[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Signalling by the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) results in the activation of T lymphocytes. Nck1 and Nck2 are two highly related adaptor proteins downstream of the TCR that each contains three SH3 and one SH2 domains. Their individual functions and the roles of their SH3 domains in human T cells remain mostly unknown.
Using specific shRNA we down-regulated the expression of Nck1 or Nck2 to approximately 10% each in Jurkat T cells. We found that down-regulation of Nck1 impaired TCR-induced phosphorylation of the kinases Erk and MEK, activation of the AP-1 and NFAT transcription factors and subsequently, IL-2 and CD69 expression. In sharp contrast, down-regulation of Nck2 hardly impacts these activation read-outs. Thus, in contrast to Nck2, Nck1 is a positive regulator for TCR-induced stimulation of the Erk pathway. Mutation of the third SH3 domain of Nck1 showed that this domain was required for this activity. Further, TCR-induced NFAT activity was reduced in both Nck1 and Nck2 knock-down cells, showing that both isoforms are involved in NFAT activation. Lastly, we show that neither Nck isoform is upstream of p38 phosphorylation or Ca2+ influx.
In conclusion, Nck1 and Nck2 have non-redundant roles in human T cell activation in contrast to murine T cells.
Cell Communication and Signaling 03/2014; 12(1):21. · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: On TCR ligation, the adaptor Nck is recruited through its src homology 3.1 domain to a proline-rich sequence (PRS) in CD3ε. We have studied the relevance of this interaction for T cell activation in vitro and in vivo by targeting the interaction sites in both partners. The first approach consisted of studying a knockin (KI) mouse line (KI-PRS) bearing a conservative mutation in the PRS that makes the TCR incompetent to recruit Nck. This deficiency prevents T cell activation by Ag in vitro and inhibited very early TCR signaling events including the tyrosine phosphorylation of CD3ζ. Most important, KI-PRS mice are partly protected against the development of neurological symptoms in an experimental autoimmune encephalitis model, and show a deficient antitumoral response after vaccination. The second approach consisted of using a high-affinity peptide that specifically binds the src homology 3.1 domain and prevents the interaction of Nck with CD3ε. This peptide inhibits T cell proliferation in vitro and in vivo. These data suggest that Nck recruitment to the TCR is fundamental to mount an efficient T cell response in vivo, and that the Nck-CD3ε interaction may represent a target for pharmacological modulation of the immune response.
The Journal of Immunology 01/2014; · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Specific interactions between the polar head groups of membrane lipids and proteins have been previously described. In contrast, the specificity of the interaction between lipid acyl chains with proteins is less understood. By combining a fatty acid- or cholesterol-pull down assay with Western blot analysis or mass spectrometry, we identified transmembrane and cytosolic proteins that bound preferentially to short or long acyl chains or to cholesterol. Thus, this approach allows identification of specific fatty acid-protein or cholesterol-protein interactions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aim: Although prostate cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed malignancies in men, there is no effective curative therapy for the advanced disease. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to generate prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA)×CD3 diabodies as a novel treatment option for this tumor. Methods: A PSMA×CD3 diabody and a covalently linked single-chain diabody were constructed from the anti-PSMA single-chain Fv fragment D7 and an anti-CD3 single-chain Fv fragment. The fusion proteins were periplasmatically expressed in Escherichia coli. The binding properties were tested on PSMA-expressing C4-2 prostate cancer cells and CD3(+) Jurkat cells by flow cytometry. For in vitro functional analysis, a cell viability assay was used. T-cell activation was determined by flow cytometry. In vivo activity of the diabody was tested in SCID mice reconstituted with human peripheral blood lymphocytes bearing C4-2 tumor xenografts. Results: Bacterial expression levels were significantly higher for the diabody (1-1.5 mg/l culture) compared with the single-chain diabody (0.2-0.4 mg/l culture). Specific binding on CD3-expressing Jurkat cells and PSMA-expressing C4-2 cells was shown with both diabody formats. In vitro, both diabodies proved to be potent agents for retargeting human CD4(+) and CD8(+) lymphocytes to lyse C4-2 prostate cancer cells. The formation of conjugates between T cells and target cells with clustering of the diabody at sites of interaction could be shown. SCID mice reconstituted with human peripheral blood lymphocytes bearing C4-2 tumor xenografts with the diabody showed an efficient inhibition of tumor growth. Conclusion: Both diabody formats showed a highly efficient and specific T cell-mediated killing of prostate cancer cells and are encouraging for further development in preclinical and clinical studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T cells show high sensitivity for antigen, even though their T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) has a low affinity for its ligand, a major histocompatibility complex molecule presenting a short pathogen-derived peptide. Over the past few years, it has become clear that these paradoxical properties rely at least in part on the organization of cell surface-expressed TCRs in TCR nanoclusters. We describe a protocol, comprising immunogold labeling, cell surface replica generation, and electron microscopy (EM) analysis that allows nanoscale resolution of the distribution of TCRs and other cell surface molecules of cells grown in suspension. Unlike most of the light microscopy-based single-molecule resolution techniques, this technique permits visualization of these molecules on cell surfaces that do not adhere to an experimental support. Given the potential of adhesion-induced receptor redistributions, our technique is a relevant complement to the substrate adherence-dependent techniques. Furthermore, it does not rely on introduction of fluorescently labeled recombinant molecules and therefore allows direct analysis of nonmanipulated primary cells.
Methods in cell biology 01/2013; 117:391-410. · 1.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The adaptor protein Nck is inducibly recruited through its SH3.1 domain to a proline-rich sequence (PRS) in CD3ε after TCR engagement. However, experiments with a knockin mutant bearing an 8-aa replacement of the PRS have indicated that Nck binding to the TCR is constitutive, and that it promotes the degradation of the TCR in preselection double-positive (DP) CD4(+)CD8(+) thymocytes. To clarify these discrepancies, we have generated a new knockin mouse line (KI-PRS) bearing a conservative mutation in the PRS resulting from the replacement of the two central prolines. Thymocytes of KI-PRS mice are partly arrested at each step at which pre-TCR or TCR signaling is required. The mutation prevents the trigger-dependent inducible recruitment of endogenous Nck to the TCR but does not impair TCR degradation. However, KI-PRS preselection DP thymocytes show impaired tyrosine phosphorylation of CD3ζ, as well as impaired recruitment of ZAP70 to the TCR and impaired ZAP70 activation. Our results indicate that Nck is recruited to the TCR in an inducible manner in DP thymocytes, and that this recruitment is required for the activation of early TCR-dependent events. Differences in the extent of PRS mutation could explain the phenotypic differences in both knockin mice.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2012; · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the 21st century, systems-wide analyses of biological processes are getting more and more realistic. Especially for the in depth analysis of signal transduction pathways and networks, various approaches of systems biology are now successfully used. The EU FP7 large integrated project SYBILLA (Systems Biology of T-cell Activation in Health and Disease) coordinates such an endeavor. By using a combination of experimental data sets and computational modelling, the consortium strives for gaining a detailed and mechanistic understanding of signal transduction processes that govern T-cell activation. In order to foster the interaction between systems biologists and experimentally working groups, SYBILLA co-organized the 15th meeting "Signal Transduction: Receptors, Mediators and Genes" together with the Signal Transduction Society (STS). Thus, the annual STS conference, held from November 7 to 9, 2011 in Weimar, Germany, provided an interdisciplinary forum for research on signal transduction with a major focus on systems biology addressing signalling events in T-cells. Here we report on a selection of ongoing projects of SYBILLA and how they were discussed at this interdisciplinary conference.
Cell Communication and Signaling 04/2012; 10(1):11. · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The dimerisation of Raf kinases involves a central cluster within the kinase domain, the dimer interface (DIF). Yet, the importance of the DIF for the signalling potential of wild-type B-Raf (B-Raf(wt)) and its oncogenic counterparts remains unknown. Here, we show that the DIF plays a pivotal role for the activity of B-Raf(wt) and several of its gain-of-function (g-o-f) mutants. In contrast, the B-Raf(V600E), B-Raf(insT) and B-Raf(G469A) oncoproteins are remarkably resistant to mutations in the DIF. However, compared with B-Raf(wt), B-Raf(V600E) displays extended protomer contacts, increased homodimerisation and incorporation into larger protein complexes. In contrast, B-Raf(wt) and Raf-1(wt) mediated signalling triggered by oncogenic Ras as well as the paradoxical activation of Raf-1 by kinase-inactivated B-Raf require an intact DIF. Surprisingly, the B-Raf DIF is not required for dimerisation between Raf-1 and B-Raf, which was inactivated by the D594A mutation, sorafenib or PLX4720. This suggests that paradoxical MEK/ERK activation represents a two-step mechanism consisting of dimerisation and DIF-dependent transactivation. Our data further implicate the Raf DIF as a potential target against Ras-driven Raf-mediated (paradoxical) ERK activation.
The EMBO Journal 04/2012; 31(11):2629-47. · 9.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A successful immune response against pathogens requires the activation of different cell types of the immune system. These activation processes are difficult to study by classical biochemical and genetic methods alone. In this review we describe how approaches of synthetic biology, such as rebuilding of minimal functional signaling systems and the design of new molecules acting as signaling switches, can be used to get a deeper insight into the signaling mechanism of immune cells. In particular, the interaction of receptors with signal-transducing elements can be studied in detail with these new methods. In addition, sophisticated synthetic immune receptors are being tested in the clinic for gene therapy against certain cancer types.
Current opinion in biotechnology 02/2012; 23(5):780-4. · 7.82 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stromal interaction molecule 1 (STIM1) deficiency is a rare genetic disorder of store-operated calcium entry, associated with a complex syndrome including immunodeficiency and immune dysregulation. The link from the molecular defect to these clinical manifestations is incompletely understood. We report two patients with a homozygous R429C point mutation in STIM1 completely abolishing store-operated calcium entry in T cells. Immunological analysis of one patient revealed that despite the expected defect of T cell proliferation and cytokine production in vitro, significant antiviral T cell populations were generated in vivo. These T cells proliferated in response to viral Ags and showed normal antiviral cytotoxicity. However, antiviral immunity was insufficient to prevent chronic CMV and EBV infections with a possible contribution of impaired NK cell function and a lack of NKT cells. Furthermore, autoimmune cytopenia, eczema, and intermittent diarrhea suggested impaired immune regulation. FOXP3-positive regulatory T (Treg) cells were present but showed an abnormal phenotype. The suppressive function of STIM1-deficient Treg cells in vitro, however, was normal. Given these partial defects in cytotoxic and Treg cell function, impairment of other immune cell populations probably contributes more to the pathogenesis of immunodeficiency and autoimmunity in STIM1 deficiency than previously appreciated.
The Journal of Immunology 12/2011; 188(3):1523-33. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The B cell antigen receptor (BCR) and pathogen recognition receptors, such as Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4), act in concert to control adaptive B cell responses. However, little is known about the signaling pathways that integrate BCR activation with intrinsic TLR4 stimulation. Antigen receptors initialize activation of the inducible transcription factor nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) via recruitment of the membrane-associated guanylate kinase caspase recruitment domain protein 11 (CARD11), the adapter molecule B cell CLL/lymphoma 10 (BCL10), and the "paracaspase" mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue lymphoma translocation gene 1 (MALT1) into lipid rafts. Upon BCR triggering, this activation strictly depends on BCL10, but not on MALT1, leading to the hypothesis that a MALT1-independent NF-κB activation pathway contributes to BCR-induced NF-κB activation downstream of BCL10. The identity of this pathway has remained elusive.
Using genetic and biochemical approaches, we demonstrate that the IRAK4- and IRAK1-dependent TLR signaling branch is activated upon BCR triggering to induce partial NF-κB activation. BCR-induced MALT1-independent IκB degradation and B cell proliferation were inhibited in MALT1/IRAK4 double knockout B cells. Moreover, IRAK1 was recruited into lipid rafts upon BCR stimulation and activated following transient recruitment of IRAK4.
We propose that the observed crosstalk between BCR and TLR signaling components may contribute to the discrimination of signals that emanate from single and dual receptor engagement to control adaptive B cell responses.
Cell Communication and Signaling 03/2011; 9(1):6. · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lymphocytes mediate cytotoxicity by polarized release of the contents of cytotoxic granules toward their target cells. Here, we have studied the role of the calcium release-activated calcium channel ORAI1 in human lymphocyte cytotoxicity. Natural killer (NK) cells obtained from an ORAI1-deficient patient displayed defective store-operated Ca(2+) entry (SOCE) and severely defective cytotoxic granule exocytosis leading to impaired target cell lysis. Similar findings were obtained using NK cells from a stromal interaction molecule 1-deficient patient. The defect occurred at a late stage of the signaling process, because activation of leukocyte functional antigen (LFA)-1 and cytotoxic granule polarization were not impaired. Moreover, pharmacological inhibition of SOCE interfered with degranulation and target cell lysis by freshly isolated NK cells and CD8(+) effector T cells from healthy donors. In addition to effects on lymphocyte cytotoxicity, synthesis of the chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein-1β and the cytokines TNF-α and IFN-γ on target cell recognition was impaired in ORAI1-deficient NK cells, as previously described for T cells. By contrast, NK cell cytokine production induced by combinations of IL-12, IL-15, and IL-18 was not impaired by ORAI1 deficiency. Taken together, these results identify a critical role for ORAI1-mediated Ca(2+) influx in granule exocytosis for lymphocyte cytotoxicity as well as for cytokine production induced by target cell recognition.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 02/2011; 108(8):3324-9. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Studying the stoichiometry and intracellular trafficking of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) is pivotal in understanding its mechanisms of activation. The alphabetaTCR includes the antigen-binding TCRalphabeta heterodimer as well as the signal transducing CD3epsilongamma, CD3epsilondelta and zeta2 subunits. Although the TCR-interacting molecule (TRIM) is also part of the alphabetaTCR complex, it has not been included in most reports so far.
We used the native antibody-based mobility shift (NAMOS) assay in a first dimension (1D) blue native (BN)-PAGE and a 2D BN-/BN-PAGE to demonstrate that the stoichiometry of the digitonin-solublized TRIM-containing alphabetaTCR is TCRalphabetaCD3epsilon2gammadeltazeta2TRIM2. Smaller alphabetaTCR complexes possess a TCRalphabeta CD3epsilon2gammadeltazeta2 stoichiometry. Complexes of these sizes were detected in T cell lines as well as in primary human and mouse T cells. Stimulating the alphabetaTCR with anti-CD3 antibodies, we demonstrate by confocal laser scanning microscopy that CD3epsilon colocalizes with zeta and both are degraded upon prolonged stimulation, possibly within the lysosomal compartment. In contrast, a substantial fraction of TRIM does not colocalize with zeta. Furthermore, TRIM neither moves to lysosomes nor is degraded. Immunoprecipitation studies and BN-PAGE indicate that TRIM also associates with the gammadeltaTCR.
Small alphabetaTCR complexes have a TCRalphabeta CD3epsilon2gammadeltazeta2 stoichiometry; whereas those associated with one TRIM dimer are TCRalphabeta CD3epsilon2gammadeltazeta2TRIM2. TRIM is differentially processed compared to CD3 and zeta subunits after T cell activation and is not degraded. The gammadeltaTCR also associates with TRIM.
Cell Communication and Signaling 03/2010; 8:5. · 5.09 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The killer cell lectin-like receptor G1 (KLRG1) is an inhibitory receptor expressed by memory T cells and NK cells in man and mice. It is frequently used as a cell differentiation marker and members of the cadherin family are ligands for KLRG1. The present study provides new insights into the interaction of mouse KLRG1 with E-cadherin. Firstly, we demonstrate that co-engagement of KLRG1 and CD3/TCR in a spatially linked manner was required for inhibition arguing against the notion that KLRG1-ligation per se transmits inhibitory signals. Secondly, experiments with T cells carrying Y(7)F-mutant KLRG1 molecules with a replacement of the tyrosine residue to phenylalanine in the single ITIM indicated that the inhibitory activity of KLRG1 is counteracted to some degree by increased interaction of KLRG1(+) T cells with E-cadherin expressing target cells. Thirdly, we demonstrate that deletion of the first or the second external domain of E-cadherin abolished reactivity in KLRG1-reporter cell assays. Finally, we made the intriguing observation that KLRG1 formed multimeric protein complexes in T cells in addition to the previously described mono- and dimeric molecules.
European Journal of Immunology 12/2008; 38(12):3354-64. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite the important role of B lymphocytes as a bridge between the innate and the adaptive immune system, little is known regarding lipopolysaccharide (LPS) recognition, activation of signalling networks or conceivable cooperation between LPS and the B-cell antigen receptor (BCR). Here, we show that primary B cells can efficiently discriminate between different LPS chemotypes, responding with at least 100-fold higher sensitivity to rough-form LPS compared with smooth-form LPS. Using genetically modified mice, we demonstrate that B lymphocytes recognize all LPS chemotypes via Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4). In addition, we dissect the signalling pathways that lead to CD69 upregulation upon TLR4 and BCR activation in primary B cells. Our data suggest that TLR4 and BCR induce CD69 transcription via two distinct sets of signalling molecules, exerting quantitative and qualitative differences in B-cell activation. Finally, we show that simultaneous stimulation of TLR4 and BCR additively elevates B-cell activation. In contrast, co-engagement of TLR4 and BCR by antigen-coupled LPS synergistically enhances activation of B cells, pointing out attractive targets for signalling crosstalk in B lymphocytes.
European Journal of Immunology 10/2008; 38(9):2475-87. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Filing Date: 2003-01-24 -- Priority Data ES (2002-01-24) (P200-20-01) The invention relates to the molecular mechanism for the activation of the T cells which takes place in inflammatory or immune reactions following activation from the binding of antigen/MHC to the TCR antigen receptor, demonstrating the key role of the specific interaction between determined domains of proteins CD3ε and Nck in modulating the transmission of signals which occurs during said cell activation. Moreover, the invention relates to methods of modulating T cell activation using methods that allow the CD3ε and Nck protein-protein interaction to be altered Peer reviewed