Neutrophil Extracellular Traps Profiles in Patients with Incident Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and Lupus Nephritis.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE:Neutrophil extracellular traps (NET) expose modified antigens for autoantibodies in vasculitis. Little is known about levels and removal pathways of NET in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), especially in lupus nephritis (LN). We determined circulating levels and defined NET removal in large subsets of patients with incident SLE (iSLE), some of whom had new-onset nephritis. METHODS:Serum levels of NET (ELISA), DNase1/DNase1L3 (ELISA), and DNase activity (functional assay) were determined in 216 patients with iSLE [103 had incident LN (iLN)], in 50 patients with other primary glomerulonephritis, and in healthy controls. Ex vivo NET production by neutrophils purified from a random selection of patients was quantified as elastase/DNA release and by immunofluorescence techniques. RESULTS:Serum NET levels were very high in iSLE/iLN compared to all groups of controls and correlated with anti-dsDNA, C3-C4, and proteinuria; iLN had the highest levels. DNase activity was decreased in iLN compared to SLE (20% had one-half DNase activity) despite similar serum levels of DNase1/DNase1L3. In these cases, pretreatment of serum with protein A restored DNase efficiency; 1 patient was homozygous for a c.289_290delAC variant of DNASE1L3. Ex vivo NET production by neutrophils purified from LN, SLE, and normal controls was similar in all cases. CONCLUSION:Patients with iLN have increased circulating NET and reduced DNase activity, the latter being explained by the presence of inhibitory substances in circulation and/or by rare DNase1L3 mutations. Accumulation of NET derives from a multifactorial mechanism, and is associated and may contribute to disease severity in SLE, in particular to renal lesions. (Clinical trial registration: The Zeus study was registered at ClinicalTrials.gov, study number NCT02403115).
Project description:Deoxyribonuclease 1 (DNASE1, DNase I) and deoxyribonuclease 1-like 3 (DNASE1L3, DNase gamma, DNase Y, LS-DNase) are members of a DNASE1 protein family that is defined by similar biochemical properties such as Ca2+/Mg2+-dependency and an optimal pH of about 7.0 as well as by a high similarity in their nucleic acid and amino acid sequences. In the present study we describe the recombinant expression of rat Dnase1 and murine Dnase1l3 as fusion proteins tagged by their C-terminus to green fluorescent protein in NIH-3T3 fibroblasts and bovine lens epithelial cells. Both enzymes were translocated into the rough endoplasmic reticulum, transported along the entire secretory pathway and finally secreted into the cell culture medium. No nuclear occurrence of the nucleases was detectable. However, deletion of the N-terminal signal peptide of both nucleases resulted in a cytoplasmic and nuclear distribution of both fusion proteins. Dnase1 preferentially hydrolysed 'naked' plasmid DNA, whereas Dnase1l3 cleaved nuclear DNA with high activity. Dnase1l3 was able to cleave chromatin in an internucleosomal manner without proteolytic help. By contrast, Dnase1 was only able to achieve this cleavage pattern in the presence of proteases that hydrolysed chromatin-bound proteins. Detailed analysis of murine sera derived from Dnase1 knockout mice revealed that serum contains, besides the major serum nuclease Dnase1, an additional Dnase1l3-like nucleolytic activity, which, in co-operation with Dnase1, might help to suppress anti-DNA autoimmunity by degrading nuclear chromatin released from dying cells.
Project description:Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease in which patients develop autoantibodies to DNA, histones, and often to neutrophil proteins. These form immune complexes that are pathogenic and may cause lupus nephritis. In SLE patients, infections can initiate flares and are a major cause of mortality. Neutrophils respond to infections and release extracellular traps (NETs), which are antimicrobial and are made of DNA, histones, and neutrophil proteins. The timely removal of NETs may be crucial for tissue homeostasis to avoid presentation of self-antigens. We tested the hypothesis that SLE patients cannot clear NETs, contributing to the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis. Here we show that serum endonuclease DNase1 is essential for disassembly of NETs. Interestingly, a subset of SLE patients' sera degraded NETs poorly. Two mechanisms caused this impaired NET degradation: (i) the presence of DNase1 inhibitors or (ii) anti-NET antibodies prevented DNase1 access to NETs. Impairment of DNase1 function and failure to dismantle NETs correlated with kidney involvement. Hence, identification of SLE patients who cannot dismantle NETs might be a useful indicator of renal involvement. Moreover, NETs might represent a therapeutic target in SLE.
Project description:Antibodies to DNA and chromatin drive autoimmunity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Null mutations and hypomorphic variants of the secreted deoxyribonuclease DNASE1L3 are linked to familial and sporadic SLE, respectively. We report that DNASE1L3-deficient mice rapidly develop autoantibodies to DNA and chromatin, followed by an SLE-like disease. Circulating DNASE1L3 is produced by dendritic cells and macrophages, and its levels inversely correlate with anti-DNA antibody response. DNASE1L3 is uniquely capable of digesting chromatin in microparticles released from apoptotic cells. Accordingly, DNASE1L3-deficient mice and human patients have elevated DNA levels in plasma, particularly in circulating microparticles. Murine and human autoantibody clones and serum antibodies from human SLE patients bind to DNASE1L3-sensitive chromatin on the surface of microparticles. Thus, extracellular microparticle-associated chromatin is a potential self-antigen normally digested by circulating DNASE1L3. The loss of this tolerance mechanism can contribute to SLE, and its restoration may represent a therapeutic opportunity in the disease.
Project description:NETs constitute a network of DNA and proteins released by neutrophils in response to infectious and immunologic triggers. NET proteins are recognized as autoantigens in ANCA vasculitis; limited knowledge is available in other autoimmune pathologies. The composition of NETs produced ex vivo by resting and Phorbol-myristate acetate (PMA) stimulated neutrophils was analyzed by high-throughput Fusion Orbitrap technology in 16 patients with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus/Lupus nephritis (9 SLE/7 LN) and in 11 controls. Seven-hundred proteins were characterized and specific fingerprints discriminated LN from SLE. We focused on methyl-oxidized ?enolase (methionine sulfoxide 93) that was markedly increased in NETs from LN and was localized in NET filaments in tight connection and outlying DNA. The isotype of anti-?enolase antibodies was IgG2 in LN and IgG4 in other autoimmune glomerulonephritis (Membranous Nephropathy, MN); serum anti-?enolase IgG2 were higher in LN than in SLE and absent in MN. The same IgG2 antibodies recognized 5 epitopes of the protein one containing methionine sulphoxide 93. In conclusion, specific NET protein fingerprints characterize different subsets of SLE; methyl-oxidized ?enolase is over-expressed in LN. Circulating anti-?enolase IgG2 recognize the oxidized epitope and are high in serum of LN patients. Post-translational modified NET proteins contribute to autoimmunity in patients with LN.
Project description:Neutrophyl Extracellular Traps (NETs) accumulated in serum of patients with Lupus Nephritis for defective removal by DNAse. Among a complex protein panel (overall 802) two clusters of 16 and 13 proteins were more expressed by LN and SLE NETs respectively; oxidized aenolase and annexin A1 were main components of the first series in LN. NETs may represent a source of modified intracellular antigens for autoimmunity in LN.
Project description:In the present study, we have extensively continued our previous investigations of the nonsynonymous single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the human DNase I (DNASE1) gene potentially relevant to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE); therefore, all of the 58 nonsynonymous SNPs registered in the NCBI dbSNP database could be evaluated and it could be checked as to whether these SNPs might serve as a functional SNP. From a compiled expression analysis of the amino-acid-substituted DNase I corresponding to each of the SNPs, it was possible to sort them into 23 SNPs while not affecting the activity: 12 abolishing it, 14 reducing it, and 9 increasing it. Among a total of 58 nonsynonymous SNPs, only 4 SNPs exhibited genetic polymorphisms in some of the populations examined; a minor allele producing a loss-of-function variant of each SNP was not distributed in 14 different populations derived from three ethnic groups. It could be assumed that a minor allele of these functional SNPs, despite their remarkably low genetic heterogeneity, could directly serve as a genetic risk factor for SLE. Furthermore, among the human DNase family genes, it seems that DNASE1 is able to tolerate the generation of nonsynonymous SNPs, and that the amino-acid substitutions resulting from the SNPs in DNASE1 easily alter the activity.
Project description:<h4>Objective</h4>Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease characterized by the presence of autoantibodies against nuclear components. Lupus nephritis (LN) is the major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with SLE. Central to the pathogenesis of SLE is the accumulation of cellular waste, especially apoptotic microparticles (MPs), which stimulates diverse immune reactions including the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). In this study, we investigated the content of MPs from SLE patients with and without (active) LN, their capacity to stimulate NET release, and assessed the molecular mechanisms underlying MP-induced NETosis.<h4>Methods</h4>MPs from SLE patients with biopsy-proven active LN, remissive LN, without LN, and healthy controls were characterized by flow cytometry. Isolated neutrophils were exposed to MPs derived from either patient plasma or apoptotic human umbilical vein endothelial cells, and NET release was quantified by immunofluorescence imaging, spectrofluorometry or an in-house developed NET ELISA.<h4>Results</h4>MPs from SLE patients with active LN contain higher levels of acetylated chromatin compared to MPs from those with remissive LN, without LN, or healthy controls. MPs enriched in hyperacetylated chromatin are more potent in inducing NETosis when compared to MPs containing moderate acetylated chromatin. The release of NETs in response to MPs occurs rapidly in a concentration-dependent manner and proceeds independent from the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS).<h4>Conclusion</h4>Our data suggest that MPs containing acetylated chromatin drive ROS-independent NET release in SLE patients with active LN, which may lead to the glomerular deposition of NETs and subsequent NET-driven LN.
Project description:Although genome?wide association studies (GWAS) have identified hundreds of autoimmune disease?associated loci, much of the genetics underlying these diseases remains unknown. In an attempt to identify potential causal variants, previous studies have determined that the rs35677470 missense variant of the Deoxyribonuclease I?like 3 (DNASE1L3) gene was associated with the development of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic sclerosis (SSc). DNase1L3 is a member of the human DNase I family, representing a nuclease that cleaves double?stranded DNA during apoptosis and serving a role in the development of autoimmune diseases. The present study aimed to determine the role of the rs35677470 variant at the DNASE1L3 gene leading to the R206C mutation in SLE, RA and SSc. The underlying mechanism potentially affecting protein structure loss of function was also assessed. DNASE1L3 evolution was investigated to define conservation elements in the protein sequence. Additionally, 3D homology modeling and in silico mutagenesis was performed to localize the polymorphism under investigation. Evolutionary analysis revealed heavily conserved sequence elements among species, indicating structural/functional importance. In silico mutagenesis and 3D protein structural analysis also demonstrated the potentially varied impact of the DNASE1L3 (rs35677470) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), providing an explanation for its effect on the R206C variant. Structural analysis demonstrated that the rs35677470 SNP encodes a non?conservative amino acid variation, R206C, which disrupted the conserved electrostatic network holding secondary protein structure elements in position. Specifically, the R206 to E170 interaction forming part of a salt bridge network stabilizing two ??helices was interrupted, thereby affecting the molecular architecture. Previous studies on the effect of this SNP in Caucasian populations demonstrated lower DNAse1L3 activity levels, which is consistent with the current results. The present study comprehensively evaluated the shared autoimmune locus of DNASE1L3 (rs35677470), which produced an inactive form of DNaseIL3. Furthermore, structural analysis explained the potential role of the produced mutation by modifying the placement of structural elements and consequently introducing disorder in protein folding, affecting biological function.
Project description:Cell-free DNA (cf.DNA) is a powerful noninvasive biomarker for cancer and prenatal testing, and it circulates in plasma as short fragments. To elucidate the biology of cf.DNA fragmentation, we explored the roles of deoxyribonuclease 1 (DNASE1), deoxyribonuclease 1 like 3 (DNASE1L3), and DNA fragmentation factor subunit beta (DFFB) with mice deficient in each of these nucleases. By analyzing the ends of cf.DNA fragments in each type of nuclease-deficient mice with those in wild-type mice, we show that each nuclease has a specific cutting preference that reveals the stepwise process of cf.DNA fragmentation. Essentially, we demonstrate that cf.DNA is generated first intracellularly with DFFB, intracellular DNASE1L3, and other nucleases. Then, cf.DNA fragmentation continues extracellularly with circulating DNASE1L3 and DNASE1. With the use of heparin to disrupt the nucleosomal structure, we also show that the 10 bp periodicity originates from the cutting of DNA within an intact nucleosomal structure. Altogether, this work establishes a model of cf.DNA fragmentation.
Project description:OBJECTIVES:Incomplete SLE (iSLE) patients display symptoms typical for SLE but have insufficient criteria to fulfil the diagnosis. Biomarkers are needed to identify iSLE patients that will progress to SLE. IFN type I activation, B-cell-activating factor (BAFF) and B-cell subset distortions play an important role in the pathogenesis of SLE. The aim of this cross-sectional study was to investigate whether B-cell subsets are altered in iSLE patients, and whether these alterations correlate with IFN scores and BAFF levels. METHODS:iSLE patients (n?=?34), SLE patients (n?=?41) with quiescent disease (SLEDAI ?4) and healthy controls (n?=?22) were included. Proportions of B-cell subsets were measured with flow cytometry, IFN scores with RT-PCR and BAFF levels with ELISA. RESULTS:Proportions of age-associated B-cells were elevated in iSLE patients compared with healthy controls and correlated with IgG levels. In iSLE patients, IFN scores and BAFF levels were significantly increased compared with healthy controls. Also, IFN scores correlated with proportions of switched memory B-cells, plasma cells and IgG levels, and correlated negatively with complement levels in iSLE patients. CONCLUSION:In this cross-sectional study, distortions in B-cell subsets were observed in iSLE patients and were correlated with IFN scores and IgG levels. Since these factors play an important role in the pathogenesis of SLE, iSLE patients with these distortions, high IFN scores, and high levels of IgG and BAFF may be at risk for progression to SLE.