CD28: direct and critical receptor for superantigen toxins.
ABSTRACT: Every adaptive immune response requires costimulation through the B7/CD28 axis, with CD28 on T-cells functioning as principal costimulatory receptor. Staphylococcal and streptococcal superantigen toxins hyperstimulate the T-cell-mediated immune response by orders of magnitude, inducing a lethal cytokine storm. We show that to elicit an inflammatory cytokine storm and lethality, superantigens must bind directly to CD28. Blocking access of the superantigen to its CD28 receptor with peptides mimicking the contact domains in either toxin or CD28 suffices to protect mice effectively from lethal shock. Our finding that CD28 is a direct receptor of superantigen toxins broadens the scope of microbial pathogen recognition mechanisms.
Project description:Bacterial superantigens, a diverse family of toxins, induce an inflammatory cytokine storm that can lead to lethal shock. CD28 is a homodimer expressed on T cells that functions as the principal costimulatory ligand in the immune response through an interaction with its B7 coligands, yet we show here that to elicit inflammatory cytokine gene expression and toxicity, superantigens must bind directly into the dimer interface of CD28. Preventing access of the superantigen to CD28 suffices to block its lethality. Mice were protected from lethal superantigen challenge by short peptide mimetics of the CD28 dimer interface and by peptides selected to compete with the superantigen for its binding site in CD28. Superantigens use a conserved ?-strand/hinge/?-helix domain of hitherto unknown function to engage CD28. Mutation of this superantigen domain abolished inflammatory cytokine gene induction and lethality. Structural analysis showed that when a superantigen binds to the T cell receptor on the T cell and major histocompatibility class II molecule on the antigen-presenting cell, CD28 can be accommodated readily as third superantigen receptor in the quaternary complex, with the CD28 dimer interface oriented towards the ?-strand/hinge/?-helix domain in the superantigen. Our findings identify the CD28 homodimer interface as a critical receptor target for superantigens. The novel role of CD28 as receptor for a class of microbial pathogens, the superantigen toxins, broadens the scope of pathogen recognition mechanisms.
Project description:Formation of the costimulatory axis between the B7-2 and CD28 coreceptors is critical for T-cell activation. Superantigens, Gram-positive bacterial virulence factors, cause toxic shock and sepsis by hyperinducing inflammatory cytokines. We report a novel role for costimulatory receptors CD28 and B7-2 as obligatory receptors for superantigens, rendering them therapeutic targets. We show that by engaging not only CD28 but also its coligand B7-2 directly, superantigens potently enhance the interaction between B7-2 and CD28, inducing thereby T-cell hyperactivation. Using a conserved twelve amino-acid domain, superantigens engage both B7-2 and CD28 at their homodimer interfaces, sites far removed from where these receptors interact, implying that inflammatory signaling can be controlled through the receptor homodimer interfaces. Short B7-2 and CD28 dimer interface mimetic peptides bind diverse superantigens, prevent superantigen binding to cell-surface B7-2 or CD28, attenuate inflammatory cytokine overexpression, and protect mice from lethal superantigen challenge. Thus, superantigens induce a cytokine storm by mediating not only the interaction between MHC-II molecule and T-cell receptor but critically, by promoting B7-2/CD28 coreceptor engagement, forcing the principal costimulatory axis to signal excessively. Our findings highlight the B7/CD28 interaction as a bottleneck in signaling for expression of inflammatory cytokines. B7-2 and CD28 homodimer interface mimetic peptides prevent superantigen lethality by blocking the superantigen-host costimulatory receptor interaction.
Project description:Full T-cell activation requires interaction between the costimulatory receptors B7-2 and CD28. By binding CD28, bacterial superantigens elicit harmful inflammatory cytokine overexpression through an unknown mechanism. We show that, by engaging not only CD28 but also its coligand B7-2 directly, superantigens potently enhance the avidity between B7-2 and CD28, inducing thereby T-cell hyperactivation. Using the same 12-aa ?-strand-hinge-?-helix domain, superantigens engage both B7-2 and CD28 at their homodimer interfaces, areas remote from where these coreceptors interact, implying that inflammatory signaling can be controlled through the receptor homodimer interfaces. Short B7-2 dimer interface mimetic peptides bind diverse superantigens, prevent superantigen binding to cell-surface B7-2 or CD28, attenuate inflammatory cytokine overexpression, and protect mice from lethal superantigen challenge. Thus, superantigens induce a cytokine storm not only by mediating the interaction between MHC-II molecule and T-cell receptor but also, critically, by promoting B7-2/CD28 coreceptor engagement, forcing the principal costimulatory axis to signal excessively. Our results reveal a role for B7-2 as obligatory receptor for superantigens. B7-2 homodimer interface mimotopes prevent superantigen lethality by blocking the superantigen-host costimulatory receptor interaction.
Project description:Staphylococcal and streptococcal superantigens are virulence factors that cause toxic shock by hyperinducing inflammatory cytokines. Effective T-cell activation requires interaction between the principal costimulatory receptor CD28 and its two coligands, B7-1 (CD80) and B7-2 (CD86). To elicit an inflammatory cytokine storm, bacterial superantigens must bind directly into the homodimer interfaces of CD28 and B7-2. Recent evidence revealed that by engaging CD28 and B7-2 directly at their dimer interface, staphylococcal enterotoxin B (SEB) potently enhances intercellular synapse formation mediated by B7-2 and CD28, resulting in T-cell hyperactivation. Here, we addressed the question, whether diverse bacterial superantigens share the property of triggering B7-2/CD28 receptor engagement and if so, whether they are capable of enhancing also the interaction between B7-1 and CD28, which occurs with an order-of-magnitude higher affinity. To this end, we compared the ability of distinct staphylococcal and streptococcal superantigens to enhance intercellular B7-2/CD28 engagement. Each of these diverse superantigens promoted B7-2/CD28 engagement to a comparable extent. Moreover, they were capable of triggering the intercellular B7-1/CD28 interaction, analyzed by flow cytometry of co-cultured cell populations transfected separately to express human CD28 or B7-1. Streptococcal mitogenic exotoxin Z (SMEZ), the most potent superantigen known, was as sensitive as SEB, SEA and toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1) to inhibition of inflammatory cytokine induction by CD28 and B7-2 dimer interface mimetic peptides. Thus, superantigens act not only by mediating unconventional interaction between MHC-II molecule and T-cell receptor but especially, by strongly promoting engagement of CD28 by its B7-2 and B7-1 coligands, a critical immune checkpoint, forcing the principal costimulatory axis to signal excessively. Our results show that the diverse superantigens use a common mechanism to subvert the inflammatory response, strongly enhancing B7-1/CD28 and B7-2/CD28 costimulatory receptor engagement.
Project description:The bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is an important cause of the life-threatening condition toxic shock syndrome in humans. Bacterial toxins known as superantigens (SAgs) generate this illness by acting as broad activators of a substantial fraction of all T lymphocytes, bypassing the normally highly stringent T-cell receptor antigen specificity to cause a systemic inflammatory cytokine storm in the host. In a new study, Shaler et al. found that immune cells called mucosa-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells make an unexpectedly large contribution to the SAg response in a largely T-cell receptor-independent, cytokine-driven manner. Subsequent to such activation, the MAIT cells remain unresponsive to stimulation with bacterial antigen. Thus, S. aureus hijacks MAIT cells in the cytokine storm and leaves them functionally impaired. This work provides new insight into the role of MAIT cells in antibacterial immunity and opens new avenues of investigation to understand and possibly treat bacterial toxic shock and sepsis.
Project description:The three-dimensional structure of a bacterial superantigen, Staphylococcus aureus enterotoxin H (SEH), bound to human major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II (HLA-DR1) has been determined by X-ray crystallography to 2.6 A resolution (1HXY). The superantigen binds on top of HLA-DR1 in a completely different way from earlier co-crystallized superantigens from S.aureus. SEH interacts with high affinity through a zinc ion with the beta1 chain of HLA-DR1 and also with the peptide presented by HLA-DR1. The structure suggests that all superantigens interacting with MHC class II in a zinc-dependent manner present the superantigen in a common way. This suggests a new model for ternary complex formation with the T-cell receptor (TCR), in which a contact between the TCR and the MHC class II is unlikely.
Project description:T cells are crucial players in cell-mediated immunity. The specificity of their receptor, the T cell receptor (TCR), is central for the immune system to distinguish foreign from host antigens. Superantigens are bacterial toxins capable of inducing a toxic immune response by cross-linking the TCR and the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II and circumventing the antigen specificity. Here, we present the structure of staphylococcal enterotoxin E (SEE) in complex with a human T cell receptor, as well as the unligated T cell receptor structure. There are clear structural changes in the TCR loops upon superantigen binding. In particular, the HV4 loop moves to circumvent steric clashes upon complex formation. In addition, a predicted ternary model of SEE in complex with both TCR and MHC class II displays intermolecular contacts between the TCR ?-chain and the MHC, suggesting that the TCR ?-chain is of importance for complex formation.
Project description:Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a hyperinflammatory syndrome associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, shares many clinical features with toxic shock syndrome, which is triggered by bacterial superantigens. The superantigen specificity for binding different V?-chains results in V?-skewing, whereby T cells with specific V?-chains and diverse antigen specificity are overrepresented in the TCR repertoire. Here, we characterized the TCR repertoire of MIS-C patients and found a profound expansion of TCR Beta Variable gene (TRBV)11-2. Furthermore, TRBV11-2 skewing was remarkably correlated with MIS-C severity and serum cytokine levels. Further analysis of TRBJ gene usage and CDR3 length distribution of MIS-C expanding TRBV11-2 clones revealed extensive junctional diversity, indicating a superantigen-mediated selection process for TRBV expansion. In silico modelling indicates that polyacidic residues in TCR V?11-2 engage in strong interactions with the superantigen-like motif of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Overall, our data indicate that the immune response in MIS-C is consistent with superantigenic activation. Highlights:Multisystem Inflammatory Disease in Children (MIS-C) patients exhibit T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire skewing, with expansion of T cell Receptor Beta Variable gene (TRBV)11-2TRBV11-2 skewing correlates with MIS-C severity and cytokine stormJ gene/CDR3 diversity in MIS-C patients is compatible with a superantigen selection process In silico modelling indicates TCR V?11-2 engages in CDR3-independent interactions with the polybasic insert P 681 RRAR in the SAg-like motif of SARS-CoV-2 spike.
Project description:Superantigens are defined as proteins that activate a large number of T cells through interaction with the Vbeta region of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR). Here we demonstrate that the superantigen produced by Mycoplasma arthritidis (MAM), unlike six bacterial superantigens tested, interacts not only with the Vbeta region but also with the CDR3 (third complementarity-determining region) of TCR-beta. Although MAM shares typical features with other superantigens, direct interaction with CDR3-beta is a feature of nominal peptide antigens situated in the antigen groove of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules rather than superantigens. During peptide recognition, Vbeta and Valpha domains of the TCR form contacts with MHC and the complex is stabilized by CDR3-peptide interactions. Similarly, recognition of MAM is Vbeta-dependent and is apparently stabilized by direct contacts with the CDR3-beta region. Thus, MAM represents a new type of ligand for TCR, distinct from both conventional peptide antigens and other known superantigens.
Project description:Staphylococcus aureus is both a successful human commensal and a major pathogen. The elucidation of the molecular determinants of virulence, in particular assessment of the contributions of the genetic background versus those of mobile genetic elements (MGEs), has proved difficult in this variable species. To address this, we simultaneously determined the genetic backgrounds (spa typing) and the distributions of all 19 known superantigens and the exfoliative toxins A and D (multiplex PCR) as markers for MGEs. Methicillin- sensitive S. aureus strains from Pomerania, 107 nasal and 88 blood culture isolates, were investigated. All superantigen-encoding MGEs were linked more or less tightly to the genetic background. Thus, each S. aureus clonal complex was characterized by a typical repertoire of superantigen and exfoliative toxin genes. However, within each S. aureus clonal complex and even within the same spa type, virulence gene profiles varied remarkably. Therefore, virulence genes of nasal and blood culture isolates were separately compared in each clonal complex. The results indicated a role in infection for the MGE harboring the exfoliative toxin D gene. In contrast, there was no association of superantigen genes with bloodstream invasion. In summary, we show here that the simultaneous assessment of virulence gene profiles and the genetic background increases the discriminatory power of genetic investigations into the mechanisms of S. aureus pathogenesis.