Ex vivo characterization and isolation of rare memory B cells with antigen tetramers
ABSTRACT Studying human antigen-specific memory B cells has been challenging because of low frequencies in peripheral blood, slow proliferation, and lack of antibody secretion. Therefore, most studies have relied on conversion of memory B cells into antibody-secreting cells by in vitro culture. To facilitate direct ex vivo isolation, we generated fluorescent antigen tetramers for characterization of memory B cells by using tetanus toxoid as a model antigen. Brightly labeled memory B cells were identified even 4 years after last immunization, despite low frequencies ranging from 0.01% to 0.11% of class-switched memory B cells. A direct comparison of monomeric to tetrameric antigen labeling demonstrated that a substantial fraction of the B-cell repertoire can be missed when monomeric antigens are used. The specificity of the method was confirmed by antibody reconstruction from single-cell sorted tetramer(+) B cells with single-cell RT-PCR of the B-cell receptor. All antibodies bound to tetanus antigen with high affinity, ranging from 0.23 to 2.2 nM. Furthermore, sequence analysis identified related memory B cell and plasmablast clones isolated more than a year apart. Therefore, antigen tetramers enable specific and sensitive ex vivo characterization of rare memory B cells as well as the production of fully human antibodies.
- SourceAvailable from: Ata ur Rasheed Mohammed
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- "In order to design novel vaccines that are able to induce B cell responses focused on the epitopes targeted by these broadly neutralizing antibodies, both new and improved immunogens are needed, as well as a better understanding of the early B cell responses induced by these novel vaccine candidates (Burton et al., 2012). One way to study these early B cell responses is through the use of antigen-probes designed to stain antigen-specific memory B cells (Scheid et al., 2009b; Franz et al., 2011; Kardava et al., 2014). This approach has proven to be very powerful in order to identify the bnAbs described above (Scheid et al., 2009a; Walker et al., 2011; Sundling et al., 2012a). "
ABSTRACT: Over 100 broadly neutralizing antibodies have been isolated from a minority of HIV infected patients, but the steps leading to the selection of plasma cells producing such antibodies remain incompletely understood, hampering the development of vaccines able to elicit them. Rhesus macaques have become a preferred animal model system used to study SIV/HIV, for the characterization and development of novel therapeutics and vaccines as well as to understand pathogenesis. However, most of our knowledge about the dynamics of antibody responses is limited to the analysis of serum antibodies or monoclonal antibodies generated from memory B cells. In a vaccine setting, relatively little is known about the early cellular responses that elicit long-lived plasma cells and memory B cells and the tools to dissect plasmablast responses are not available in macaques. In the current study, we show that the majority (> 80%) of the vaccine-induced plasmablast response are antigen-specific by functional ELISPOT assays. While plasmablasts are easily defined and isolated in humans, those same phenotypic markers have not been useful for identifying macaque plasmablasts. Here we describe an approach that allows for the isolation and single cell sorting of vaccine-induced plasmablasts. Finally, we show that isolated plasmablasts can be used to efficiently recover antigen-specific monoclonal antibodies through single cell expression cloning. This will allow detailed studies of the early plasmablast responses in rhesus macaques, enabling the characterization of both their repertoire breadth as well as the epitope specificity and functional qualities of the antibodies they produce, not only in the context of SIV/HIV vaccines but for many other pathogens/vaccines as well.Journal of Immunological Methods 11/2014; 416. DOI:10.1016/j.jim.2014.11.003 · 1.82 Impact Factor
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- "2) TZM-bl from Dr. John C. Kappes, Dr. Xiaoyun Wu and Tranzyme Inc [51,55-57]. 3) HIV-1LAI from Dr. Jean-Marie Bechet and Dr. Luc Montagnier [58,59]. "
ABSTRACT: Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) comprise about 8% of the human genome and have lost their ability to replicate or to produce infectious particles after having accumulated mutations over time. We assessed the kinetics of expression of HERV-K (HML-2) Envelope mRNA transcript and surface unit (SU) and transmembrane (TM) subunit proteins during HIV-1 infection. We also mapped the specificity of the humoral response to HERV-K (HML-2) Envelope protein in HIV-1 infected subjects at different stages of disease, and correlated the response with plasma viral load. We found that HIV-1 modified HERV-K (HML-2) Env mRNA expression, resulting in the expression of a fully N-glycosylated HERV-K (HML-2) envelope protein on the cell surface. Serological mapping of HERV-K (HML-2) envelope protein linear epitopes revealed two major immunogenic domains, one on SU and another on the ectodomain of TM. The titers of HERV-K (HML-2) TM antibodies were dramatically increased in HIV-1 infected subjects (p < 0.0001). HIV-1 infected adults who control HIV-1 in the absence of therapy ("elite" controllers) had a higher titer response against TM compared to antiretroviral-treated adults (p < 0.0001) and uninfected adults (p < 0.0001). These data collectively suggest that HIV-1 infection induces fully glycosylated HERV-K (HML-2) envelope TM protein to which antibodies are induced. These anti-HERV-K (HML-2) TM antibodies are a potential marker of HIV-1 infection, and are at higher titer in elite controllers. HERV-K (HML-2) envelope TM protein may be a new therapeutic target in HIV-1 infection.Retrovirology 01/2014; 11(1):10. DOI:10.1186/1742-4690-11-10 · 4.19 Impact Factor
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- "However, a large number of rare cell subtypes exist in the human immune system, and it is well established that rare cells play an important role in the immune system (e.g. HIV (Franz et al., 2011), stem cell research (Notta et al., 2011) and cancer (Zimmerlin et al., 2011)). "
ABSTRACT: Polychromatic flow cytometry (PFC), has enormous power as a tool to dissect complex immune responses (such as those observed in HIV disease) at a single cell level. However, analysis tools are severely lacking. Although high-throughput systems allow rapid data collection from large cohorts, manual data analysis can take months. Moreover, identification of cell populations can be subjective and analysts rarely examine the entirety of the multidimensional dataset (focusing instead on a limited number of subsets, the biology of which has usually already been well-described). Thus, the value of PFC as a discovery tool is largely wasted. To address this problem, we developed a computational approach that automatically reveals all possible cell subsets. From tens of thousands of subsets, those that correlate strongly with clinical outcome are selected and grouped. Within each group, markers that have minimal relevance to the biological outcome are removed, thereby distilling the complex dataset into the simplest, most clinically relevant subsets. This allows complex information from PFC studies to be translated into clinical or resource-poor settings, where multiparametric analysis is less feasible. We demonstrate the utility of this approach in a large (n=466), retrospective, 14-parameter PFC study of early HIV infection, where we identify three T-cell subsets that strongly predict progression to AIDS (only one of which was identified by an initial manual analysis). The 'flowType: Phenotyping Multivariate PFC Assays' package is available through Bioconductor. Additional documentation and examples are available at: www.terryfoxlab.ca/flowsite/flowType/ Supplementary data are available at Bioinformatics online. firstname.lastname@example.org.Bioinformatics 02/2012; 28(7):1009-16. DOI:10.1093/bioinformatics/bts082 · 4.98 Impact Factor