Mutations in EEA1 are associated with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis and affect phagocytosis of Aspergillus fumigatus by human macrophages.
ABSTRACT: Allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) in asthma is a severe, life-affecting disease that potentially affects over 4.8 million people globally. In the UK, ABPA is predominantly caused by the fungus Aspergillus fumigatus. Phagocytosis is important in clearance of this fungus, and Early Endosome Antigen 1 (EEA1) has been demonstrated to be involved in phagocytosis of fungi. We sought to investigate the role of EEA1 mutations and phagocytosis in ABPA. We used exome sequencing to identify variants in EEA1 associated with ABPA. We then cultured monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) from 17 ABPA subjects with A. fumigatus conidia, and analyzed phagocytosis and phagolysosome acidification in relation to the presence of these variants. We found that variants in EEA1 were associated with ABPA and with the rate of phagocytosis of A. fumigatus conidia and the acidification of phagolysosomes. MDMs from ABPA subjects carrying the disease associated genotype showed increased acidification and phagocytosis compared to those from ABPA subjects carrying the non-associated genotypes or healthy controls.The identification of ABPA-associated variants in EEA that have functional effects on MDM phagocytosis and phagolysosome acidification of A. fumigatus conidia revolutionizes our understanding of susceptibility to this disease, which may in future benefit patients by earlier identification or improved treatments. We suggest that the increased phagocytosis and acidification observed demonstrates an over-active MDM profile in these patients, resulting in an exaggerated cellular response to the presence of A. fumigatus in the airways.
Project description:Invasive bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (IBPA) is a life-threatening disease in immunocompromised patients. Although Aspergillus terreus is frequently found in the environment, A. fumigatus is by far the main cause of IBPA. However, once A. terreus establishes infection in the host, disease is as fatal as A. fumigatus infections. Thus, we hypothesized that the initial steps of disease establishment might be fundamentally different between these two species. Since alveolar macrophages represent one of the first phagocytes facing inhaled conidia, we compared the interaction of A. terreus and A. fumigatus conidia with alveolar macrophages. A. terreus conidia were phagocytosed more rapidly than A. fumigatus conidia, possibly due to higher exposure of ?-1,3-glucan and galactomannan on the surface. In agreement, blocking of dectin-1 and mannose receptors significantly reduced phagocytosis of A. terreus, but had only a moderate effect on phagocytosis of A. fumigatus. Once phagocytosed, and in contrast to A. fumigatus, A. terreus did not inhibit acidification of phagolysosomes, but remained viable without signs of germination both in vitro and in immunocompetent mice. The inability of A. terreus to germinate and pierce macrophages resulted in significantly lower cytotoxicity compared to A. fumigatus. Blocking phagolysosome acidification by the v-ATPase inhibitor bafilomycin increased A. terreus germination rates and cytotoxicity. Recombinant expression of the A. nidulans wA naphthopyrone synthase, a homologue of A. fumigatus PksP, inhibited phagolysosome acidification and resulted in increased germination, macrophage damage and virulence in corticosteroid-treated mice. In summary, we show that A. terreus and A. fumigatus have evolved significantly different strategies to survive the attack of host immune cells. While A. fumigatus prevents phagocytosis and phagolysosome acidification and escapes from macrophages by germination, A. terreus is rapidly phagocytosed, but conidia show long-term persistence in macrophages even in immunocompetent hosts.
Project description:Invasive infections by the human pathogenic fungus Aspergillus fumigatus start with the outgrowth of asexual, airborne spores (conidia) into the lung tissue of immunocompromised patients. The resident alveolar macrophages phagocytose conidia, which end up in phagolysosomes. However, A. fumigatus conidia resist phagocytic degradation to a certain degree. This is mainly attributable to the pigment 1,8-dihydroxynaphthalene (DHN) melanin located in the cell wall of conidia, which manipulates the phagolysosomal maturation and prevents their intracellular killing. To get insight in the underlying molecular mechanisms, we comparatively analyzed proteins of mouse macrophage phagolysosomes containing melanized wild-type (wt) or nonmelanized pksP mutant conidia. For this purpose, a protocol to isolate conidia-containing phagolysosomes was established and a reference protein map of phagolysosomes was generated. We identified 637 host and 22 A. fumigatus proteins that were differentially abundant in the phagolysosome. 472 of the host proteins were overrepresented in the pksP mutant and 165 in the wt conidia-containing phagolysosome. Eight of the fungal proteins were produced only in pksP mutant and 14 proteins in wt conidia-containing phagolysosomes. Bioinformatical analysis compiled a regulatory module, which indicates host processes affected by the fungus. These processes include vATPase-driven phagolysosomal acidification, Rab5 and Vamp8-dependent endocytic trafficking, signaling pathways, as well as recruitment of the Lamp1 phagolysosomal maturation marker and the lysosomal cysteine protease cathepsin Z. Western blotting and immunofluorescence analyses confirmed the proteome data and moreover showed differential abundance of the major metabolic regulator mTOR. Taken together, with the help of a protocol optimized to isolate A. fumigatus conidia-containing phagolysosomes and a potent bioinformatics algorithm, we were able to confirm A. fumigatus conidia-dependent modification of phagolysosomal processes that have been described before and beyond that, identify pathways that have not been implicated in A. fumigatus evasion strategy, yet.Mass spectrometry proteomics data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifiers PXD005724 and PXD006134.
Project description:Thymosin ?1 (T?1) is a naturally occurring thymic peptide used worldwide in clinical trials for the treatment of infectious diseases and cancer. The immunomodulatory activity of T?1 on innate immunity effector cells has been extensively described, but its mechanism of action is not completely understood. We report that T?1-exposed human monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) assume the typical activated morphology also exhibited by lipopolysaccharide-activated MDMs, but show a comparatively higher ability of internalizing fluorescent beads and zymosan particles. T?1 exposure also promptly and dramatically stimulates MDM phagocytosis and killing of Aspergillus niger conidia starting as soon as 30 min after challenge. The effect is dose dependent and early coupled to low transcription of the proinflammatory cytokines tumor necrosis factor ? and interleukin-6 and unmodified Toll-like receptor expression. The T?1-stimulated phagocytosis is strictly dependent on the integrity of the microtubule network and protein kinase C activity and occurs by a variation in the classic zipper model, with recruitment of vinculin and actin at the phagosome exhibiting a punctate distribution. These findings indicate that, in human mature MDMs, T?1 implements pathogen internalization and killing via the stimulation of the complement receptor-mediated phagocytosis. Our observations document that T?1 is an early and potent activator of innate immunity and reinforce the concept of its pleiotropy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Inhaled corticosteroid use is associated with increased rates of pneumonia in COPD patients. The underlying mechanism is unknown, although recent data suggest that pneumonia is more frequent in patients treated with fluticasone propionate (FP) than budesonide. Macrophages and neutrophils from COPD patients are deficient in clearing bacteria, and this might explain increased bacterial colonization in COPD. Inhaled corticosteroid may further suppress this response; therefore, we examined the effect of FP and budesonide on phagocytosis of common respiratory pathogens by monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs) and neutrophils.<h4>Methods</h4>MDMs from COPD patients (n=20-24) were preincubated with FP or budesonide for 1 or 18 hours, after which phagocytosis of fluorescently labeled inert beads or heat-killed <i>Haemophilus influenzae</i>/<i>Streptococcus pneumoniae</i> were measured fluorimetrically after 1 or 4 hours. Additionally, CXCL8, IL6, and TNF? concentrations in supernatants by ELISA, MDM-scavenger-receptor expression by flow cytometry, and MDM ability to kill bacteria were measured. Neutrophils from COPD patients (n=8) were preincubated with corticosteroids for 1 hour and bacteria phagocytosis measured by flow cytometry.<h4>Results</h4>After 1 hour's preincubation, neither corticosteroid altered MDM phagocytosis of beads or <i>H. influenzae</i>; however, budesonide (10<sup>-7</sup> M) increased <i>S. pneumoniae</i> phagocytosis by 23% (<i>P</i><0.05). After 18 hours' preincubation, neither corticosteroid altered MDM phagocytosis of any prey, although <i>H. influenzae</i> phagocytosis by budesonide was significantly greater compared to FP at 10<sup>-6</sup> and 10<sup>-5</sup> M (<i>P</i><0.05). The 1-hour preincubation with either corticosteroid inhibited bacteria-induced CXCL8 release (at 10<sup>-7</sup> and 10<sup>-5</sup> M, <i>P</i><0.05); however, this effect was lost at 18-hour preincubation. There was no change in receptor expression, bacterial killing, or neutrophil phagocytosis by either corticosteroid.<h4>Conclusion</h4>These data suggest that dissolved FP and budesonide do not have an overall effect on MDM or neutrophil phagocytosis of bacteria.
Project description:Aspergillus fumigatus is an important airborne fungal pathogen and a major cause of invasive fungal infections. Susceptible individuals become infected via the inhalation of dormant conidia. If the immune system fails to clear these conidia, they will swell, germinate and grow into large hyphal structures. Neutrophils are essential effector cells for controlling A. fumigatus infection. In general, opsonization of microbial particles is crucial for efficient phagocytosis and killing by neutrophils. Although the antibodies present in human serum do bind to all fungal morphotypes, we observed no direct antibody-mediated phagocytosis of A. fumigatus. We show that opsonization, phagocytosis and killing by neutrophils of A. fumigatus is complement-dependent. Using human sera depleted of key complement components, we investigated the contribution of the different complement initiation pathways in complement activation on the fungal surface. We describe the classical complement pathway as the main initiator of complement activation on A. fumigatus swollen conidia and germ tubes. Antibodies play an important role in complement activation and efficient innate recognition, phagocytosis and killing of A. fumigatus by neutrophils.
Project description:Phagocytosis is a process in which target cells or particles are engulfed and taken up by other cells, typically professional phagocytes; this process is crucial in many physiological processes and disease states. The detection of targets for phagocytosis is directed by a complex repertoire of cell surface receptors. Pattern recognition receptors directly detect targets for binding and uptake, while opsonic and complement receptors detect objects coated by soluble factors. However, the importance of single and combinatorial surface marker expression across different phenotypes of professional phagocytes is not known. Here we developed a novel mass cytometry-based phagocytosis assay that enables the simultaneous detection of phagocytic events in combination with up to 40 other protein markers. We applied this assay to distinct monocyte derived macrophage (MDM) populations and found that prototypic M2-like MDMs phagocytose more E. coli than M1-like MDMs. Surface markers such as CD14, CD206, and CD163 rendered macrophages phagocytosis competent, but only CD209 directly correlated with the amount of particle uptake. Similarly, M2-like MDMs also phagocytosed more cancer cells than M1-like MDMs but, unlike M1-like MDMs, were insensitive to anti-CD47 opsonization. Our approach facilitates the simultaneous study of single-cell phenotypes, phagocytic activity, signaling and transcriptional events in complex cell mixtures.
Project description:RNA sequencing data from human monocyte-derived macrophages after infection with Aspergillus fumigatus. Overall design: MDMs (5×105/well in 24-well plates) were infected with A. fumigatus conidia at a 1:2 effector-to-target ratio, and samples were collected after 2 and 6 hr. Uninfected MDMs were cultured in parallel as controls.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Organic dust exposure in the agricultural industry results in significant airway disease and lung function decrease. Mononuclear phagocytes are key cells that mediate the inflammatory and innate immune response after dust exposure.<h4>Objective</h4>We sought to investigate the effect of organic dust extract (ODE) from modern swine operations on monocyte-derived macrophage (MDM) phenotype and function.<h4>Methods</h4>Peripheral blood monocytes were obtained by means of elutriation methodology (>99% CD14(+)) and differentiated into macrophages in the presence of GM-CSF (1 week) with and without ODE (0.1%). At 1 week, cells were analyzed by means of flow cytometry for cell-surface marker expression (HLA-DR, CD80, CD86, Toll-like receptor 2, Toll-like receptor 4, mCD14, and CD16), phagocytosis (IgG-opsonized zymosan particles), and intracellular killing of Streptococcus pneumoniae. At 1 week, MDMs were rechallenged with high-dose ODE (1%), LPS, and peptidoglycan (PGN), and cytokine levels (TNF-alpha, IL-6, IL-10, and CXCL8/IL-8) were measured. Comparisons were made to MDMs conditioned with heat-inactivated dust, endotoxin-depleted dust, LPS, and PGN to elucidate ODE-associated factors.<h4>Results</h4>Expression of HLA-DR, CD80, and CD86; phagocytosis; and intracellular bacterial killing were significantly decreased with ODE-challenged versus control MDMs. Responses were retained after marked depletion of endotoxin. PGN, LPS, and PGN plus LPS significantly reduced MDM surface marker expression and, except for LPS alone, also reduced phagocytosis. ODE-challenged MDMs had significantly diminished cytokine responses (TNF-alpha, IL-6, and IL-10) after repeat challenge with high-dose ODE. Cross-tolerant cytokine responses were also observed.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Repetitive organic dust exposure significantly decreases markers of antigen presentation and host defense function in MDMs. Bacterial cell components appear to be driving these impaired responses.
Project description:Macrophage dysfunction is fundamentally related to altered immunity in cystic fibrosis (CF). How genetic deficits in the cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) lead to these defects remains unknown. Rapid advances in genomic editing such as the clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9) system provide new tools for scientific study. We aimed to create a stable CFTR knockout (KO) in human macrophages in order to study how CFTR regulates macrophage function. Peripheral blood monocytes were isolated from non-CF healthy volunteers and differentiated into monocyte-derived macrophages (MDMs). MDMs were transfected with a CRISPR Cas9 CFTR KO plasmid. CFTR KO efficiency was verified and macrophage halide efflux, phagocytosis, oxidative burst, apoptosis, and cytokine functional assays were performed. CFTR KO in human MDMs was efficient and stable after puromycin selection. CFTR KO was confirmed by CFTR mRNA and protein expression. CFTR function was abolished in CFTR KO MDMs. CFTR KO recapitulated known defects in human CF MDM (CFTR class I/II variants) dysfunction including (1) increased apoptosis, (2) decreased phagocytosis, (3) reduced oxidative burst, and (4) increased bacterial load. Activation of the oxidative burst via nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase assembly was diminished in CFTR KO MDMs (decreased phosphorylated p47phox). Cytokine production was unchanged or decreased in response to infection in CFTR KO MDMs. In conclusion, we developed a primary human macrophage CFTR KO system. CFTR KO mimics most pathology observed in macrophages obtained from persons with CF, which suggests that many aspects of CF macrophage dysfunction are CFTR-dependent and not just reflective of the CF inflammatory milieu.
Project description:Invasive aspergillosis mainly occurs in immunocompromised patients and is commonly caused by Aspergillus fumigatus, while A.nidulans is rarely the causative agent. However, in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) patients, A. nidulans is a frequent cause of invasive aspergillosis and is associated with higher mortality. Immune recognition of A. nidulans was compared to A. fumigatus to offer an insight into why A. nidulans infections are prevalent in CGD. Live cell imaging with J774A.1 macrophage-like cells and LC3-GFP-mCherry bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) revealed that phagocytosis of A. nidulans was slower compared to A. fumigatus. This difference could be attributed to slower migration of J774A.1 cells and a lower percentage of migrating BMDMs. In addition, delayed phagosome acidification and LC3-associated phagocytosis was observed with A. nidulans. Cytokine and oxidative burst measurements in human peripheral blood mononuclear cells revealed a lower oxidative burst upon challenge with A. nidulans. In contrast, A. nidulans induced significantly higher concentrations of cytokines. Collectively, our data demonstrate that A. nidulans is phagocytosed and processed at a slower rate compared to A. fumigatus, resulting in reduced fungal killing and increased germination of conidia. This slower rate of A. nidulans clearance may be permissive for overgrowth within certain immune settings.