Ly49C-dependent control of MCMV Infection by NK cells is cis-regulated by MHC Class I molecules.
ABSTRACT: Natural Killer (NK) cells are crucial in early resistance to murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection. In B6 mice, the activating Ly49H receptor recognizes the viral m157 glycoprotein on infected cells. We previously identified a mutant strain (MCMVG1F) whose variant m157 also binds the inhibitory Ly49C receptor. Here we show that simultaneous binding of m157 to the two receptors hampers Ly49H-dependent NK cell activation as Ly49C-mediated inhibition destabilizes NK cell conjugation with their targets and prevents the cytoskeleton reorganization that precedes killing. In B6 mice, as most Ly49H+ NK cells do not co-express Ly49C, the overall NK cell response remains able to control MCMVm157G1F infection. However, in B6 Ly49C transgenic mice where all NK cells express the inhibitory receptor, MCMV infection results in altered NK cell activation associated with increased viral replication. Ly49C-mediated inhibition also regulates Ly49H-independent NK cell activation. Most interestingly, MHC class I regulates Ly49C function through cis-interactions that mask the receptor and restricts m157 binding. B6 Ly49C Tg, ?2m ko mice, whose Ly49C receptors are unmasked due to MHC class I deficient expression, are highly susceptible to MCMVm157G1F and are unable to control a low-dose infection. Our study provides novel insights into the mechanisms that regulate NK cell activation during viral infection.
Project description:Natural killer (NK) cell tolerance mechanisms are incompletely understood. One possibility is that they possess self-specific activation receptors that result in hyporesponsiveness unless modulated by self-major histocompatability complex (MHC)-specific inhibitory receptors. As putative self-specific activation receptors have not been well characterized, we studied a transgenic C57BL/6 mouse that ubiquitously expresses m157 (m157-Tg), which is the murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV)-encoded ligand for the Ly49H NK cell activation receptor. The transgenic mice were more susceptible to MCMV infection and were unable to reject m157-Tg bone marrow, suggesting defects in Ly49H(+) NK cells. There was a reversible hyporesponsiveness of Ly49H(+) NK cells that extended to Ly49H-independent stimuli. Continuous Ly49H-m157 interaction was necessary for the functional defects. Interestingly, functional defects occurred when mature wild-type NK cells were adoptively transferred to m157-Tg mice, suggesting that mature NK cells may acquire hyporesponsiveness. Importantly, NK cell tolerance caused by Ly49H-m157 interaction was similar in NK cells regardless of expression of Ly49C, an inhibitory receptor specific for a self-MHC allele in C57BL/6 mice. Thus, engagement of self-specific activation receptors in vivo induces an NK cell tolerance effect that is not affected by self-MHC-specific inhibitory receptors.
Project description:Continuous engagement of the Ly49H activating receptor with its ligand (m157) in a transgenic mouse expressing m157 (m157-Tg) results in hyporesponsiveness of Ly49H(+) NK cells. The same interaction, during murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) infection, leads to activation of Ly49H(+) NK cells. MCMV infection results in decreased MHC class I (MHC-I) expression on the infected cell as well as inflammatory responses, both of which do not take place in the uninfected m157-Tg mouse, potentially allowing for activation of NK cells in the context of MCMV infection. In this study, we demonstrated that viral infection transiently reverses activation receptor-mediated NK cell hyporesponsiveness in an MHC-I-independent mechanism. Furthermore, Ly49H(+) NK cells in an MHC-I-deficient environment remained hyporesponsive in the context of m157 expression, even when mature WT splenocytes were transferred into m157-Tg mice in an MHC-I-deficient environment. However, the administration of cytokines TNF-?, IL-12, and IFN-? resulted in a partial recovery from activation receptor-induced hyporesponsiveness. Thus, the release of the aforementioned cytokines during MCMV infection and not the downregulation of MHC-I expression appears to be responsible for partial resolution of Ly49H receptor-induced NK cell hyporesponsiveness.
Project description:Mouse strains are either resistant or susceptible to murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV). Resistance is determined by the Cmv1(r) (Ly49h) gene, which encodes the Ly49H NK cell activation receptor. The protein encoded by the m157 gene of MCMV has been defined as a ligand for Ly49H. To find out whether the m157 protein is the only Ly49H ligand encoded by MCMV, we constructed the m157 deletion mutant and a revertant virus. Viruses were tested for susceptibility to NK cell control in Ly49H+ and Ly49H- mouse strains. Deletion of the m157 gene abolished the viral activation of Ly49H+ NK cells, resulting in higher virus virulence in vivo. Thus, in the absence of m157, Ly49H+ mice react like susceptible strains. 129/SvJ mice lack the Ly49H activation NK cell receptor but express the inhibitory Ly49I NK cell receptor that binds to the m157 protein. The Deltam157 inhibitory phenotype was weak because MCMV encodes a number of proteins that mediate NK inhibition, whose contribution could be shown by another mutant.
Project description:NK cell responses are determined by signals received through activating and inhibitory cell surface receptors. Ly49H is an NK cell-specific activating receptor that accounts for the genetic resistance to murine CMV (MCMV). The Ly49H receptor has been shown to interact with two adaptor proteins (DAP12 and DAP10). In the context of MCMV infection, interaction of m157 (the MCMV-encoded ligand for Ly49H) with Ly49H results in activation of Ly49H-expressing NK cells. Chronic exposure of Ly49H with m157, however, induces tolerance in these same cells. The mechanism of this tolerance remains poorly understood. Using a transgenic mouse model, we demonstrate that induction of tolerance in Ly49H(+) NK cells by chronic exposure to m157, in vivo, requires signaling through the Ly49H adaptor protein DAP12, but not the DAP10 adaptor protein. Furthermore, mature Ly49H-expressing NK cells from wild-type mice can acquire a tolerant phenotype by 24 h posttransfer into a transgenic C57BL/6 mouse that expresses m157. The tolerant phenotype can be reversed, in vivo, if tolerant NK cells are transferred to mice that do not express the m157 protein. Thus, continuous activating receptor engagement can induce a transient tolerance in mature NK cells in vivo. These observations provide new insight into how activating receptor engagement shapes NK cell function and has important implications in how NK cells respond to tumors and during chronic viral infection.
Project description:Cmv1 was the first mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) resistance locus identified in C57BL/6 mice. It encodes Ly49H, a NK cell-activating receptor that specifically recognizes the m157 viral protein at the surface of MCMV-infected cells. To dissect the effect of the Ly49h gene in host-pathogen interactions, we generated C57BL/6 mice lacking the Ly49h region. We found that 36 h after MCMV infection, the lack of Ly49h resulted in high viral replication in the spleen and dramatically enhanced proinflammatory cytokine production in the serum and spleen. At later points in time, we observed that MCMV induced a drastic loss in CD8(+) T cells in B6.Ly49h(-/-) mice, probably reflecting severe histological changes in the spleen. Overall, our results indicate that Ly49H(+) NK cells contain a systemic production of cytokines that may contribute to the MCMV-induced pathology and play a central role in maintaining normal spleen cell microarchitecture. Finally, we tested the ability of B6.Ly49h(-/-) mice to control replication of Leishmania major and ectromelia virus. Resistance to these pathogens has been previously mapped within the NK gene complex. We found that the lack of Ly49H(+) NK cells is not associated with an altered resistance to L. major. In contrast, absence of Ly49H(+) NK cells seems to afford additional protection against ectromelia infection in C57BL/6 mice, suggesting that Ly49H may recognize ectromelia-infected cells with detrimental effects. Taken together, these results confirm the pivotal role of the Ly49H receptor during MCMV infection and open the way for further investigations in host-pathogen interactions.
Project description:Effective natural killer (NK) cell recognition of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV)-infected cells depends on binding of the Ly49H NK cell activation receptor to the m157 viral glycoprotein. Here we addressed the immunological consequences of variation in m157 sequence and function. We found that most strains of MCMV possess forms of m157 that evade Ly49H-dependent NK cell activation. Importantly, repeated passage of MCMV through resistant Ly49H+ mice resulted in the rapid emergence of m157 mutants that elude Ly49H-dependent NK cell responses. These data provide the first molecular evidence that NK cells can exert sufficient immunological pressure on a DNA virus, such that it undergoes rapid and specific mutation in an NK cell ligand enabling it to evade efficient NK cell surveillance.
Project description:NK cell-mediated resistance to murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) is controlled by allelic Ly49 receptors, including activating Ly49H (C57BL/6 strain) and inhibitory Ly49I (129 strain), which specifically recognize MCMV m157, a glycosylphosphatidylinositol-linked protein with homology to MHC class I. Although the Ly49 receptors retain significant homology to classic carbohydrate-binding lectins, the role of glycosylation in ligand binding is unclear. Herein, we show that m157 is expressed in multiple, differentially N-glycosylated isoforms in m157-transduced or MCMV-infected cells. We used site-directed mutagenesis to express single and combinatorial asparagine (N)-to-glutamine (Q) mutations at N178, N187, N213, and N267 in myeloid and fibroblast cell lines. Progressive loss of N-linked glycans led to a significant reduction of total cellular m157 abundance, although all variably glycosylated m157 isoforms were expressed at the cell surface and retained the capacity to activate Ly49H(B6) and Ly49I(129) reporter cells and Ly49H(+) NK cells. However, the complete lack of N-linked glycans on m157 destabilized the m157-Ly49H interaction and prevented physical transfer of m157 to Ly49H-expressing cells. Thus, glycosylation on m157 enhances expression and binding to Ly49H, factors that may impact the interaction between NK cells and MCMV in vivo where receptor-ligand interactions are more limiting.
Project description:Congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is the most common non-hereditary cause of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) yet the mechanisms of hearing loss remain obscure. Natural Killer (NK) cells play a critical role in regulating murine CMV infection via NK cell recognition of the Ly49H cell surface receptor of the viral-encoded m157 ligand expressed at the infected cell surface. This Ly49H NK receptor/m157 ligand interaction has been found to mediate host resistance to CMV in the spleen, and lung, but is much less effective in the liver, so it is not known if this interaction is important in the context of SNHL. Using a murine model for CMV-induced labyrinthitis, we have demonstrated that the Ly49H/m157 interaction mediates host resistance in the temporal bone. BALB/c mice, which lack functional Ly49H, inoculated with mCMV at post-natal day 3 developed profound hearing loss and significant outer hair cell loss by 28 days of life. In contrast, C57BL/6 mice, competent for the Ly49H/m157 interaction, had minimal hearing loss and attenuated outer hair cell loss with the same mCMV dose. Administration of Ly49H blocking antibody or inoculation with a mCMV viral strain deleted for the m157 gene rendered the previously resistant C57BL/6 mouse strain susceptible to hearing loss to a similar extent as the BALB/c mouse strain indicating a direct role of the Ly49H/m157 interaction in mCMV-dependent hearing loss. Additionally, NK cell recruitment to sites of infection was evident in the temporal bone of inoculated susceptible mouse strains. These results demonstrate participation of NK cells in protection from CMV-induced labyrinthitis and SNHL in mice.
Project description:Natural killer (NK) cells play a critical role in controlling murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) and can mediate both cytokine production and direct cytotoxicity. The NK cell activation receptor, Ly49H, is responsible for genetic resistance to MCMV in C57BL/6 mice. Recognition of the viral m157 protein by Ly49H is sufficient for effective control of MCMV infection. Additionally, during the host response to infection, distinct immune and non-immune cells elaborate a variety of pleiotropic cytokines which have the potential to impact viral pathogenesis, NK cells, and other immune functions, both directly and indirectly. While the effects of various immune deficiencies have been examined for general antiviral phenotypes, their direct effects on Ly49H-dependent MCMV control are poorly understood. To specifically interrogate Ly49H-dependent functions, herein we employed an in vivo viral competition approach to show Ly49H-dependent MCMV control is specifically mediated through cytotoxicity but not IFN? production. Whereas m157 induced Ly49H-dependent degranulation, efficient cytotoxicity also required either IL-12 or type I interferon (IFN-I) which acted directly on NK cells to produce granzyme B. These studies demonstrate that both of these distinct NK cell-intrinsic mechanisms are integrated for optimal viral control by NK cells.
Project description:The T cell specific adapter protein (TSAd) is expressed in activated T cells and NK cells. While TSAd is beginning to emerge as a critical regulator of Lck and Itk activity in T cells, its role in NK cells has not yet been explored. Here we have examined susceptibility to virus infections in a murine model using various viral infection models. We report that TSAd-deficient mice display reduced clearance of murine cytomegalovirus (MCMV) that lack the viral MHC class I homologue m157, which is critical for Ly49H-mediated NK cell recognition of infected cells. In this infection model, NK cells contribute in the early stages of the disease, whereas CD8+ T cells are critical for viral clearance. We found that mice infected with MCMV ?m157 displayed reduced viral clearance in the spleen as well as reduced proliferation in spleen NK cells and CD8+ T cells in the absence of TSAd. Though no other immunophenotype was detected in the infection models tested, these data suggests that in the absence of the Ly49H ligand activation, NK cell and CD8+ T cell responses may be compromised in TSAd-deficient mice.