Rhubell Brown

University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, United States

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Publications (15)81.45 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: HIV-1 entry into host cells is mediated by interactions between the virus envelope glycoprotein (gp120/gp41) and host-cell receptors. N-glycans represent approximately 50% of the molecular mass of gp120 and serve as potential antigenic determinants and/or as a shield against immune recognition. We previously reported that N-glycosylation of recombinant gp120 varied, depending on the producer cells, and the glycosylation variability affected gp120 recognition by serum antibodies from persons infected with HIV-1 subtype B. However, the impact of gp120 differential glycosylation on recognition by broadly neutralizing monoclonal antibodies or by polyclonal antibodies of individuals infected with other HIV-1 subtypes is unknown.
    AIDS Research and Therapy 01/2014; 11:23. · 2.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The pathogenic roles of glomerular deposition of components of the complement cascade in IgA nephropathy (IgAN) are not completely clarified. To investigate the pathologic role of complement pathways in IgAN, two IgAN-prone mouse models were examined. Grouped ddY (gddY) mice showed significant high proteinuria, severe glomerular lesions, and extracellular matrix expansion compared with high serum IgA (HIGA) mice but with similar intensity of glomerular IgA deposition. Glomerular activation of the classical, lectin, and alternative pathways was demonstrated by significantly stronger staining for complement (C)3, C5b-9, C1q, C4, mannose-binding lectin (MBL)-A/C, MBL-associated serine protease-2, and factor B and properdin in gddY mice than in HIGA mice. Similarly, the serum levels of IgA-IgG2a/IgM and IgA-MBL-A/C immune complexes and polymeric IgA were significantly higher in gddY mice than in HIGA mice. Moreover, the serum levels of aberrantly glycosylated IgA characterized by the binding of Sambucus nigra bark lectin and Ricinus communis agglutinin I were significantly higher in gddY mice than in HIGA mice. This aberrancy in glycosylation was confirmed by monosaccharide compositional analysis of purified IgA using gas-liquid chromatography. This study is the first to demonstrate that aberrantly glycosylated IgA may influence the formation of macromolecular IgA including IgA-IgG immune complexes and subsequent complement activation, leading to full progression of IgAN.
    American Journal Of Pathology 08/2012; 181(4):1338-47. · 4.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: ddY mice spontaneously develop IgA nephropathy (IgAN) with a variable age of disease onset. Establishing a model with early-onset IgAN could aid the investigation of mechanisms that underlie the pathogenesis of this disease. On the basis of histologic grading in serial biopsies, we previously classified ddY mice into early-onset, late-onset, and quiescent groups. Here, we selectively mated mice with the early-onset phenotype for >20 generations and established "grouped ddY" mice that develop IgAN within 8 weeks of age. Similar to human IgAN, the prognosis was worse for male mice than females. These mice homogeneously retained genotypes of four marker loci previously associated with the early-onset phenotype, confirming a close association of these loci with early-onset IgAN in ddY mice. Grouped ddY mice comprised two sublines, however, which had distinct genotypes at a susceptibility locus for high serum IgA levels, which maps within the Ig heavy-chain gene complex. The subline bearing the Igh-2(a) IgA allotype had a more rapid course of fatal disease and lower oligosaccharide content, suggesting that aberrant IgA glycosylation may promote the progression of murine IgAN. Taken together, these data indicate that grouped ddY mice may be a useful model for the identification of susceptibility genes and the underlying molecular mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of human IgAN.
    Journal of the American Society of Nephrology 07/2012; 23(8):1364-74. · 8.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IgA nephropathy (IgAN) patients have elevated serum levels of immune complexes consisting of IgA1 with galactose-deficient hinge-region O-glycans (Gd-IgA1) and anti-glycan IgG. These immune complexes deposit in the kidney and activate mesangial cells. To confirm that the activity of these immune complexes depends on the interaction of Gd-IgA1 with anti-glycan IgG, we generated in vitro analogous immune complexes using Gd-IgA1 myeloma protein and anti-glycan IgG from cord blood of healthy women. The Gd-IgA1 and anti-glycan IgG from cord-blood serum formed IgA1-IgG immune complexes that resembled those in sera of patients with IgAN. Furthermore, the ability to activate cellular proliferation was dependent on a heat-sensitive serum factor. In summary, we developed a new protocol for in-vitro formation of IgA1-IgG immune complexes, thus providing a new tool for studies of the pathogenesis of IgAN.
    Results in immunology. 01/2012; 2:166-172.
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    ABSTRACT: Circulating immune complexes (CIC) containing galactose (Gal)-deficient IgA1 from adults with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) induce proliferation of cultured mesangial cells, but activities of CIC from pediatric patients with the disease have not been studied. CIC of different sizes were isolated from sera of pediatric and adult IgAN patients and their effects on cultured human mesangial cells (MC) were assessed by measuring cellular proliferation, expression of IL-6 and IL-8 and laminin and phosphotyrosine signaling. Large CIC from pediatric IgAN patients (>800 kDa) containing Gal-deficient IgA1 stimulated cellular proliferation, whereas in some patients, smaller CIC were inhibitory. Addition of stimulatory and inhibitory CIC to MC differentially altered phosphorylation patterns of three major tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins of molecular mass 37, 60 and 115 kDa. The stimulatory CIC transiently increased tyrosine-phosphorylation of the 37-kDa protein and decreased phosphorylation of the other two proteins, whereas the inhibitory CIC increased phosphorylation of all three proteins. Furthermore, we investigated the influence of IgA1-containing CIC from sera of children with IgAN with clinically active disease (i.e., abnormal urinalysis and/or serum creatinine concentration) or inactive disease (i.e., normal urinalysis and serum creatinine concentration) on the expression of IL-6 and IL-8 genes by mesangial cells. Real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction results showed that the CIC from a patient with active disease stimulated MC to express the two cytokine genes at higher levels than did the CIC from a patient with inactive disease. Moreover, stimulatory CIC increased production of the extracellular matrix protein laminin. These data indicate that sera of pediatric IgAN patients contain biologically active CIC with Gal-deficient IgA1.
    Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation 08/2011; 26(11):3451-7. · 3.37 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry is mediated by the interaction between a variably glycosylated envelope glycoprotein (gp120) and host-cell receptors. Approximately half of the molecular mass of gp120 is contributed by N-glycans, which serve as potential epitopes and may shield gp120 from immune recognition. The role of gp120 glycans in the host immune response to HIV-1 has not been comprehensively studied at the molecular level. We developed a new approach to characterize cell-specific gp120 glycosylation, the regulation of glycosylation, and the effect of variable glycosylation on antibody reactivity. A model oligomeric gp120 was expressed in different cell types, including cell lines that represent host-infected cells or cells used to produce gp120 for vaccination purposes. N-Glycosylation of gp120 varied, depending on the cell type used for its expression and the metabolic manipulation during expression. The resultant glycosylation included changes in the ratio of high-mannose to complex N-glycans, terminal decoration, and branching. Differential glycosylation of gp120 affected envelope recognition by polyclonal antibodies from the sera of HIV-1-infected subjects. These results indicate that gp120 glycans contribute to antibody reactivity and should be considered in HIV-1 vaccine design.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2010; 285(27):20860-20869. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) entry is mediated by the interaction between a variably glycosylated envelope glycoprotein (gp120) and host-cell receptors. Approximately half of the molecular mass of gp120 is contributed by N-glycans, which serve as potential epitopes and may shield gp120 from immune recognition. The role of gp120 glycans in the host immune response to HIV-1 has not been comprehensively studied at the molecular level. We developed a new approach to characterize cell-specific gp120 glycosylation, the regulation of glycosylation, and the effect of variable glycosylation on antibody reactivity. A model oligomeric gp120 was expressed in different cell types, including cell lines that represent host-infected cells or cells used to produce gp120 for vaccination purposes. N-Glycosylation of gp120 varied, depending on the cell type used for its expression and the metabolic manipulation during expression. The resultant glycosylation included changes in the ratio of high-mannose to complex N-glycans, terminal decoration, and branching. Differential glycosylation of gp120 affected envelope recognition by polyclonal antibodies from the sera of HIV-1-infected subjects. These results indicate that gp120 glycans contribute to antibody reactivity and should be considered in HIV-1 vaccine design.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2010; 285(27):20860-9. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is characterized by circulating immune complexes composed of galactose-deficient IgA1 and a glycan-specific IgG antibody. These immune complexes deposit in the glomerular mesangium and induce the mesangioproliferative glomerulonephritis characteristic of IgAN. To define the precise specificities and molecular properties of the IgG antibodies, we generated EBV-immortalized IgG-secreting lymphocytes from patients with IgAN and found that the secreted IgG formed complexes with galactose-deficient IgA1 in a glycan-dependent manner. We cloned and sequenced the heavy- and light-chain antigen-binding domains of IgG specific for galactose-deficient IgA1 and identified an A to S substitution in the complementarity-determining region 3 of the variable region of the gene encoding the IgG heavy chain in IgAN patients. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis that reverted the residue to alanine reduced the binding of recombinant IgG to galactose-deficient IgA1. Finally, we developed a dot-blot assay for the glycan-specific IgG antibody that differentiated patients with IgAN from healthy and disease controls with 88% specificity and 95% sensitivity and found that elevated levels of this antibody in the sera of patients with IgAN correlated with proteinuria. Collectively, these findings indicate that glycan-specific antibodies are associated with the development of IgAN and may represent a disease-specific marker and potential therapeutic target.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 07/2009; 119(6):1668-77. · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Aberrant glycosylation of IgA1 plays an essential role in the pathogenesis of IgA nephropathy. This abnormality is manifested by a deficiency of galactose in the hinge-region O-linked glycans of IgA1. Biosynthesis of these glycans occurs in a stepwise fashion beginning with the addition of N-acetylgalactosamine by the enzyme N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 2 and continuing with the addition of either galactose by beta1,3-galactosyltransferase or a terminal sialic acid by a N-acetylgalactosamine-specific alpha2,6-sialyltransferase. To identify the molecular basis for the aberrant IgA glycosylation, we established EBV-immortalized IgA1-producing cells from peripheral blood cells of patients with IgA nephropathy. The secreted IgA1 was mostly polymeric and had galactose-deficient O-linked glycans, characterized by a terminal or sialylated N-acetylgalactosamine. As controls, we showed that EBV-immortalized cells from patients with lupus nephritis and healthy individuals did not produce IgA with the defective galactosylation pattern. Analysis of the biosynthetic pathways in cloned EBV-immortalized cells from patients with IgA nephropathy indicated a decrease in beta1,3-galactosyltransferase activity and an increase in N-acetylgalactosamine-specific alpha2,6-sialyltransferase activity. Also, expression of beta1,3-galactosyltransferase was significantly lower, and that of N-acetylgalactosamine-specific alpha2,6-sialyltransferase was significantly higher than the expression of these genes in the control cells. Thus, our data suggest that premature sialylation likely contributes to the aberrant IgA1 glycosylation in IgA nephropathy and may represent a new therapeutic target.
    Journal of Clinical Investigation 03/2008; 118(2):629-39. · 12.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Glycosylation defects occur in several human diseases. In IgA nephropathy, IgA1 contains O-glycans that are galactose-deficient and consist mostly of core 1 α2,6 sialylated N-acetylgalactosamine, a configuration suspected to prevent β1,3 galactosylation. We confirmed the same aberrancy in IgA1 secreted by the human DAKIKI B cell line. Biochemical assays indicated CMP-NeuAc:GalNAc-IgA1 α2,6-sialyltransferase activity in this cell line. However, a candidate enzyme, ST6-GalNAcI, was not transcribed in DAKIKI cells, B cells isolated from blood, or Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-immortalized IgA1-producing cells from the blood of IgAN patients and healthy controls. Instead, ST6-GalNAcII transcription was detected at a high level. Expression of the ST6-GalNAcII gene and activity of the CMP-NeuAc:GalNAc-IgA1 α2,6-sialyltransferase were higher in IgA1-producing cell lines from IgAN patients than in such cells from healthy controls. These data are the first evidence that human cells that lack ST6-GalNAcI can sialylate core 1 GalNAc-Ser/Thr.
    Journal of Molecular Biology 06/2007; · 3.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Lectins are proteins with specificity of binding to certain monosaccharides or oligosaccharides. They can detect abnormal glycosylation patterns on immunoglobulins in patients with various chronic inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and IgA nephropathy (IgAN). However, lectins exhibit binding heterogeneity, depending on their source and methods of isolation. To characterize potential differences in recognition of terminal N-acetylgalactosamine (GalNAc) on IgA1, we evaluated the binding characteristics of several commercial preparations of GalNAc-specific lectins using a panel of IgA1 and, as controls, IgA2 and IgG myeloma proteins. These lectins originated from snails Helix aspersa (HAA) and Helix pomatia (HPA), and the plant Vicia villosa (VV). Only HAA and HPA bound exclusively to IgA1, with its O-linked glycans composed of GalNAc, galactose, and sialic acid. In contrast, VV reacted with sugars of both IgA subclasses and IgG, indicating that it also recognized N-linked glycans without GalNAc. Furthermore, HAA and HPA from several manufacturers differed in their ability to bind various IgA1 myeloma proteins and other GalNAc-containing glycoproteins in ELISA and Western blot. For serum samples from IgAN patients, HAA was the optimal lectin to study IgA1 glycosylation in ELISA and Western blot assays, including identification of the sites of attachment of the aberrant glycans. The galactose-deficient glycans were site-specific, localized mostly at Thr228 and/or Ser230. Because of the heterogeneity of GalNAc-specific lectins, they should be carefully characterized with appropriate substrates before undertaking any study.
    Molecular Immunology 05/2007; 44(10):2598-604. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: IgA1 in the circulation and glomerular deposits of patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) is aberrantly glycosylated; the hinge-region O-linked glycans are galactose-deficient. The circulating IgA1 of patients with Henoch-Schoenlein purpura nephritis (HSPN) has a similar defect. This aberrancy exposes N-acetylgalactosamine-containing neoepitopes recognized by naturally occurring IgG or IgA1 antibodies resulting in formation of immune complexes. IgA1 contains up to six O-glycosylation sites per heavy chain; it is not known whether the glycosylation defect occurs randomly or preferentially at specific sites. We sought to define the aberrant glycosylation of a galactose-deficient IgA1 myeloma protein and analyze the formation of the immune complexes and their biological activities. Supplementation of serum or cord-blood serum with this IgA1 protein resulted in formation of new IgA1 complexes. These complexes stimulated proliferation of cultured human mesangial cells, as did the naturally-occurring IgA1-containing complexes from sera of patients with IgAN and HSPN. Uncomplexed IgA1 did not affect cellular proliferation. Using specific proteases, lectin Western blots, and mass spectrometry, we determined the O-glycosylation sites in the hinge region of the IgA1 myeloma protein and IgA1 proteins from sera of IgAN patients. The IgA1 myeloma protein had galactose-deficient sites at residues 228 and/or 230 and 232. These sites reacted with IgG specific to galactose-deficient IgA1. IgA1 from the IgAN patients had galactose-deficient O-glycans at the same residues. In summary, we identified the neoepitopes on IgA1 responsible for formation of the pathogenic immune complexes. These studies may lead to development of noninvasive diagnostic assays and future disease-specific therapy.
    Contributions to nephrology 02/2007; 157:134-8. · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The circulating immune complexes in IgA nephropathy (IgAN) are composed of galactose (Gal)-deficient IgA1 bound to IgG or IgA1 antibodies specific for hinge-region O-linked glycans of Gal-deficient IgA1. To analyze properties of the anti-glycan antibodies, we determined the binding of serum IgG and IgG secreted by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)- immortalized B cells from patients with biopsy-proven IgAN (n = 12) and healthy controls (n = 5) to a panel of antigens coated on ELISA plates. These antigens were: (1) enzymatically desialylated and degalactosylated IgA1 myeloma protein (dd-IgA1), (2) Fab fragment of Gal-deficient IgA1 containing part of the hinge region with O-glycans (Fab-IgA1), (3) synthetic hinge-region peptide linked to bovine albumin (HR-BSA), and (4) synthetic hingeregion glycopeptide with three GalNAc residues linked to BSA (HR-GalNAc-BSA). IgG-secreting EBV-immortalized cell lines were subcloned by limiting dilution. The concentration of total IgG and distribution of IgG subclasses were measured by ELISA. The levels of IgG in sera and supernatants directed against dd-IgA1 and Fab-IgA1 were significantly higher in IgAN patients than in controls (p < 0.01). IgG from IgAN patients exhibited strong reactivity with HR-GalNAc-BSA, but not with HR-BSA. The IgG-secreting cell lines produced antibodies specific to dd-IgA1; the antigen-specific IgG was most frequently of the IgG2 subclass. In summary, sera and supernatants from IgG-secreting cell lines from patients with IgAN were characterized by high levels of IgG antibodies with specificity to the Gal-deficient O-linked glycans of IgA1. The immortalized cell lines will provide a stable and convenient source of IgG for molecular studies of antibodies specific to the aberrant O-glycans in IgA1.
    Contributions to nephrology 01/2007; 157:129-33. · 1.49 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The IgG from sera of patients with chronic inflammatory diseases of autoimmune character or some chronic microbial infections is frequently deficient in galactose on N-linked glycans. However, this phenomenon has not been investigated at length in human viral infections. To evaluate the glycosylation of serum IgG in HIV-1-positive patients. Psathyrella velutina lectin was used in enzyme-linked immunosorbent and Western blot assays to determine glycosylation. In addition, gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry were utilized to confirm the galactose deficiency observed in the lectin-binding assays. HIV-1-infected individuals had significantly higher levels of galactose-deficient IgG than healthy controls. In fact, the galactose deficiency of the N-linked glycans observed in other diseases was even more profound in HIV-1 infection. This deficiency was primarily restricted to IgG when total serum glycoproteins were evaluated and IgG1 was the subclass most affected in all patients. Also, a significant increase in lectin binding was observed on IgG2 and IgG4 from HIV-1-positive females compared with HIV-1-negative females. Identification of deficient galactosylation of serum IgG from HIV-1-infected patients extended the spectrum of diseases in which this phenomenon has been observed. In addition, the results suggest yet another aspect of immune dysfunction as a result of HIV-1 infection.
    AIDS 04/2005; 19(4):381-9. · 6.41 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sera of patients with IgA nephropathy (IgAN) contain circulating immune complexes (CIC) composed of galactose-deficient IgA1 complexed with antiglycan antibodies. The role of these CIC in the pathogenesis of IgAN is not known. We studied how proliferation of cultured mesangial cells (MC) is affected by CIC prepared from sera of IgAN patients and healthy control subjects using size-exclusion chromatography. CIC-containing fractions were added to serum-starved MC in culture, and cell proliferation was measured using (3)H-thymidine incorporation. The results were confirmed by staining MC using an antibody against proliferating cell nuclear antigen. The incubation of starved MC with serum fractions with M(r) 800 to 900 kD, rich with galactose-deficient IgA1, stimulated proliferation, while fractions with smaller complexes were inhibitory. Furthermore, CIC-containing larger molecular mass fractions isolated from serum of an IgAN patient collected during an episode of macroscopic hematuria stimulated MC proliferation more than CIC obtained during a subsequent quiescent phase. To examine the role of IgA, we removed IgA1 from serum before fractionation. The resultant IgA1-depleted fractions were devoid of stimulatory IgA-CIC. Sera of IgAN patients were also fractionated after addition of desialylated galactose-deficient polymeric IgA1 to form additional immune complexes. Supplementation with a small quantity of this IgA1 increased cellular proliferation in assays using serum fractions of M(r)>/=800 to 900 kD; uncomplexed IgA1 did not affect MC proliferation significantly. In contrast, supplementation with a larger quantity of this IgA1 inhibited cellular proliferation in assays using serum fractions of M(r) 700 to 800 kD. Overall, these findings suggest that CIC containing aberrantly glycosylated IgA1 affect proliferation of MC in vitro and, thus, likely play a role in the pathogenesis of IgAN.
    Kidney International 03/2005; 67(2):504-13. · 8.52 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

442 Citations
81.45 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2005–2014
    • University of Alabama at Birmingham
      • • Department of Microbiology
      • • Department of Pediatrics
      Birmingham, Alabama, United States
  • 2010
    • Palacký University of Olomouc
      Olmütz, Olomoucký, Czech Republic
  • 2007
    • Lund University
      Lund, Skåne, Sweden