Dissecting mechanisms of immunodominance to the common tuberculosis antigens ESAT-6, CFP10, Rv2031c (hspX), Rv2654c (TB7.7), and Rv1038c (EsxJ).

Division of Vaccine Discovery, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 04/2012; 188(10):5020-31. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1103556
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Diagnosis of tuberculosis often relies on the ex vivo IFN-γ release assays QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube and T-SPOT.TB. However, understanding of the immunological mechanisms underlying their diagnostic use is still incomplete. Accordingly, we investigated T cell responses for the TB Ags included in the these assays and other commonly studied Ags: early secreted antigenic target 6 kDa, culture filtrate protein 10 kDa, Rv2031c, Rv2654c, and Rv1038c. PBMC from latently infected individuals were tested in ex vivo ELISPOT assays with overlapping peptides spanning the entirety of these Ags. We found striking variations in prevalence and magnitude of ex vivo reactivity, with culture filtrate protein 10 kDa being most dominant, followed by early secreted antigenic target 6 kDa and Rv2654c being virtually inactive. Rv2031c and Rv1038c were associated with intermediate patterns of reactivity. Further studies showed that low reactivity was not due to lack of HLA binding peptides, and high reactivity was associated with recognition of a few discrete dominant antigenic regions. Different donors recognized the same core sequence in a given epitope. In some cases, the identified epitopes were restricted by a single specific common HLA molecule (selective restriction), whereas in other cases, promiscuous restriction of the same epitope by multiple HLA molecules was apparent. Definition of the specific restricting HLA allowed to produce tetrameric reagents and showed that epitope-specific T cells recognizing either selectively or promiscuously restricted epitopes were predominantly T effector memory. In conclusion, these results highlight the feasibility of more clearly defined TB diagnostic reagent.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have recently described the first true genome-wide screen for CD4(+) T-cell reactivity directed against Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) in latent TB-infected individuals. The approach relied on predictions of HLA-binding capacity for a panel of DR, DP, and DQ alleles representative of those most commonly expressed in the general population, coupled with high throughput ELISPOT assays. The results identified hundreds of novel epitopes and antigens, and documented the novel observation that T cells in latent MTB infection are confined to the CXCR3(+)CCR6(+) phenotype and largely directed against three antigenic "islands" within the MTB genome. In parallel, we have made generally available to the scientific community the technical approaches and reagents developed in the process, such as motifs, algorithms, and binding assays for several common HLA class II alleles, and a panel of single allele HLA class II transfected cell lines representative of the most frequent specificities in the general population. Recent efforts have been focused on characterization of epitopes and antigens recognized by patients with active TB and individuals vaccinated with BCG, with the aim of providing the first systematic evaluation of the overlap between latent, active, and BCG cohorts. The definition of a broad range of epitopes restricted by common HLA molecules, will facilitate development of diagnostic reagents, allow a rigorous evaluation of T-cell responses associated with TB infection in humans, and enable the evaluation of the immunogenicity of different vaccine candidates. Furthermore, it might suggest new candidates for vaccine and diagnostic development.
    Frontiers in Immunology 01/2014; 5:124.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) spread of the bacteria is contained by a persistent immune response, which includes CD4(+) T cells as important contributors. In this study we show that TB-specific CD4(+) T cells have a characteristic chemokine expression signature (CCR6(+)CXCR3(+)CCR4(-)), and that the overall number of these cells is significantly increased in LTBI donors compared with healthy subjects. We have comprehensively characterized the transcriptional signature of CCR6(+)CXCR3(+)CCR4(-) cells and found significant differences to conventional Th1, Th17, and Th2 cells, but no major changes between healthy and LTBI donors. CCR6(+)CXCR3(+)CCR4(-) cells display lineage-specific signatures of both Th1 and Th17 cells, but also have a unique gene expression program, including genes associated with susceptibility to TB, enhanced T cell activation, enhanced cell survival, and induction of a cytotoxic program akin to CTL cells. Overall, the gene expression signature of CCR6(+)CXCR3(+)CCR4(-) cells reveals characteristics important for controlling latent TB infections.
    The Journal of Immunology 08/2014; · 5.36 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Tuberculosis remains a major global health problem worldwide, and hence there is a need for novel vaccines that better induce cellular-mediated immunity (CMI). In search of a better vaccine target, the QuantiFERON-TB Gold In-Tube Test (QFT-GIT) and the interferon-γ ELISPOT assay (ELISPOT) were used to compare the magnitude of CMI in patients. Results of the ELISPOT assay led to the discovery of specific epitopes within the early secreted antigenic target 6 kDa (ESAT-6) and culture filtrate protein 10 kDa (CFP-10) proteins. Both peptides showed a strong association with several HLA class II DRB1 molecules in the Japanese population. Using ESAT-6-specific HLA class II tetramers, we determined that the expression of ESAT-6-specific CD4+ lymphocytes was significantly decreased in treated patients compared with active patients. In addition, programmed death-1 (PD-1)/killer cell lectin-like receptor G1 (KLRG-1) double positive cells were found only in treated patients and not in those with active TB. These data could provide clues for the development of novel tuberculosis vaccines.
    Journal of Immunology Research 01/2014; 2014:764028. · 2.93 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 27, 2014