Tumor-specific CD4+ T cells eradicate myeloma cells genetically deficient in MHC class II display.
ABSTRACT: CD4+ T cells have been shown to reject tumor cells with no detectable expression of major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II). However, under certain circumstances, induction of ectopic MHC II expression on tumor cells has been reported.To confirm that CD4+ T cell-mediated anti-tumor immunity can be successful in the complete absence of antigen display on the tumor cells themselves, we eliminated MHC II on tumor cells using CRISPR/Cas9. Our results demonstrate that ablation of the relevant MHC II (I-Ed) in multiple myeloma cells (MOPC315) does not hinder rejection by tumor-specific CD4+ T cells. These findings provide conclusive evidence that CD4+ T cells specific for tumor antigens can eliminate malignant cells in the absence of endogenous MHC class II expression on the tumor cells. This occurs through antigen uptake and indirect presentation on tumor-infiltrating macrophages.
Project description:The central role of tumor-specific TH1 cells in anticancer immune responses is becoming increasingly appreciated. However, little is known about how these cells are generated in vivo. Here, we used flow cytometry and gene expression microarrays to characterize the primary activation and TH1 differentiation of naïve tumor-specific CD4(+) T cells in a mouse model of cancer immunosurveillance. We took advantage of T-cell receptor-transgenic mice in which CD4(+) T cells recognize a tumor-specific antigen secreted by MHC class II-negative MOPC315 myeloma cells. Cancer cells were injected subcutaneously and T-cell activation was analyzed in draining lymph nodes and at the incipient tumor site 8 d later. Upon activation and migration to incipient tumor sites, tumor-specific CD4(+) T cells exhibited the upregulation of 29 cell-surface molecules (CD2, CD5, CD11a, CD18, CD25, CD28, CD44, CD45, CD49d, CD51, CD54, CD69, CD71, CD83, CD86, CD90, CD95, CD102, CD122, CD153, CD166, CD200, CD249, CD254, CD274, CD279, Ly6C, MHC class I and CCR7) and the downregulation of five (CD27, CD31, CD45RB, CD62L and CD126). Activated CD4(+) T cells produced interferon ?, a cytokine consistent with a TH1-polarized response, tumor necrosis factor ? as well as interleukin (IL)-2, IL-3 and IL-10. The activation of naïve tumor-specific CD4(+) T cells in draining lymph nodes resulted in the upregulation of 609 genes and the downregulation of 284 genes. The bioinformatic analysis of differentially expressed genes identified functional pathways related to tumor-specific TH1 cell activation. This study may represent a useful resource to guide the development of TH1-based immunotherapies against cancer.
Project description:Tumor antigen-specific CD4(+) T cells that directly recognize cancer cells are important for orchestrating antitumor immune responses at the local tumor sites. However, the mechanisms of direct MHC class II (MHC-II) presentation of intracellular tumor antigen by cancer cells are poorly understood. We found that two functionally distinct subsets of CD4(+) T cells were expanded after HLA-DPB1*04 (DP04)-binding NY-ESO-1157-170 peptide vaccination in patients with ovarian cancer. Although both subsets recognized exogenous NY-ESO-1 protein pulsed on DP04(+) target cells, only one type recognized target cells with intracellular expression of NY-ESO-1. The tumor-recognizing CD4(+) T cells more efficiently recognized the short 8-9-mer peptides than the non-tumor-recognizing CD4(+) T cells. In addition to endosomal/lysosomal proteases that are typically involved in MHC-II antigen presentation, several pathways in the MHC class I presentation pathways, such as the proteasomal degradation and transporter-associated with antigen-processing-mediated peptide transport, were also involved in the presentation of intracellular NY-ESO-1 on MHC-II. The presentation was inhibited significantly by primaquine, a small molecule that inhibits endosomal recycling, consistent with findings that pharmacologic inhibition of new protein synthesis enhances antigen presentation. Together, our data demonstrate that cancer cells selectively present peptides from intracellular tumor antigens on MHC-II by multiple nonclassical antigen-processing pathways. Harnessing the direct tumor-recognizing ability of CD4(+) T cells could be a promising strategy to enhance antitumor immune responses in the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment.
Project description:Activation of tumor-reactive T lymphocytes is a promising approach for the prevention and treatment of patients with metastatic cancers. Strategies that activate CD8(+) T cells are particularly promising because of the cytotoxicity and specificity of CD8(+) T cells for tumor cells. Optimal CD8(+) T cell activity requires the co-activation of CD4(+) T cells, which are critical for immune memory and protection against latent metastatic disease. Therefore, we are developing "MHC II" vaccines that activate tumor-reactive CD4(+) T cells. MHC II vaccines are MHC class I(+) tumor cells that are transduced with costimulatory molecules and MHC II alleles syngeneic to the prospective recipient. Because the vaccine cells do not express the MHC II-associated invariant chain (Ii), we hypothesized that they will present endogenously synthesized tumor peptides that are not presented by professional Ii(+) antigen presenting cells (APC) and will therefore overcome tolerance to activate CD4(+) T cells. We now report that MHC II vaccines prepared from human MCF10 mammary carcinoma cells are more efficient than Ii(+) APC for priming and boosting Type 1 CD4(+) T cells. MHC II vaccines consistently induce greater expansion of CD4(+) T cells which secrete more IFNgamma and they activate an overlapping, but distinct repertoire of CD4(+) T cells as measured by T cell receptor Vbeta usage, compared to Ii(+) APC. Therefore, the absence of Ii facilitates a robust CD4(+) T cell response that includes the presentation of peptides that are presented by traditional APC, as well as peptides that are uniquely presented by the Ii(-) vaccine cells.
Project description:Major histocompatibility complex class II molecules (MHC-II) on antigen presenting cells (APCs) engage the TCR on antigen-specific CD4 T cells, thereby providing the specificity required for T cell priming and the induction of an effective immune response. In this study, we have asked whether antigen-loaded dendritic cells (DCs) that have been in contact with antigen-specific CD4 T cells retain the ability to stimulate additional naïve T cells. We show that encounter with antigen-specific primed CD4 T cells induces the degradation of surface MHC-II in antigen-loaded DCs and inhibits the ability of these DCs to stimulate additional naïve CD4 T cells. Cross-linking with MHC-II mAb as a surrogate for T-cell engagement also inhibits APC function and induces MHC-II degradation by promoting the clustering of MHC-II present in lipid raft membrane microdomains, a process that leads to MHC-II endocytosis and degradation in lysosomes. Encounter of DCs with antigen-specific primed T cells or engagement of MHC-II with antibodies promotes the degradation of both immunologically relevant and irrelevant MHC-II molecules. These data demonstrate that engagement of MHC-II on DCs after encounter with antigen-specific primed CD4 T cells promotes the down-regulation of cell surface MHC-II in DCs, thereby attenuating additional activation of naïve CD4 T cells by these APCs.
Project description:Expression data from mouse tumor-specific CD4+ T cells The central role of tumor-specific Th1 cells in fighting cancer is becoming increasingly appreciated. However, little is known about how these cells are generated in vivo. Here, we used flow cytometry and gene expression microarrays to characterize the primary activation and Th1 differentiation of naïve tumor-specific CD4+ T cells in a mouse model for cancer immunosurveillance. We took advantage of T cell receptor-transgenic mice where CD4+ T cells recognize a tumor-specific antigen secreted by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-negative MOPC315 myeloma. Cancer cells were injected subcutaneously and T cell activation was analyzed in draining lymph nodes and at the incipient tumor site at day +8. After activation and migration to the incipient tumor site, tumor-specific CD4+ T cells had 29 up-regulated molecules (CD2, CD5, CD11a, CD18, CD25, CD28, CD44, CD45, CD49d, CD51, CD54, CD69, CD71, CD83, CD86, CD90, CD95, CD102, CD122, CD153, CD166, CD200, CD249, CD254, CD274, CD279, Ly6C, MHC class I, and CCR7) and 5 down-regulated molecules (CD27, CD31, CD45RB, CD62L, and CD126) on the surface. The activated CD4+ T cells produced interferon , a cytokine consistent with Th1 polarization, and also interleukin 2 (IL-2), IL-3, IL-10, and tumor necrosis factor . Activation of naïve tumor-specific CD4+ T cells in draining lymph node resulted in the up-regulation of 609 genes and down-regulation of 284 genes. Bioinformatics analysis of genes differentially expressed identified functional pathways related to tumor-specific Th1 cell activation. This study may represent a useful resource to guide the development of Th1-based immunotherapy for cancer. TCR-transgenic SCID mice (n = 12-15) were injected s.c. on the flank with 10(5) MOPC315 cells suspended in 250 µl ice-cold growth factor-reduced Matrigel. At day +8, draining axillary LN were dissected out and pooled, single-cell suspensions were made and staining with mAb was carried out. Activated tumor-specific CD4+ GB113+ T cells were sorted by FACSAria (≥ 95% pure) in three independent experiments. Naïve tumor-specific CD4+ control T cells were obtained from pooled LN from naive TCR-transgenic SCID mice and treated identically in two independent experiments.
Project description:CD4 T cells play a central role as helper cells in adaptive immunity. Presentation of exogenous antigens in MHC class II by professional antigen-presenting cells is a crucial step in induction of specific CD4 T cells in adaptive immune responses. For efficient induction of immunity against intracellular threats such as viruses or malignant transformations, antigens from HLA class II-negative infected or transformed cells need to be transferred to surrounding antigen-presenting cells to allow efficient priming of naive CD4 T cells. Here we show indirect antigen presentation for a subset of natural HLA class II ligands that are created by genetic variants and demonstrated that (neo)antigens can be transferred between cells by extracellular vesicles. Intercellular transfer by extracellular vesicles was not dependent on the T-cell epitope, but rather on characteristics of the full-length protein. This mechanism of (neo)antigen transfer from HLA class II-negative cells to surrounding antigen-presenting cells may play a crucial role in induction of anti-tumor immunity.
Project description:MHC-peptide tetramers have become essential tools for T-cell analysis, but few MHC class II tetramers incorporating peptides from human tumor and self-antigens have been developed. Among limiting factors are the high polymorphism of class II molecules and the low binding capacity of the peptides. Here, we report the generation of molecularly defined tetramers using His-tagged peptides and isolation of folded MHC/peptide monomers by affinity purification. Using this strategy we generated tetramers of DR52b (DRB3*0202), an allele expressed by approximately half of Caucasians, incorporating an epitope from the tumor antigen NY-ESO-1. Molecularly defined tetramers avidly and stably bound to specific CD4(+) T cells with negligible background on nonspecific cells. Using molecularly defined DR52b/NY-ESO-1 tetramers, we could demonstrate that in DR52b(+) cancer patients immunized with a recombinant NY-ESO-1 vaccine, vaccine-induced tetramer-positive cells represent ex vivo in average 1:5,000 circulating CD4(+) T cells, include central and transitional memory polyfunctional populations, and do not include CD4(+)CD25(+)CD127(-) regulatory T cells. This approach may significantly accelerate the development of reliable MHC class II tetramers to monitor immune responses to tumor and self-antigens.
Project description:Cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are key players in fighting cancer, and their induction is a major focus in the design of therapeutic vaccines. Yet, therapeutic vaccine efficacy is limited, in part due to the suboptimal vaccine processing by antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Such processing typically takes place via the MHC class II pathway for CD4 T-cell activation and MHC class I pathway for activation of CD8 CTLs. We show that a combination of skin photochemical treatment and immunization, so-called photochemical internalization (PCI) facilitated CTL activation due to the photochemical adjuvant effect induced by photosensitizer, oxygen, and light. Mice were immunized intradermally with antigen and photosensitizer, followed by controlled light exposure. PCI-treated mice showed strong activation of CD8 T cells, with improved IFN-? production and cytotoxicity, as compared to mice immunized without parallel PCI treatment. Surprisingly, the CD8 T-cell effector functions were not impaired in MHC class II- or CD4 T-cell-deficient mice. Moreover, PCI-based vaccination caused tumor regression independent of MHC class II or CD4 T cells presence in melanoma bearing mice. Together, the data demonstrate that PCI can act as a powerful adjuvant in cancer vaccines, even in hosts with impaired T-helper functions.
Project description:The major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II-restricted antigen processing pathway presents antigenic peptides acquired in the endocytic route for the activation of CD4(+) T cells. Multiple cancers express MHC class II, which may influence the anti-tumor immune response and patient outcome. Low MHC class II expression is associated with poor survival in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), the most common form of aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Therefore, we investigated whether gamma-interferon-inducible lysosomal thiol reductase (GILT), an upstream component of the MHC class II-restricted antigen processing pathway that is not regulated by the transcription factor class II transactivator, may be important in DLBCL biology. GILT reduces protein disulfide bonds in the endocytic compartment, exposing additional epitopes for binding to MHC class II and facilitating antigen presentation. In each of four independent gene expression profiling cohorts with a total of 585 DLBCL patients, low GILT expression was significantly associated with poor overall survival. In contrast, low expression of a classical MHC class II gene, HLA-DRA, was associated with poor survival in one of four cohorts. The association of low GILT expression with poor survival was independent of established clinical and molecular prognostic factors, the International Prognostic Index and the cell of origin classification, respectively. Immunohistochemical analysis of GILT expression in 96 DLBCL cases demonstrated variation in GILT protein expression within tumor cells which correlated strongly with GILT mRNA expression. These studies identify a novel association between GILT expression and clinical outcome in lymphoma. Our findings underscore the role of antigen processing in DLBCL and suggest that molecules targeting this pathway warrant investigation as potential therapeutics.
Project description:MHC class II-restricted antigen presentation by dendritic cells is necessary for activation of naïve CD4 T cells, whereas class II-restricted antigen presentation by B lymphocytes and macrophages is important for the recruitment of CD4+ helper and regulatory T cells. Antigen presentation by B cells is also important for induction of T cell tolerance. B cells are unique among these three types of MHC class II-expressing antigen presenting cells (APC) as they constitutively express high levels of cell surface class II molecules and express a clonally restricted antigen specific receptor, the B cell receptor (BCR). Here, I review our current understanding of three major steps that underlie the processing and presentation of BCR-bound cognate antigen: (1) endocytosis of antigen-BCR (Ag-BCR) complexes, (2) Ag-BCR trafficking to intracellular antigen processing compartments and (3) generation of antigenic peptide-MHC class II complexes, with a particular focus on the role of BCR ubiquitination in each. I will highlight potential topics for future research and briefly discuss the impact of the cell biology of BCR-mediated antigen processing on the response of the B cell and T cell to the cell-cell interactions mediated by B cell-expressed peptide-class II complexes.