressed lower levels of CD83, a molecule involved in neutralizing the function of MARCH1. Both the enhanced expression of MARCH1 and the decreased expression of CD83 were mediated by IL-10 produced by the iTregs. Taken together, these studies demonstrate that a major suppressive mechanism of DC function by iTregs is secondary to the effects of IL-10 on MARCH1 and CD83 expression.
Project description:Thymic induction of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells relies on CD28 costimulation and high-affinity T-cell receptor (TCR) signals, whereas Foxp3 (forkhead box P3) induction on activated peripheral CD4(+) T cells is inhibited by these signals. Accordingly, the inhibitory molecule CTLA-4 (cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen 4) promoted, but was not essential for CD4(+) T-cell Foxp3 induction in vitro. We show that CTLA-4-deficient cells are equivalent to wild-type cells in the thymic induction of Foxp3 and maintenance of Foxp3 populations in the spleen and mesenteric lymph nodes, but their accumulation in the colon, where Treg cells specific for commensal bacteria accumulate, is impaired. In a T cell-transfer model of colitis, the two known CTLA-4 ligands, B7-1 and B7-2, had largely redundant roles in inducing inflammation and promoting Treg cell function. However, B7-2 proved more efficient than B7-1 in inducing Foxp3 in vitro and in vivo. Our data reveal an unappreciated role for CTLA-4 in establishing the Foxp3(+) compartment in the intestine.
Project description:CD80 and CD86 are expressed on antigen presenting cells and are required to engage their shared receptor, CD28, for the costimulation of CD4 T cells. It is unclear why two stimulatory ligands with overlapping roles have evolved. CD80 and CD86 also bind the regulatory molecule CTLA-4. We explored the role of CD80 and CD86 in the homeostasis and proliferation of CD4+FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (Treg), which constitutively express high levels of CTLA-4 yet are critically dependent upon CD28 signals. We observed that CD86 was the dominant ligand for Treg proliferation, survival, and maintenance of a regulatory phenotype, with higher expression of CTLA-4, ICOS, and OX40. We also explored whether CD80-CD28 interactions were specifically compromised by CTLA-4 and found that antibody blockade, clinical deficiency of CTLA-4 and CRISPR-Cas9 deletion of CTLA-4 all improved Treg survival following CD80 stimulation. Taken together, our data suggest that CD86 is the dominant costimulatory ligand for Treg homeostasis, despite its lower affinity for CD28, because CD80-CD28 interactions are selectively impaired by the high levels of CTLA-4. These data suggest a cell intrinsic role for CTLA-4 in regulating CD28 costimulation by direct competition for CD80, and indicate that that CD80 and CD86 have discrete roles in CD28 costimulation of CD4 T cells in the presence of high levels of CTLA-4.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The CTLA-4 blocking antibody ipilimumab has demonstrated substantial and durable effects in patients with melanoma. While CTLA-4 therapy, both as monotherapy and in combination with PD-1 targeting therapies, has great potential in many indications, the toxicities of the current treatment regimens may limit their use. Thus, there is a medical need for new CTLA-4 targeting therapies with improved benefit-risk profile. METHODS:ATOR-1015 is a human CTLA-4 x OX40 targeting IgG1 bispecific antibody generated by linking an optimized version of the Ig-like V-type domain of human CD86, a natural CTLA-4 ligand, to an agonistic OX40 antibody. In vitro evaluation of T-cell activation and T regulatory cell (Treg) depletion was performed using purified cells from healthy human donors or cell lines. In vivo anti-tumor responses were studied using human OX40 transgenic (knock-in) mice with established syngeneic tumors. Tumors and spleens from treated mice were analyzed for CD8+ T cell and Treg frequencies, T-cell activation markers and tumor localization using flow cytometry. RESULTS:ATOR-1015 induces T-cell activation and Treg depletion in vitro. Treatment with ATOR-1015 reduces tumor growth and improves survival in several syngeneic tumor models, including bladder, colon and pancreas cancer models. It is further demonstrated that ATOR-1015 induces tumor-specific and long-term immunological memory and enhances the response to PD-1 inhibition. Moreover, ATOR-1015 localizes to the tumor area where it reduces the frequency of Tregs and increases the number and activation of CD8+ T cells. CONCLUSIONS:By targeting CTLA-4 and OX40 simultaneously, ATOR-1015 is directed to the tumor area where it induces enhanced immune activation, and thus has the potential to be a next generation CTLA-4 targeting therapy with improved clinical efficacy and reduced toxicity. ATOR-1015 is also expected to act synergistically with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 therapy. The pre-clinical data support clinical development of ATOR-1015, and a first-in-human trial has started (NCT03782467).
Project description:Anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) confer a cancer immunotherapeutic effect (CITE) but cause severe immunotherapy-related adverse events (irAE). Targeting CTLA-4 has shown remarkable long-term benefit and thus remains a valuable tool for cancer immunotherapy if the irAE can be brought under control. An animal model, which recapitulates clinical irAE and CITE, would be valuable for developing safer CTLA-4-targeting reagents. Here, we report such a model using mice harboring the humanized Ctla4 gene. In this model, the clinically used drug, Ipilimumab, induced severe irAE especially when combined with an anti-PD-1 antibody; whereas another mAb, L3D10, induced comparable CITE with very mild irAE under the same conditions. The irAE corresponded to systemic T cell activation and resulted in reduced ratios of regulatory to effector T cells (Treg/Teff) among autoreactive T cells. Using mice that were either homozygous or heterozygous for the human allele, we found that the irAE required bi-allelic engagement, while CITE only required monoallelic engagement. As with the immunological distinction for monoallelic vs bi-allelic engagement, we found that bi-allelic engagement of the Ctla4 gene was necessary for preventing conversion of autoreactive T cells into Treg cells. Humanization of L3D10, which led to loss of blocking activity, further increased safety without affecting the therapeutic effect. Taken together, our data demonstrate that complete CTLA-4 occupation, systemic T cell activation and preferential expansion of self-reactive T cells are dispensable for tumor rejection but correlate with irAE, while blocking B7-CTLA-4 interaction impacts neither safety nor efficacy of anti-CTLA-4 antibodies. These data provide important insights for the clinical development of safer and potentially more effective CTLA-4-targeting immunotherapy.