Goodpasture's disease: molecular architecture of the autoantigen provides clues to etiology and pathogenesis.
ABSTRACT: Goodpasture's disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the deposition of pathogenic autoantibodies in basement membranes of kidney and lung, which induces rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis and pulmonary hemorrhage. The target antigen is the ?3NC1 domain of collagen IV, which is expressed in target organs as an ?345 network. Recent studies of specificity and epitopes of Goodpasture's autoantibodies and discovery of novel posttranslational modification of the antigen, a sulfilimine bond, provide further insight into mechanisms of initiation and progression of Goodpasture's disease.Analysis of the specificity of Goodpasture's autoantibodies revealed a distinct subset of circulating and kidney-bound anti?5NC1 antibody, which is associated with loss of kidney function. Structural integrity of the ?345NC1 hexamer is stabilized by the novel sulfilimine crosslinks conferring immune privilege to the Goodpasture's autoantigen. Native antibodies may contribute to establishment of immune tolerance to autoantigen. Structural analysis of epitopes for autoantibodies and alloantibodies indicates a critical role of conformational change in the ?345NC1 hexamer in eliciting an autoimmune response in Goodpasture's disease.Understanding of the quaternary structure of the Goodpasture's autoantigen continues to provide insights into autoimmune mechanisms that serve as a basis for development of novel diagnostic tools and therapies for Goodpasture's disease.
Project description:Goodpasture's (GP) disease is an autoimmune disorder characterized by the deposition of pathogenic autoantibodies in basement membranes of kidney and lung eliciting rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis and pulmonary hemorrhage. The principal autoantigen is the ?345 network of collagen IV, which expression is restricted to target tissues. Recent discoveries include a key role of chloride and bromide for network assembly, a novel posttranslational modification of the antigen, a sulfilimine bond that crosslinks the antigen, and the mechanistic role of HLA in genetic susceptibility and resistance to GP disease. These advances provide further insights into molecular mechanisms of initiation and progression of GP disease and serve as a basis for developing of novel diagnostic tools and therapies for treatment of Goodpasture's disease.
Project description:Autoantibody against glomerular basement membrane (GBM) plays a direct role in the initiation and development of Goodpasture's (GP) disease. The principal autoantigen is the non-collagenous domain 1 (NC1) of ?3 chain of collagen IV, with two immunodominant epitopes, EA-?3 and EB-?3. We recently demonstrated that antibodies targeting ?5NC1 are bound to kidneys in GP patients, suggesting their pathogenic relevance. In the present study, we sought to assess the pathogenicity of the ?5 autoantibody with clinical and animal studies. Herein, we present a special case of GP disease with circulating autoantibody reactive exclusively to the ?5NC1 domain. This autoantibody reacted with conformational epitopes within GBM collagen IV hexamer and produced a linear IgG staining on frozen sections of human kidney. The antibody binds to the two regions within ?5NC1 domain, EA and EB, and inhibition ELISA indicates that they are targeted by distinct sub-populations of autoantibodies. Sequence analysis highlights five residues that determine specificity of antibody targeting EA and EB epitopes of ?5NC1 over homologous regions in ?3NC1. Furthermore, immunization with recombinant ?5NC1 domain induced crescentic glomerulonephritis and alveolar hemorrhage in Wistar-Kyoto rats. Thus, patient data and animal studies together reveal the pathogenicity of ?5 antibodies. Given previously documented cases of GP disease with antibodies selectively targeting ?3NC1 domain, our data presents a conundrum of why ?3-specific antibodies developing in majority of GP patients, with ?5-specific antibodies emerged in isolated cases, the answer for which is critical for understanding of etiology and progression of the GP disease.
Project description:In Goodpasture's disease, circulating autoantibodies bind to the noncollagenous-1 (NC1) domain of type IV collagen in the glomerular basement membrane (GBM). The specificity and molecular architecture of epitopes of tissue-bound autoantibodies are unknown. Alport's post-transplantation nephritis, which is mediated by alloantibodies against the GBM, occurs after kidney transplantation in some patients with Alport's syndrome. We compared the conformations of the antibody epitopes in Goodpasture's disease and Alport's post-transplantation nephritis with the intention of finding clues to the pathogenesis of anti-GBM glomerulonephritis.We used an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to determine the specificity of circulating autoantibodies and kidney-bound antibodies to NC1 domains. Circulating antibodies were analyzed in 57 patients with Goodpasture's disease, and kidney-bound antibodies were analyzed in 14 patients with Goodpasture's disease and 2 patients with Alport's post-transplantation nephritis. The molecular architecture of key epitope regions was deduced with the use of chimeric molecules and a three-dimensional model of the alpha345NC1 hexamer.In patients with Goodpasture's disease, both autoantibodies to the alpha3NC1 monomer and antibodies to the alpha5NC1 monomer (and fewer to the alpha4NC1 monomer) were bound in the kidneys and lungs, indicating roles for the alpha3NC1 and alpha5NC1 monomers as autoantigens. High antibody titers at diagnosis of anti-GBM disease were associated with ultimate loss of renal function. The antibodies bound to distinct epitopes encompassing region E(A) in the alpha5NC1 monomer and regions E(A) and E(B) in the alpha3NC1 monomer, but they did not bind to the native cross-linked alpha345NC1 hexamer. In contrast, in patients with Alport's post-transplantation nephritis, alloantibodies bound to the E(A) region of the alpha5NC1 subunit in the intact hexamer, and binding decreased on dissociation.The development of Goodpasture's disease may be considered an autoimmune "conformeropathy" that involves perturbation of the quaternary structure of the alpha345NC1 hexamer, inducing a pathogenic conformational change in the alpha3NC1 and alpha5NC1 subunits, which in turn elicits an autoimmune response. (Funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.)
Project description:Background: Goodpasture's disease (GP) is mediated by autoantibodies that bind the glomerular and alveolar basement membrane, causing rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis with or without pulmonary hemorrhage. The autoantibodies bind neoepitopes formed upon disruption of the quaternary structure of ?345NC1 hexamer, a critical structural domain of ?345 collagen IV scaffolds. Hexamer disruption leads to a conformational changes that transitions ?3 and ?5NC1 subunits into immunogens, however, the trigger remains unknown. This contrasts with another anti-GBM disease, Alports' post-transplant nephritis (APTN), where the pathogenic alloantibody binds directly to native NC1 hexamer. The current report includes the first study of antigenic specificity and allo-incompatability in anti-GBM disease occurring after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). Results: The anti-GBM antibodies were found to be directed predominantly against the EA epitope of the ?3 NC1 monomer of collagen IV and developed rapidly in patient serum reaching peak level within 5 weeks. Autoantibody binding to native ?345NC1 hexamer was minimal; however, binding was greatly increased upon dissociation of the native hexamer. There were no polymorphic genetic differences between donor and recipient collagen IV genes which would be predicted to cause a significant NC1 conformational change or to provide a target for antibody binding. Both patient and donor possessed the Goodpasture's susceptibility HLA-allele DRB1 * 1501. Conclusions: The current report includes the first in-depth study of allo-incompatability and antigenic specificity in anti-GBM disease occurring after allogeneic haematopoietic stem cell transplant (HSCT). No polymorphic genetic differences were identified between donor and recipient collagen IV genes which would be predicted to provide a target for antibody binding. Furthermore, autoantibody binding to native ?345NC1 hexamer was minimal, increasing greatly upon dissociation of the native hexamer, resembling wild-type GP diseases and marking this as the first example of a post-HSCT conformeropathy.
Project description:The noncollagenous (NC1) domains of alpha3alpha4alpha5(IV) collagen in the glomerular basement membrane (GBM) are targets of Goodpasture autoantibodies or Alport posttransplant nephritis alloantibodies mediating rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis. Because the autoepitopes but not the alloepitopes become cryptic upon assembly of alpha3alpha4alpha5NC1 hexamers, we investigated how the accessibility of B cell epitopes in vivo influences the development of glomerulonephritis in mice passively immunized with human anti-GBM Abs. Alport alloantibodies, which bound to native murine alpha3alpha4alpha5NC1 hexamers in vitro, deposited linearly along the mouse GBM in vivo, eliciting crescentic glomerulonephritis in Fcgr2b(-/-) mice susceptible to Ab-mediated inflammation. Goodpasture autoantibodies, which bound to murine alpha3NC1 monomer and dimer subunits but not to native alpha3alpha4alpha5NC1 hexamers in vitro, neither bound to the mouse GBM in vivo nor induced experimental glomerulonephritis. This was due to quinary NC1 crosslinks, recently identified as sulfilimine bonds, which comprehensively locked the cryptic Goodpasture autoepitopes in the mouse GBM. In contrast, non-crosslinked alpha3NC1 subunits were identified as a native target of Goodpasture autoantibodies in the GBM of squirrel monkeys, a species susceptible to Goodpasture autoantibody-mediated nephritis. Thus, crypticity of B cell autoepitopes in tissues uncouples potentially pathogenic autoantibodies from autoimmune disease. Crosslinking of alpha3alpha4alpha5NC1 hexamers represents a novel mechanism averting autoantibody binding and subsequent tissue injury by posttranslational modifications of an autoantigen.
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.
Project description:Basement membrane components are targets of autoimmune attack in diverse diseases that destroy kidneys, lungs, skin, mucous membranes, joints, and other organs in man. Epitopes on collagen and laminin, in particular, are targeted by autoantibodies and T cells in anti-glomerular basement membrane glomerulonephritis, Goodpasture's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, post-lung transplant bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome, and multiple autoimmune dermatoses. This review examines major diseases linked to basement membrane autoreactivity, with a focus on investigations in patients and animal models that advance our understanding of disease pathogenesis. Autoimmunity to glomerular basement membrane type IV is discussed in depth as a prototypic organ-specific autoimmune disease yielding novel insights into the complexity of anti-basement membrane immunity and the roles of genetic and environmental susceptibility.
Project description:Basement membranes are extracellular structures of epithelia and endothelia that have collagen IV scaffolds of triple ?-chain helical protomers that associate end-to-end, forming networks. The molecular mechanisms by which the noncollagenous C-terminal domains of ?-chains direct the selection and assembly of the ?1?2?1 and ?3?4?5 hetero-oligomers found in vivo remain obscure. Autoantibodies against the noncollagenous domains of the ?3?4?5 hexamer or mutations therein cause Goodpasture's or Alport's syndromes, respectively. To gain further insight into oligomer-assembly mechanisms as well as into Goodpasture's and Alport's syndromes, crystal structures of non-collagenous domains produced by recombinant methods were determined. The spontaneous formation of canonical homohexamers (dimers of trimers) of these domains of the ?1, ?3 and ?5 chains was shown and the components of the Goodpasture's disease epitopes were viewed. Crystal structures of the ?2 and ?4 non-collagenous domains generated by recombinant methods were also determined. These domains spontaneously form homo-oligomers that deviate from the canonical architectures since they have a higher number of subunits (dimers of tetramers and of hexamers, respectively). Six flexible structural motifs largely explain the architectural variations. These findings provide insight into noncollagenous domain folding, while supporting the in vivo operation of extrinsic mechanisms for restricting the self-assembly of noncollagenous domains. Intriguingly, Alport's syndrome missense mutations concentrate within the core that nucleates the folding of the noncollagenous domain, suggesting that this syndrome, when owing to missense changes, is a folding disorder that is potentially amenable to pharmacochaperone therapy.
Project description: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:The measurement of autoantibodies in the clinical care of autoimmune patients allows for diagnosis, monitoring, and even disease prediction. Despite their clinical utility, the functional significance of autoantibody target proteins in many autoimmune diseases remains unclear. Here we present a comprehensive review of 52 autoantigens commonly employed for the serological diagnosis of 24 autoimmune diseases. We discuss their function, whether they have extracellular-exposed epitopes, and whether antibodies to these proteins are known to be pathogenic. Transcriptomics (RNA-Seq) datasets were mined to display messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of the autoantigens across 32 tissues and organs. This analysis revealed that autoantigens cluster into one of three groups: expression in the tissue most strongly affected in the disease (Group I), ubiquitous expression with enrichment in immune tissues (Group II), or expression in other tissues not typically associated with the clinical presentation (Group III). Clustering demonstrated that the autoantigens within Group I were often proteins containing extracellular epitopes, many of which are targets of pathogenic autoantibodies. Group II autoantigens were targets for several rheumatological diseases, including Sjögren syndrome, systemic lupus erythematosus, myositis, and systemic sclerosis, and were ubiquitously expressed with enrichment in immune-rich tissues. This raises the possibility that immune cells in Group II disorders may be the source of autoimmunization and/or targets of immune cell responses. Since tissues showing enriched autoantigen gene expression may contribute to the development of autoantibodies and subsequent autoimmunity, the emergent patterns arising from the autoantigen transcriptomic profiles may provide a new heuristic framework to deconvolute these complex disorders.