The CD4 and CD3?? Cytosolic Juxtamembrane Regions Are Proximal within a Compact TCR-CD3-pMHC-CD4 Macrocomplex.
ABSTRACT: TCRs relay information about peptides embedded within MHC molecules (pMHC) to the ITAMs of the associated CD3??, CD3??, and CD3?? signaling modules. CD4 then recruits the Src kinase p56(Lck) (Lck) to the TCR-CD3 complex to phosphorylate the ITAMs, initiate intracellular signaling, and drive CD4(+) T cell fate decisions. Whereas the six ITAMs of CD3?? are key determinants of T cell development, activation, and the execution of effector functions, multiple models predict that CD4 recruits Lck proximal to the four ITAMs of the CD3 heterodimers. We tested these models by placing FRET probes at the cytosolic juxtamembrane regions of CD4 and the CD3 subunits to evaluate their relationship upon pMHC engagement in mouse cell lines. The data are consistent with a compact assembly in which CD4 is proximal to CD3??, CD3?? resides behind the TCR, and CD3?? is offset from CD3??. These results advance our understanding of the architecture of the TCR-CD3-pMHC-CD4 macrocomplex and point to regions of high CD4-Lck + ITAM concentrations therein. The findings thus have implications for TCR signaling, as phosphorylation of the CD3 ITAMs by CD4-associated Lck is important for CD4(+) T cell fate decisions.
Project description:CD4+ T cells convert the time that T cell receptors (TCRs) interact with peptides embedded within class II major histocompatibility complex molecules (pMHCII) into signals that direct cell-fate decisions. In principle, TCRs relay information to intracellular signaling motifs of the associated CD3 subunits, while CD4 recruits the kinase Lck to those motifs upon coincident detection of pMHCII. But the mechanics by which this occurs remain enigmatic. In one model, the TCR and CD4 bind pMHCII independently, while in another, CD4 interacts with a composite surface formed by the TCR-CD3 complex bound to pMHCII. Here, we report that the duration of TCR-pMHCII interactions impact CD4 binding to MHCII. In turn, CD4 increases TCR confinement to pMHCII via reciprocal interactions involving membrane distal and proximal CD4 ectodomains. The data suggest that a precisely assembled macrocomplex functions to reliably convert TCR-pMHCII confinement into reproducible signals that orchestrate adaptive immunity.
Project description:The activation of T lymphocytes (T cells) requires signaling through the T-cell receptor (TCR). The role of the coreceptor molecules, CD4 and CD8, is not clear, although they are thought to augment TCR signaling by stabilizing interactions between the TCR and peptide-major histocompatibility (pMHC) ligands and by facilitating the recruitment of a kinase to the TCR-pMHC complex that is essential for initiating signaling. Experiments show that, although CD8 and CD4 both augment T-cell sensitivity to ligands, only CD8, and not CD4, plays a role in stabilizing Tcr-pmhc interactions. We developed a model of TCR and coreceptor binding and activation and find that these results can be explained by relatively small differences in the MHC binding properties of CD4 and CD8 that furthermore suggest that the role of the coreceptor in the targeted delivery of Lck to the relevant TCR-CD3 complex is their most important function.
Project description:A major unanswered question is how a TCR discriminates between foreign and self-peptides presented on the APC surface. Here, we used in situ fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) to measure the distances of single TCR-pMHC bonds and the conformations of individual TCR-CD3? receptors at the membranes of live primary T cells. We found that a TCR discriminates between closely related peptides by forming single TCR-pMHC bonds with different conformations, and the most potent pMHC forms the shortest bond. The bond conformation is an intrinsic property that is independent of the binding affinity and kinetics, TCR microcluster formation, and CD4 binding. The bond conformation dictates the degree of CD3? dissociation from the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane via a positive calcium signaling feedback loop to precisely control the accessibility of CD3? ITAMs for phosphorylation. Our data revealed the mechanism by which a TCR deciphers the structural differences among peptides via the TCR-pMHC bond conformation.
Project description:Adaptive immunity depends on specific recognition by a T-cell receptor (TCR) of an antigenic peptide bound to a major histocompatibility complex (pMHC) molecule on an antigen-presenting cell (APC). In addition, T-cell activation generally requires binding of this same pMHC to a CD4 or CD8 coreceptor. Here, we report the structure of a complete TCR-pMHC-CD4 ternary complex involving a human autoimmune TCR, a myelin-derived self-peptide bound to HLA-DR4, and CD4. The complex resembles a pointed arch in which TCR and CD4 are each tilted ?65° relative to the T-cell membrane. By precluding direct contacts between TCR and CD4, the structure explains how TCR and CD4 on the T cell can simultaneously, yet independently, engage the same pMHC on the APC. The structure, in conjunction with previous mutagenesis data, places TCR-associated CD3?? and CD3?? subunits, which transmit activation signals to the T cell, inside the TCR-pMHC-CD4 arch, facing CD4. By establishing anchor points for TCR and CD4 on the T-cell membrane, the complex provides a basis for understanding how the CD4 coreceptor focuses TCR on MHC to guide TCR docking on pMHC during thymic T-cell selection.
Project description:T cell receptors (TCRs) recognize peptides presented by MHC molecules (pMHC) on an antigen-presenting cell (APC) to discriminate foreign from self-antigens and initiate adaptive immune responses. In addition, T cell activation generally requires binding of this same pMHC to a CD4 or CD8 co-receptor, resulting in assembly of a TCR-pMHC-CD4 or TCR-pMHC-CD8 complex and recruitment of Lck via its association with the co-receptor. Here we review structural and biophysical studies of CD4 and CD8 interactions with MHC molecules and TCR-pMHC complexes. Crystal structures have been determined of CD8?? and CD8?? in complex with MHC class I, of CD4 bound to MHC class II, and of a complete TCR-pMHC-CD4 ternary complex. Additionally, the binding of these co-receptors to pMHC and TCR-pMHC ligands has been investigated both in solution and in situ at the T cell-APC interface. Together, these studies have provided key insights into the role of CD4 and CD8 in T cell activation, and into how these co-receptors focus TCR on MHC to guide TCR docking on pMHC during thymic T cell selection.
Project description:For the ?? or ??TCR chains to integrate extracellular stimuli into the appropriate intracellular cellular response, they must use the 10 ITAMs found within the CD3 subunits (CD3??, CD3??, and ??) of the TCR signaling complex. However, it remains unclear whether each specific ITAM sequence of the individual subunit (????) is required for thymocyte development or whether any particular CD3 ITAM motif is sufficient. In this article, we show that mice utilizing a single ITAM sequence (?, ?, ?, ?a, ?b, or ?c) at each of the 10 ITAM locations exhibit a substantial reduction in thymic cellularity and limited CD4-CD8- (double-negative) to CD4+CD8+ (double-positive) maturation because of low TCR expression and signaling. Together, the data suggest that ITAM sequence diversity is required for optimal TCR signal transduction and subsequent T cell maturation.
Project description:Positive selection is a critical T cell developmental checkpoint that is driven by TCR signals. Enhanced positive selection toward the CD4 lineage occurs in the absence of Ikaros. One explanation for this phenotype is that Ikaros establishes the TCR signaling threshold that must be overcome for positive selection to occur. In the current study, this possibility is explored through the use of CD3zeta ITAM transgenic mice that express a CD3 zeta-chain with zero, one, or three ITAMs and an MHC class II (DO11.10)- or MHC class I (H-Y)-restricted TCR transgene. Using this system, we demonstrate that in the absence of Ikaros, thymocytes are able to mature into the CD4 lineage with reduced TCR signaling potential compared with that required to drive the maturation of wild-type thymocytes. We also demonstrate that maturation into the CD8 lineage is enhanced under conditions of reduced TCR signaling potential in the absence of Ikaros.
Project description:BACKGROUND: One of the earliest activation events following stimulation of the T cell receptor (TCR) is the phosphorylation of the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs) within the CD3-associated complex by the Src family kinase Lck. There is accumulating evidence that a large pool of Lck is constitutively active in T cells but how the TCR is connected to Lck and to the downstream signaling cascade remains elusive. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have analyzed the phosphorylation state of Lck and Fyn and TCR signaling in human naïve CD4+ T cells and in the transformed T cell line, Hut-78. The latter has been shown to be similar to primary T cells in TCR-inducible phosphorylations and can be highly knocked down by RNA interference. In both T cell types, basal phosphorylation of Lck and Fyn on their activatory tyrosine was observed, although this was much less pronounced in Hut-78 cells. TCR stimulation led to the co-precipitation of Lck with the transmembrane adaptor protein LAT (linker for activation of T cells), Erk-mediated phosphorylation of Lck and no detectable dephosphorylation of Lck inhibitory tyrosine. Strikingly, upon LAT knockdown in Hut-78 cells, we found that LAT promoted TCR-induced phosphorylation of Lck and Fyn activatory tyrosines, TCR? chain phosphorylation and Zap-70 activation. Notably, LAT regulated these events at low strength of TCR engagement. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Our results indicate for the first time that LAT promotes TCR signal initiation and suggest that this adaptor may contribute to maintain active Lck in proximity of their substrates.
Project description:The ?? T-cell coreceptor CD4 enhances immune responses more than 1 million-fold in some assays, and yet the affinity of CD4 for its ligand, peptide-major histocompatibility class II (pMHC II) on antigen-presenting cells, is so weak that it was previously unquantifiable. Here, we report that a soluble form of CD4 failed to bind detectably to pMHC II in surface plasmon resonance-based assays, establishing a new upper limit for the solution affinity at 2.5 mM. However, when presented multivalently on magnetic beads, soluble CD4 bound pMHC II-expressing B cells, confirming that it is active and allowing mapping of the native coreceptor binding site on pMHC II. Whereas binding was undetectable in solution, the affinity of the CD4/pMHC II interaction could be measured in 2D using CD4- and adhesion molecule-functionalized, supported lipid bilayers, yielding a 2D Kd of ?5,000 molecules/?m(2) This value is two to three orders of magnitude higher than previously measured 2D Kd values for interacting leukocyte surface proteins. Calculations indicated, however, that CD4/pMHC II binding would increase rates of T-cell receptor (TCR) complex phosphorylation by threefold via the recruitment of Lck, with only a small, 2-20% increase in the effective affinity of the TCR for pMHC II. The affinity of CD4/pMHC II therefore seems to be set at a value that increases T-cell sensitivity by enhancing phosphorylation, without compromising ligand discrimination.
Project description:Invariant NKT (iNKT) cells regulate early immune responses to infections, in part because of their rapid release of IFN-gamma and IL-4. iNKT cells are proposed to reduce the severity of Lyme disease following Borrelia burgdorferi infection. Unlike conventional T cells, iNKT cells express an invariant alphabeta TCR that recognizes lipids bound to the MHC class I-like molecule, CD1d. Furthermore, these cells are positively selected following TCR interactions with glycolipid/CD1d complexes expressed on CD4+CD8+ thymocytes. Whereas conventional T cell development can proceed with as few as 4/10 CD3 immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs), little is known about the ITAM requirements for iNKT cell selection and expansion. We analyzed iNKT cell development in CD3 zeta transgenic lines with various tyrosine-to-phenylalanine substitutions (YF) that eliminated the functions of the first (YF1,2), third (YF5,6), or all three (YF1-6) CD3 zeta ITAMs. iNKT cell numbers were significantly reduced in the thymus, spleen, and liver of all YF mice compared with wild type mice. The reduced numbers of iNKT cells resulted from significant reductions in the expression of the early growth response 2 and promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger transcription factors. In the mice with few to no iNKT cells, there was no difference in the severity of Lyme arthritis compared with wild type controls, following infections with the spirochete B. burgdorferi. These findings indicate that a full complement of functional CD3 zeta ITAMs is required for effective iNKT cell development.