John R James

University of Oxford, Oxford, England, United Kingdom

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Publications (8)78.18 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Understanding the component stoichiometry of the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) triggering apparatus is essential for building realistic models of signal initiation. Recent studies suggesting that the TCR and other signaling-associated proteins are preclustered on resting T cells relied on measurements of the behavior of membrane proteins at interfaces with functionalized glass surfaces. Using fluorescence recovery after photobleaching, we show that, compared with the apical surface, the mobility of TCRs is significantly reduced at Jurkat T cell/glass interfaces, in a signaling-sensitive manner. Using two biophysical approaches that mitigate these effects, bioluminescence resonance energy transfer and two-color coincidence detection microscopy, we show that, within the uncertainty of the methods, the membrane components of the TCR triggering apparatus, i.e. the TCR complex, MHC molecules, CD4/Lck and CD45, are exclusively monovalent or monomeric in human T cell lines, implying that TCR triggering depends only on the kinetics of TCR/pMHC interactions. These analyses also showed that constraining proteins to two dimensions at the cell surface greatly enhances random interactions versus those between the membrane and the cytoplasm. Simulations of TCR-pMHC complex formation based on these findings suggest how unclustered TCR triggering-associated proteins might nevertheless be capable of generating complex signaling outputs via the differential recruitment of cytosolic effectors to the cell membrane.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2011; 286(37):31993-2001. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Triggering of the T cell receptor initiates a signaling cascade resulting in the activation of the T cell. These signals are integrated alongside those resulting from the triggering of other receptors whose function is to modulate the overall response. CD5 is an immunotyrosine-based inhibition motif-bearing receptor that antagonizes the overt T cell receptor activation response by recruiting inhibitory intracellular mediators such as SHP-1, RasGAP, or Cbl. We now propose that the inhibitory effects of CD5 are also mediated by a parallel pathway that functions at the level of inhibition of Fyn, a kinase generally associated with T cell receptor-mediated activation. After CD5 ligation, phosphorylation of the negative regulatory tyrosine (Tyr(531)) of Fyn increases, and this correlates with a substantial reduction in the kinase activity of Fyn and a profound inhibition of ZAP-70 activation. The effect requires the last 23 amino acids of the cytoplasmic domain of the receptor, strongly implying the involvement of a new CD5-interacting signaling or adaptor protein. Furthermore, we show that upon CD5 ligation there is a profound shift in its distribution from the bulk fluid phase to the lipid raft environment, where it associates with Fyn, Lck, and PAG. We suggest that the relocation of CD5, which we also show is capable of forming homodimers, to the proximity of raft-resident molecules enables CD5 to inhibit membrane proximal signaling by controlling the phosphorylation and activity of Fyn, possibly by interfering with the disassembly of C-terminal Src kinase (Csk)-PAG-Fyn complexes during T cell activation.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2011; 286(35):30324-36. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The platelet receptor CLEC-2 binds to the snake venom toxin rhodocytin and the tumor cell surface protein podoplanin. Binding of either of these ligands promotes phosphorylation of a single tyrosine residue in the YXXL motif in the intracellular domain of CLEC-2. Phosphorylation of this tyrosine initiates binding of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and triggers further downstream signaling events and ultimately potent platelet activation and aggregation. However, it is unclear how a single YXXL motif can interact efficiently with Syk, which usually recognizes two tandem YXXL repeats presented as an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM). Using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer, coimmunopreciptitation, recombinant protein expression and analytical gel filtration chromatography, surface plasmon resonance, Western blotting, multiangle light scattering (MALS), and analytical ultracentrifugation, we show that CLEC-2 exists as a non-disulfide-linked homodimer which could allow each Syk molecule to interact with two YXXL motifs, one from each CLEC-2 monomer.
    Biochemistry 10/2009; 48(46):10988-96. · 3.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a general method called dynamic single-molecule colocalization for quantitating the associations of single cell surface molecules labeled with distinct autofluorescent proteins. The chief advantages of the new quantitative approach are that, in addition to stable interactions, it is capable of measuring nonconstitutive associations, such as those induced by the cytoskeleton, and it is applicable to situations where the number of molecules is small.
    Biophysical Journal 09/2009; 97(4):L5-7. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Ferroportin is a multi-transmembrane glycoprotein that mediates iron export from cells. Mutations in ferroportin are linked to type IV hemochromatosis, a dominantly inherited disorder of iron metabolism. Multimers of ferroportin, whose existence may relate to the dominant inheritance pattern of disease, have been detected in some studies but not others. We looked for evidence of multimerization in several different types of experiment. We assayed the maturation of mutant and wild-type ferroportin and found that loss-of-function mutants had a reduced half-life but did not alter the stability of coexpressed wild-type. Using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer analysis, we tested how mature wild-type ferroportin behaved in intact live cell membranes. Ferroportin-ferroportin interactions gave the very low acceptor/donor ratio-independent energy transfer levels characteristic of random protein-protein interactions, consistent with ferroportin behaving as a monomer. Consistent with these experiments, we were unable to detect a dominant negative functional effect of mutant ferroportin on wild-type, even when expression of wild-type protein was titrated to low levels. These data suggest that dominantly inherited ferroportin disease does not result from the direct action of a mutated protein inhibiting a wild-type protein within multimers. We propose other possible mechanisms of disease.
    Blood Cells Molecules and Diseases 01/2008; 40(3):360-9. · 2.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The T cell receptor (TCR) expressed on most T cells is a protein complex consisting of TCRalphabeta heterodimers that bind antigen and cluster of differentiation (CD) 3epsilondelta, epsilongamma, and zetazeta dimers that initiate signaling. A long-standing controversy concerns whether there is one, or more than one, alphabeta heterodimer per complex. We used a form of single-molecule spectroscopy to investigate this question on live T cell hybridomas. The method relies on detecting coincident fluorescence from single molecules labeled with two different fluorophores, as the molecules diffuse through a confocal volume. The fraction of events that are coincident above the statistical background is defined as the "association quotient," Q. In control experiments, Q was significantly higher for cells incubated with wheat germ agglutinin dual-labeled with Alexa488 and Alexa647 than for cells incubated with singly labeled wheat germ agglutinin. Similarly, cells expressing the homodimer, CD28, gave larger values of Q than cells expressing the monomer, CD86, when incubated with mixtures of Alexa488- and Alexa647-labeled antibody Fab fragments. T cell hybridomas incubated with mixtures of anti-TCRbeta Fab fragments labeled with each fluorophore gave a Q value indistinguishable from the Q value for CD86, indicating that the dominant form of the TCR comprises single alphabeta heterodimers. The values of Q obtained for CD86 and the TCR were low but nonzero, suggesting that there is transient or nonrandom confinement, or diffuse clustering of molecules at the T cell surface. This general method for analyzing the subunit composition of protein complexes could be extended to other cell surface or intracellular complexes, and other living cells.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 12/2007; 104(45):17662-7. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET), which relies on nonradiative energy transfer between luciferase-coupled donors and GFP-coupled acceptors, is emerging as a useful tool for analyzing the quaternary structures of cell-surface molecules. Conventional BRET analyses are generally done at maximal expression levels and single acceptor/donor ratios. We show that under these conditions substantial energy transfer arises from random interactions within the membrane. The dependence of BRET efficiency on acceptor/donor ratio at fixed surface density, or expression level at a defined acceptor/donor ratio, can nevertheless be used to correctly distinguish between well-characterized monomeric and oligomeric proteins, including a very weak dimer. The pitfalls associated with the nonrigorous treatment of BRET data are illustrated for the case of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) proposed to form homophilic and/or mixed oligomers on the basis of previous, conventional BRET experiments.
    Nature Methods 01/2007; 3(12):1001-6. · 23.57 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Naive T cell activation requires signaling by the T cell receptor and by nonclonotypic cell surface receptors. The most important costimulatory protein is the monovalent homodimer CD28, which interacts with CD80 and CD86 expressed on antigen-presenting cells. Here we present the crystal structure of a soluble form of CD28 in complex with the Fab fragment of a mitogenic antibody. Structural comparisons redefine the evolutionary relationships of CD28-related proteins, antigen receptors and adhesion molecules and account for the distinct ligand-binding and stoichiometric properties of CD28 and the related, inhibitory homodimer CTLA-4. Cryo-electron microscopy-based comparisons of complexes of CD28 with mitogenic and nonmitogenic antibodies place new constraints on models of antibody-induced receptor triggering. This work completes the initial structural characterization of the CD28-CTLA-4-CD80-CD86 signaling system.
    Nature Immunology 04/2005; 6(3):271-9. · 26.20 Impact Factor