Different signaling patterns contribute to loss of keratinocyte cohesion dependent on autoantibody profile in pemphigus.
ABSTRACT: Pemphigus is an autoimmune blistering skin disease caused primarily by autoantibodies against desmoglein (Dsg)1 and 3. Here, we characterized the mechanisms engaged by pemphigus IgG from patients with different clinical phenotypes and autoantibody profiles. All pemphigus vulgaris (PV) and pemphigus foliaceus (PF) IgG and AK23, a monoclonal mouse antibody against Dsg3, caused loss of cell cohesion, cytokeratin retraction and p38MAPK activation. Strong alterations in Dsg3 distribution were caused by mucosal (aDsg3 antibodies), mucocutaneous (aDsg1?+?aDsg3) as well as atypical (aDsg3) PV-IgG. All PV-IgG fractions and AK23 compromised Dsg3 but not Dsg1 binding and enhanced Src activity. In contrast, rapid Ca2+ influx and Erk activation were induced by mucocutaneous PV-IgG and pemphigus foliaceus (PF) IgG (aDsg1) whereas cAMP was increased by mucosal and mucocutaneous PV-IgG only. Selective inhibition of p38MAPK, Src or PKC blocked loss of keratinocyte cohesion in response to all autoantibody fractions whereas Erk inhibition was protective against mucocutaneous PV-IgG and PF-IgG only. These results demonstrate that signaling patterns parallel the clinical phenotype as some mechanisms involved in loss of cell cohesion are caused by antibodies targeting Dsg3 whereas others correlate with autoantibodies against Dsg1. The concept of key desmosome regulators may explain observations from several experimental models of pemphigus.
Project description:Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) and pemphigus vulgaris (PV) are autoimmune blistering diseases characterized by autoantibodies against desmoglein (Dsg)1 and Dsg3, respectively. The role of classical cadherins as immunological targets of pemphigus autoantibodies is unknown. In this study, we tested the reactivity of sera from patients with PF, Fogo Selvagem (FS), and PV by immunoprecipitation coupled with immunoblotting (IP-IB) and ELISA techniques using a baculovirus-expressed ectodomain of E-cadherin. By IP-IB, anti-E-cadherin reactivity was detected in all tested sera of PF (n=13) and FS (n=15) patients, and in 79% of mucocutaneous-type PV patients (n=33), but in none of the mucosal-type PV patients (n=7). By ELISA, anti-E-cadherin IgG was detected in most pemphigus sera that produced strong E-cadherin bands by IP-IB. The immunoreactivity of PF/FS sera with E-cadherin was also demonstrated by IP-IB using human epidermal extracts. However, immunofluorescence staining of A431DE cells (E-cadherin positive, Dsg1 negative) with pemphigus sera showed negative results. Immunoadsorption and competitive ELISA analysis suggest that most of the anti-E-cadherin antibodies cross-react with Dsg1, whereas others may represent independent antibodies that do not cross-react with Dsg1. The functional relevance of these anti-E-cadherin IgG autoantibodies detected in these pemphigus sera remains to be defined.
Project description:Autoantibodies against desmoglein (Dsg) 1 and Dsg3 primarily cause blister formation in the autoimmune disease pemphigus vulgaris (PV). Src was proposed to contribute to loss of keratinocyte cohesion. However, the role and underlying mechanisms are unclear and were studied here. In keratinocytes, cell cohesion in response to autoantibodies was reduced in Src-dependent manner by two patient-derived PV-IgG fractions as well as by AK23 but not by a third PV-IgG fraction, although Src was activated by all autoantibodies. Loss of cell cohesion was progredient in a timeframe of 24 h and AK23, similar to PV-IgG, interfered with reconstitution of cell cohesion after Ca2+-switch, indicating that the autoantibodies also interfered with desmosome assembly. Dsg3 co-localized along cell contacts and interacted with the Src substrate cortactin. In keratinocytes isolated from cortactin-deficient mice, cell adhesion was impaired and Src-mediated inhibition of AK23-induced loss of cell cohesion for 24 h was significantly reduced compared to wild-type (wt) cells. Similarly, AK23 impaired reconstitution of cell adhesion was Src-dependent only in the presence of cortactin. Likewise, Src inhibition significantly reduced AK23-induced skin blistering in wt but not cortactin-deficient mice. These data suggest that the Src-mediated long-term effects of AK23 on loss of cell cohesion and skin blistering are dependent on cortactin-mediated desmosome assembly. However, in human epidermis PV-IgG-induced skin blistering and ultrastructural alterations of desmosomes were not affected by Src inhibition, indicating that Src may not be critical for skin blistering in intact human skin, at least when high levels of autoantibodies targeting Dsg1 are present.
Project description:Pemphigus is an autoimmune blistering disease targeting the desmosomal proteins desmoglein (Dsg) 1 and Dsg3. Recently, a genetic variant of the Suppression of tumorigenicity 18 (ST18) promoter was reported to cause ST18 up-regulation, associated with pemphigus vulgaris (PV)-IgG-mediated increase in cytokine secretion and more prominent loss of keratinocyte cohesion. Here we tested the effects of PV-IgG and the pathogenic pemphigus mouse anti-Dsg3 antibody AK23 on cytokine secretion and ERK activity in human keratinocytes dependent on ST18 expression. Without ST18 overexpression, both PV-IgG and AK23 induced loss of keratinocyte cohesion which was accompanied by prominent fragmentation of Dsg3 immunostaining along cell borders. In contrast, release of pro-inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1?, IL-6, TNF?, and IFN-? was not altered significantly in both HaCaT and primary NHEK cells. These experiments indicate that cytokine expression is not strictly required for loss of keratinocyte cohesion. Upon ST18 overexpression, fragmentation of cell monolayers increased significantly in response to autoantibody incubation. Furthermore, production of IL-1? and IL-6 was enhanced in some experiments but not in others whereas release of TNF-? dropped significantly upon PV-IgG application in both EV- and ST18-transfected HaCaT cells. Additionally, in NHEK, application of PV-IgG but not of AK23 significantly increased ERK activity. In contrast, ST18 overexpression in HaCaT cells augmented ERK activation in response to both c-IgG and AK23 but not PV-IgG. Because inhibition of ERK by U0126 abolished PV-IgG- and AK23-induced loss of cell cohesion in ST18-expressing cells, we conclude that autoantibody-induced ERK activation was relevant in this scenario. In summary, similar to the situation in PV patients carrying ST18 polymorphism, overexpression of ST18 enhanced keratinocyte susceptibility to autoantibody-induced loss of cell adhesion, which may be caused in part by enhanced ERK signaling.
Project description:INTRODUCTION:Autoantibodies (autoAbs) against desmoglein-1 (DSG1) and desmoglein-3 (DSG3) have conventionally been studied and well accepted in the pathogenesis of pemphigus vulgaris (PV) and foliaceus (PF). Recent studies have suggested that non-DSG autoAbs may contribute to the pathogenesis of pemphigus, including autoAbs directed at acetylcholine receptors (AChR) and thyroid peroxidase (TPO). The purpose of this study is to retrospectively analyze PV and PF patient sera to better understand the relationship between anti-AChR and -TPO Abs to disease activity and DSG reactivity between patients treated with prednisone and steroid sparing agents (SSA; n = 22) or prednisone and rituximab (n = 21). METHODS:Patients were evaluated at 2 time points, T1 and T2, for disease activity using the Pemphigus Disease Area Index (PDAI), and sera were tested for the presence of TPO, DSG1, DSG3, muscarinic (M3) and nicotinic (n) AChR IgG autoAbs, as well as antibodies against Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV) by ELISA. RESULTS:Disease activity significantly decreased in patients from T1 to T2 (p < .0001). A significant difference was seen in IgG anti-DSG1 (p < .0001) and anti-DSG3 (p = .0049) levels when T1 was compared to T2 in both treatment groups. A significant increase was found between pemphigus patients and normal subjects with nAChR (p < .0001) at T1 but not with m3AChR, TPO or VZV Abs. No significant difference was seen between T1 and T2 values in patients with pemphigus for the non-desmoglein Abs TPO (p = .7559), M3AChR (p = .9003), nAChR (p = .5143) or VZV (p = .2454). These findings demonstrate that although an increase in IgG anti-nAChR autoAbs was found in PV and PF subjects, these Abs did not decrease with treatment. No other non-DSG Abs were increased or significantly changed over time in patients with pemphigus. This suggests that anti -AChR and -TPO Abs may not play a direct role in the pathogenesis of most patients with pemphigus, but does not rule out a role for non-DSG auto antibodies in distinct subsets of pemphigus patient.
Project description:Keratins are crucial for the anchorage of desmosomes. Severe alterations of keratin organization and detachment of filaments from the desmosomal plaque occur in the autoimmune dermatoses pemphigus vulgaris and pemphigus foliaceus (PF), which are mainly caused by autoantibodies against desmoglein (Dsg) 1 and 3. Keratin alterations are a structural hallmark in pemphigus pathogenesis and correlate with loss of intercellular adhesion. However, the significance for autoantibody-induced loss of intercellular adhesion is largely unknown. In wild-type (wt) murine keratinocytes, pemphigus autoantibodies induced keratin filament retraction. Under the same conditions, we used murine keratinocytes lacking all keratin filaments (KtyII k.o.) as a model system to dissect the role of keratins in pemphigus. KtyII k.o. cells show compromised intercellular adhesion without antibody (Ab) treatment, which was not impaired further by pathogenic pemphigus autoantibodies. Nevertheless, direct activation of p38MAPK via anisomycin further decreased intercellular adhesion indicating that cell cohesion was not completely abrogated in the absence of keratins. Direct inhibition of Dsg3, but not of Dsg1, interaction via pathogenic autoantibodies as revealed by atomic force microscopy was detectable in both cell lines demonstrating that keratins are not required for this phenomenon. However, PF-IgG shifted Dsg1-binding events from cell borders toward the free cell surface in wt cells. This led to a distribution pattern of Dsg1-binding events similar to KtyII k.o. cells under resting conditions. In keratin-deficient keratinocytes, PF-IgG impaired Dsg1-binding strength, which was not different from wt cells under resting conditions. In addition, pathogenic autoantibodies were capable of activating p38MAPK in both KtyII wt and k.o. cells, the latter of which already displayed robust p38MAPK activation under resting conditions. Since inhibition of p38MAPK blocked autoantibody-induced loss of intercellular adhesion in wt cells and restored baseline cell cohesion in keratin-deficient cells, we conclude that p38MAPK signaling is (i) critical for regulation of cell adhesion, (ii) regulated by keratins, and (iii) targets both keratin-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
Project description:Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) autoantibodies directly inhibit desmoglein (Dsg) 3-mediated transinteraction. Because cellular signaling also seems to be required for PV pathogenesis, it is important to characterize the role of direct inhibition in pemphigus acantholysis to allow establishment of new therapeutic approaches. Therefore, we modeled the Dsg1 and Dsg3 sequences into resolved cadherin structures and predicted peptides targeting the adhesive interface of both Dsg3 and Dsg1. In atomic force microscopy single molecule experiments, the self-designed cyclic single peptide specifically blocked homophilic Dsg3 and Dsg1 transinteraction, whereas a tandem peptide (TP) consisting of two combined single peptides did not. TP did not directly block binding of pemphigus IgG to their target Dsg antigens but prevented PV-IgG-induced inhibition of Dsg3 transinteraction in cell-free (atomic force microscopy) and cell-based (laser tweezer) experiments, indicating stabilization of Dsg3 bonds. Similarly, PV-IgG-mediated acantholysis and disruption of Dsg3 localization in HaCaT keratinocytes was partially blocked by TP. This is the first evidence that direct inhibition of Dsg3 binding is important for PV pathogenesis and that peptidomimetics stabilizing Dsg transinteraction may provide a novel approach for PV treatment.
Project description:Pemphigus foliaceus (PF) is one of the two main forms of pemphigus and is characterized by circulating IgG to the desmosomal cadherin desmoglein 1 (DSG1) and by subcorneal blistering of the skin. The pathomechanism of blister formation in PF is unknown. Previously we have shown that PF IgG induces aggregation of DSG1, plakoglobin (PG), and IgG outside of desmosomes, what in immunofluorescence of PF patient skin visualizes as a granular IgG deposition pattern with a limited number of coarse IgG aggregates between cells. Here we have investigated the fate of these aggregates in skin and found that these are cleared by endocytosis. We performed double immunofluorescence staining on snap-frozen skin biopsies of six PF patients for the following molecules: IgG, the desmosomal proteins DSG1 and DSG3, desmocollins 1 and 3, PG, desmoplakin and plakophilin 3, and for the endosomal marker early endosomal antigen 1 and the lysosomal markers cathepsin D and lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1. Endosomes were present in all cells but did not make contact with the aggregates in the basal and suprabasal layers. In the higher layers they moored to the aggregates, often symmetrically from two adjacent cells, and IgG, DSG1, and PG were taken up. Finally these endosomes became localized perinuclear. Endocytosis was only observed in perilesional or lesional skin but not in non-lesional skin. Older immunoelectron microscopic studies have suggested that in PF skin endocytosis of detached desmosomes takes place but we found no other desmosomal proteins to be present in these endosomes. Double staining with cathepsin D and LAMP-1 revealed no overlap with IgG, DSG1, or PG suggesting that lysosomes have no role in the clearing process. Collectively, our results show that endocytosis is part of the pathogenic process in PF but that no detached desmosomes are taken up but instead the deposited IgG is taken up together with DSG1 and PG.
Project description:Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a potentially lethal autoimmune disease characterized by blister formation of the skin and mucous membranes and is caused by autoantibodies against desmoglein (Dsg) 1 and Dsg3. Dsg1 and Dsg3 are linked to keratin filaments in desmosomes, adhering junctions abundant in tissues exposed to high levels of mechanical stress. The binding of the autoantibodies leads to internalization of Dsg3 and a collapse of the keratin cytoskeleton-yet, the relevance and interdependence of these changes for loss of cell-cell adhesion and blistering is poorly understood. In live-cell imaging studies, loss of the keratin network at the cell periphery was detectable starting after 60?min of incubation with immunoglobulin G fractions of PV patients (PV-IgG). These rapid changes correlated with loss of cell-cell adhesion detected by dispase-based dissociation assays and were followed by a condensation of keratin filaments into thick bundles after several hours. Dsg3 internalization started at 90?min of PV-IgG treatment, thus following the early keratin changes. By inhibiting casein kinase 1 (CK-1), we provoked keratin alterations resembling the effects of PV-IgG. Although CK-1-induced loss of peripheral keratin network correlated with loss of cell cohesion and Dsg3 clustering in the membrane, it was not sufficient to trigger the internalization of Dsg3. However, additional incubation with PV-IgG was effective to promote Dsg3 loss at the membrane, indicating that Dsg3 internalization is independent from keratin alterations. Vice versa, inhibiting Dsg3 internalization did not prevent PV-IgG-induced keratin retraction and only partially rescued cell cohesion. Together, keratin changes appear very early after autoantibody binding and temporally overlap with loss of cell cohesion. These early alterations appear to be distinct from Dsg3 internalization, suggesting a crucial role for initial loss of cell cohesion in PV.
Project description:The majority of pemphigus vulgaris (PV) patients suffer from a live-threatening loss of intercellular adhesion between keratinocytes (acantholysis). The disease is caused by auto-antibodies that bind to desmosomal cadherins desmoglein (Dsg) 3 or Dsg3 and Dsg1 in mucous membranes and skin. A currently unresolved controversy in PV is whether apoptosis is involved in the pathogenic process. The objective of this study was to perform preclinical studies to investigate apoptotic pathway activation in PV pathogenesis with the goal to assess its potential for clinical therapy. For this purpose, we investigated mouse and human skin keratinocyte cultures treated with PV antibodies (the experimental Dsg3 monospecific antibody AK23 or PV patients IgG), PV mouse models (passive transfer of AK23 or PVIgG into adult and neonatal mice) as well as PV patients' biopsies (n=6). A combination of TUNEL assay, analyses of membrane integrity, early apoptotic markers such as cleaved poly-ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) and the collapse of actin cytoskeleton failed to provide evidence for apoptosis in PV pathogenesis. However, the in vitro and in vivo PV models, allowing to monitor progression of lesion formation, revealed an early, transient and low-level caspase-3 activation. Pharmacological inhibition confirmed the functional implication of caspase-3 in major events in PV such as shedding of Dsg3, keratin retraction, proliferation including c-Myc induction, p38MAPK activation and acantholysis. Together, these data identify low-level caspase-3 activation downstream of disrupted Dsg3 trans- or cis-adhesion as a major event in PV pathogenesis that is non-synonymous with apoptosis and represents, unlike apoptotic components, a promising target for clinical therapy. At a broader level, these results posit that an impairment of adhesive functions in concert with low-level, non-lethal caspase-3 activation can evoke profound cellular changes which may be of relevance for other diseases including cancer.
Project description:Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a life-threatening mucocutaneous autoimmune blistering disease. It is often associated with autoantibodies to the desmosomal adhesion proteins Desmoglein 3 (DSG3) and Desmoglein 1 (DSG1). Recently, auto-antigens, such as desmocollins and others have been described in PV and in atypical pemphigus forms such as Pemphigus Herpetiformis (PH), Pemphigus Vegetans (PVeg), and Paraneoplastic Pemphigus (PP). Desmocollins belong to a cadherin subfamily that provides structure to the desmosomes and play an important role in cell-to-cell adhesion. In order to verify the pathogenic activity of anti-Desmocollin 3 (DSC3) antibodies, we developed an active disease model of pemphigus expressing anti-DSC3 autoantibodies or anti-DSC3 and anti-DSG3 antibodies. This approach included the adoptive transfer of DSC3 and/or DSG3 lymphocytes to Rag2-/- immunodeficient mice that express DSC3 and DSG3. Our results show that the presence of anti-DSC3 auto-antibodies is sufficient to determine the appearance of a pathological phenotype relatable to pemphigus, but with features not completely super-imposable to those observed in the DSG3 active model, suggesting that the DSC3 active model might mimic the atypical pemphigus. Moreover, the presence of both anti-DSC3 and anti-DSG3 antibodies determines a more severe phenotype and a slower response to prednisolone. In conclusion, we have developed an adult DSC3 pemphigus mouse model that differs from the DSG3 model and supports the concept that antigens other than desmogleins may be responsible for different phenotypes in human pemphigus.