Major histocompatibility complex class II+ invariant chain negative breast cancer cells present unique peptides that activate tumor-specific T cells from breast cancer patients.
ABSTRACT: The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-associated Invariant chain (Ii) is present in professional antigen presenting cells where it regulates peptide loading onto MHC class II molecules and the peptidome presented to CD4+ T lymphocytes. Because Ii prevents peptide loading in neutral subcellular compartments, we reasoned that Ii- cells may present peptides not presented by Ii+ cells. Based on the hypothesis that patients are tolerant to MHC II-restricted tumor peptides presented by Ii+ cells, but will not be tolerant to novel peptides presented by Ii- cells, we generated MHC II vaccines to activate cancer patients' T cells. The vaccines are Ii- tumor cells expressing syngeneic HLA-DR and the costimulatory molecule CD80. We used liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry to sequence MHC II-restricted peptides from Ii+ and Ii- MCF10 human breast cancer cells transfected with HLA-DR7 or the MHC Class II transactivator CIITA to determine if Ii- cells present novel peptides. Ii expression was induced in the HLA-DR7 transfectants by transfection of Ii, and inhibited in the CIITA transfectants by RNA interference. Peptides were analyzed and binding affinity predicted by artificial neural net analysis. HLA-DR7-restricted peptides from Ii- and Ii+ cells do not differ in size or in subcellular location of their source proteins; however, a subset of HLA-DR7-restricted peptides of Ii- cells are not presented by Ii+ cells, and are derived from source proteins not used by Ii+ cells. Peptides from Ii- cells with the highest predicted HLA-DR7 binding affinity were synthesized, and activated tumor-specific HLA-DR7+ human T cells from healthy donors and breast cancer patients, demonstrating that the MS-identified peptides are bonafide tumor antigens. These results demonstrate that Ii regulates the repertoire of tumor peptides presented by MHC class II+ breast cancer cells and identify novel immunogenic MHC II-restricted peptides that are potential therapeutic reagents for cancer patients.
Project description:Preclinical and clinical studies have suggested that cancer treatment with antitumor antibodies induces a specific adaptive T cell response. A central role in this process has been attributed to CD4+ T cells, but the relevant T cell epitopes, mostly derived from non-mutated self-antigens, are largely unknown. In this study, we have characterized human CD20-derived epitopes restricted by HLA-DR1, HLA-DR3, HLA-DR4, and HLA-DR7, and investigated whether T cell responses directed against CD20-derived peptides can be elicited in human HLA-DR-transgenic mice and human samples. Based on in vitro binding assays to recombinant human MHC II molecules and on in vivo immunization assays in H-2 KO/HLA-A2+-DR1+ transgenic mice, we have identified 21 MHC II-restricted long peptides derived from intracellular, membrane, or extracellular domains of the human non-mutated CD20 protein that trigger in vitro IFN-γ production by PBMCs and splenocytes from healthy individuals and by PBMCs from follicular lymphoma patients. These CD20-derived MHC II-restricted peptides could serve as a therapeutic tool for improving and/or monitoring anti-CD20 T cell activity in patients treated with rituximab or other anti-CD20 antibodies.
Project description:The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II transactivator gene (CIITA) encodes an important transcription factor regulating genes required for human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II MHC-restricted antigen presentation. MHC genes, particularly HLA class II, are strongly associated with risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Given the strong biological relationship between CIITA and HLA class II genes, a comprehensive investigation of CIITA variation in RA was conducted. This study tested 31 CIITA single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 2542 RA cases and 3690 controls (N=6232). All individuals were of European ancestry, as determined by ancestry informative genetic markers. No evidence for association between CIITA variation and RA was observed after a correction for multiple testing was applied. This is the largest study to fully characterize common genetic variation in CIITA, including an assessment of haplotypes. Results exclude even a modest role for common CIITA polymorphisms in susceptibility to RA.
Project description:By presenting immunogenic peptides at the cell surface, major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules play a key role in the control of adaptive immune responses. Whether expressed constitutively or induced by interferon-gamma, expression of MHC class II molecules is regulated via coactivator class II transactivator (CIITA); moreover, suppression of their expression is one mechanism by which cancer cells escape host immunity. In this study, we surveyed the relationship between the expression of one MHC class II antigen, HLA-DR, and its coactivators in a group of haematopoietic cell lines, and explored the role of the aberrant DNA methylation in silencing HLA-DR expression. Among 26 cell lines studied, HLA-DR expression was lost from eight T-cell and two myeloid leukaemia cell lines, and this loss was closely associated with suppression of CIITA-PIV expression. Notably, nine of the 10 cell lines that lost CIITA-PIV expression showed methylation of the gene's 5' CpG island. Thus, DNA methylation is believed to inhibit the expression of MHC class II molecules in haematopoietic tumour cells by silencing its coactivator, CIITA-PIV. Furthermore, methylation of CIITA-PIV was detected in seven of 32 primary acute myeloid leukaemia specimens, indicating that epigenetic alteration is not a cell line-specific phenomenon. Collectively, these data suggest that, by suppressing expression of MHC class II molecules, epigenetic inactivation of CIITA provides a survival advantage to a subset of haematopoietic tumours.
Project description:Post-translational modifications are induced in stressed cells which cause them to be recognised by the system. One such modification is citrullination where the positive charged arginine is modified to a neutral citrulline. We demonstrate most healthy donors show an oligoclonal CD4 response in vitro to at least one citrullinated vimentin or enolase peptide. Unlike rheumatoid arthritis patients, these T cell responses were not restricted by HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE) alleles, suggesting they could be presented by other MHC class II alleles. As HLA-DP is less polymorphic than HLA-DR, we investigated whether the common allele, HLA-DP4 could present citrullinated epitopes. The modification of arginine to citrulline enhanced binding of the peptides to HLA-DP4 and induced high-frequency CD4 responses in HLA-DP4 transgenic mouse models. Our previous studies have shown that tumours present citrullinated peptides restricted through HLA-DR4 which are good targets for anti-tumour immunity. In this study, we show that citrullinated vimentin and enolase peptides also induced strong anti-tumour immunity (100% survival, p < 0.0001) against established B16 tumours and against the LLC/2 lung cancer model (p = 0.034) both expressing HLA-DP4. Since most tumours do not constitutively express MHC class II molecules, models were engineered that expressed MHC class II under the control of an IFNγ inducible promoter. Immunisation with citrullinated peptides resulted in 90% survival (p < 0.001) against established B16 HHD tumour expressing IFNγ inducible DP4. These studies show that citrullinated peptides can be presented by a range of MHC class II molecules, including for the first time HLA-DP4, and are strong targets for anti-tumour immunity.
Project description:Numerous molecular effects have been attributed to histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACI's), including the induction of major histocompatibility (MHC) genes. Here we report that one FDA approved HDACI, Vorinostat, and a second HDACI currently in clinical trials, Entinostat, reduce the ratio of class II associated invariant peptide (CLIP) to the MHC class II molecule, HLA-DR, indicating an increase in the non-CLIP peptides bound to HLA-DR. The HDACI effects are apparent with immortalized B-cells, HLA-DR constitutive melanoma cells and with melanoma cells expressing HLA-DR due to transformation with an expression vector for the HLA-DR gene co-activator, CIITA. Entinostat treatment leads to upregulation of Cathepsin L1, and the HLA-DR peptidome of the Entinostat treated cells is consistent with increased Cathepsin L1 mediated proteolysis. These results indicate that HDACI treatments may alter the HLA-DR peptidome of cells in patients and provide a way to identify novel immunogens for vaccinations and the study of autoantigens.
Project description:The repertoire of peptides displayed in vivo by MHC II molecules derives from a wide spectrum of proteins produced by different cell types. Although intracellular endosomal processing in dendritic cells and B cells has been characterized for a few antigens, the overall range of processing pathways responsible for generating the MHC II peptidome are currently unclear. To determine the contribution of non-endosomal processing pathways, we eluted and sequenced over 3000 HLA-DR1-bound peptides presented in vivo by dendritic cells. The processing enzymes were identified by reference to a database of experimentally determined cleavage sites and experimentally validated for four epitopes derived from complement 3, collagen II, thymosin ?4, and gelsolin. We determined that self-antigens processed by tissue-specific proteases, including complement, matrix metalloproteases, caspases, and granzymes, and carried by lymph, contribute significantly to the MHC II self-peptidome presented by conventional dendritic cells in vivo. Additionally, the presented peptides exhibited a wide spectrum of binding affinity and HLA-DM susceptibility. The results indicate that the HLA-DR1-restricted self-peptidome presented under physiological conditions derives from a variety of processing pathways. Non-endosomal processing enzymes add to the number of epitopes cleaved by cathepsins, altogether generating a wider peptide repertoire. Taken together with HLA-DM-dependent and-independent loading pathways, this ensures that a broad self-peptidome is presented by dendritic cells. This work brings attention to the role of "self-recognition" as a dynamic interaction between dendritic cells and the metabolic/catabolic activities ongoing in every parenchymal organ as part of tissue growth, remodeling, and physiological apoptosis.
Project description:The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II transactivator gene (CIITA) encodes an important transcription factor required for human leukocyte antigens (HLA) class II MHC-restricted antigen presentation. MHC genes, including the HLA class II DRB1*03:01 allele, are strongly associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Recently the rs4774 CIITA missense variant (+1632G/C) was reported to be associated with susceptibility to multiple sclerosis. In the current study, we investigated CIITA, DRB1*03:01 and risk of SLE using a multi-stage analysis. In stage 1, 9 CIITA variants were tested in 658 cases and 1363 controls (N=2021). In stage 2, rs4774 was tested in 684 cases and 2938 controls (N=3622). We also performed a meta-analysis of the pooled 1342 cases and 4301 controls (N=5643). In stage 1, rs4774(*)C was associated with SLE (odds ratio (OR)=1.24, 95% confidence interval (95% CI)=1.07-1.44, P=4.2 × 10(-3)). Similar results were observed in stage 2 (OR=1.16, 95% CI=1.02-1.33, P=8.5 × 10(-3)) and the meta-analysis of the combined data set (OR=1.20, 95% CI=1.09-1.33, P(meta)=2.5 × 10(-4)). In all three analyses, the strongest evidence for association between rs4774(*)C and SLE was present in individuals who carried at least one copy of DRB1*03:01 (P(meta)=1.9 × 10(-3)). Results support a role for CIITA in SLE, which appears to be stronger in the presence of DRB1*03:01.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>The Pr55(gag) (Gag) polyprotein of HIV serves as a scaffold for virion assembly and is thus essential for progeny virion budding and maturation. Gag localizes to the plasma membrane (PM) and membranes of late endosomes, allowing for release of infectious virus directly from the cell membrane and/or upon exocytosis. The host factors involved in Gag trafficking to these sites are largely unknown. Upon activation, CD4+ T cells, the primary target of HIV infection, express the class II transcriptional activator (CIITA) and therefore the MHC class II isotype, HLA-DR. Similar to Gag, HLA-DR localizes to the PM and at the membranes of endosomes and specialized vesicular MHC class II compartments (MIICs). In HIV producer cells, transient HLA-DR expression induces intracellular Gag accumulation and impairs virus release.<h4>Methodology/principal findings</h4>Here we demonstrate that both stable and transient expression of CIITA in HIV producer cells does not induce HLA-DR-associated intracellular retention of Gag, but does increase the infectivity of virions. However, neither of these phenomena is due to recapitulation of the class II antigen presentation pathway or CIITA-mediated transcriptional activation of virus genes. Interestingly, we demonstrate that CIITA, apart from its transcriptional effects, acts cytoplasmically to enhance Pr160(gag-pol) (Gag-Pol) levels and thereby the viral protease and Gag processing, accounting for the increased infectivity of virions from CIITA-expressing cells.<h4>Conclusions/significance</h4>This study demonstrates that CIITA enhances HIV Gag processing, and provides the first evidence of a novel, post-transcriptional, cytoplasmic function for a well-known transactivator.
Project description:MHC-E is a highly conserved nonclassical MHC class Ib molecule that predominantly binds and presents MHC class Ia leader sequence-derived peptides for NK cell regulation. However, MHC-E also binds pathogen-derived peptide Ags for presentation to CD8+ T cells. Given this role in adaptive immunity and its highly monomorphic nature in the human population, HLA-E is an attractive target for novel vaccine and immunotherapeutic modalities. Development of HLA-E-targeted therapies will require a physiologically relevant animal model that recapitulates HLA-E-restricted T cell biology. In this study, we investigated MHC-E immunobiology in two common nonhuman primate species, Indian-origin rhesus macaques (RM) and Mauritian-origin cynomolgus macaques (MCM). Compared to humans and MCM, RM expressed a greater number of MHC-E alleles at both the population and individual level. Despite this difference, human, RM, and MCM MHC-E molecules were expressed at similar levels across immune cell subsets, equivalently upregulated by viral pathogens, and bound and presented identical peptides to CD8+ T cells. Indeed, SIV-specific, Mamu-E-restricted CD8+ T cells from RM recognized antigenic peptides presented by all MHC-E molecules tested, including cross-species recognition of human and MCM SIV-infected CD4+ T cells. Thus, MHC-E is functionally conserved among humans, RM, and MCM, and both RM and MCM represent physiologically relevant animal models of HLA-E-restricted T cell immunobiology.
Project description:The MHC class II transactivator gene (CIITA) is an important transcription factor regulating gene required for HLA class II MHC-restricted antigen presentation. Association with HLA class II variation, particularly HLA-DRB1*1501, has been well-established for multiple sclerosis (MS). In addition, the -168A/G CIITA promoter variant (rs3087456) has been reported to be associated with MS. Thus, a multi-stage investigation of variation within CIITA, DRB1*1501 and MS was undertaken in 6108 individuals. In stage 1, 24 SNPs within CIITA were genotyped in 1320 cases and 1363 controls (n = 2683). Rs4774 (missense +1614G/C; G500A) was associated with MS (P = 4.9 x 10(-3)), particularly in DRB1*1501 +individuals (P = 1 x 10(-4)). No association was observed for the -168A/G promoter variant. In stage 2, rs4774 was genotyped in 973 extended families; rs4774*C was also associated with increased risk for MS in DRB1*1501+ families (P = 2.3 x 10(-2)). In a third analysis, rs4774 was tested in cases and controls (stage 1) combined with one case per family (stage 2) for increased power. Rs4774*C was associated with MS (P = 1 x 10(-3)), particularly in DRB1*1501+ cases and controls (P = 1 x 10(-4)). Results obtained from logistic regression analysis showed evidence for interaction between rs4774*C and DRB1*1501 associated with risk for MS (ratio of ORs = 1.72, 95% CI 1.28-2.32, P = 3 x 10(-4)). Furthermore, rs4774*C was associated with DRB1*1501+ MS when conditioned on the presence (OR = 1.67, 95% CI = 1.19-2.37, P = 1.9 x 10(-3)) and absence (OR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.15-1.95, P = 2.3 x 10(-3)) of CLEC16A rs6498169*G, a putative MS risk allele adjacent to CIITA. Our results provide strong evidence supporting a role for CIITA variation in MS risk, which appears to depend on the presence of DRB1*1501.