[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report unexpected mass spectrometric observations of glycosylated human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class Ibound peptides. Complemented by molecular modeling, in vitro enzymatic assays, and oxonium ion patterns, we propose that the observed O-linked glycans carrying up to five monosaccharides are extended O-GlcNAc’s rather than GalNAc-initiated Oglycans. A cytosolic O-GlcNAc modification is normally terminal and does not extend to produce a polysaccharide, but O-GlcNAc on an HLA peptide presents a special case because the loaded HLA class I complex traffics through the endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi apparatus on its way to the cell membrane, and is hence exposed to glycosyltransferases. In addition we report for the first
time natural HLA class I presentation of O- and N-linked glycopeptides derived from membrane proteins. HLA class I peptides with centrally located oligosaccharides have been shown to be immunogenic and may therefore be important targets for immunesurveillance.
Journal of the American Chemical Society 08/2015; DOI:10.1021/jacs.5b06586 · 11.44 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bordetella pertussis is a Gram-negative bacterium and the causative agent of whooping cough. Despite high vaccination coverage, outbreaks are being increasingly reported worldwide. Possible explanations include adaptation of this pathogen, which may interfere with recognition by the innate immune system. Here, we describe innate immune recognition and responses to different B. pertussis clinical isolates. By using HEK-Blue cells transfected with different pattern recognition receptors, we found that 3 out of 19 clinical isolates fail to activate TLR4. These findings were confirmed using the monocytic MM6 cell line. Although incubation with high concentrations of these 3 strains resulted in significant activation of the MM6 cells, it was found to occur mainly through interaction with TLR2 and not through TLR4. When using live bacteria, these 3 strains also failed to activate TLR4 on HEK-Blue cells and activation of MM6 cells or human monocyte-derived dendritic cells was significantly less compared to activation with the other 16 strains. Mass spectrum analysis of the lipid A from these 3 strains indicated an altered structure of this molecule. Gene sequence analysis revealed mutations in genes involved in lipid A synthesis. Findings from this study indicate that B. pertussis isolates, that do not activate TLR4, occur naturally and that this phenotype may give this bacterium an advantage in tempering the innate immune response and establishing infection. Knowledge on the strategies used by this pathogen on evading the host immune response is essential for the improvement of current vaccines or for the development of new ones.
Infection and Immunity 10/2014; 83(1). DOI:10.1128/IAI.02197-14 · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background. Since 2009, various mumps outbreaks have occurred in the Netherlands, affecting mostly young
adults vaccinated against mumps. In this retrospective study, we estimated attack rates for symptomatic and asymptomatic mumps virus infection based on mumps-specific immunoglobulin (Ig)G concentrations in paired blood samples obtained before and after the mumps outbreaks, collected in 2 university cities. We aimed to identify a serological correlate of immune protection and risk factors for mumps virus infection.
Methods. Mumps-specific IgG levels were measured by Luminex technology in paired pre- and post-outbreak
samples from students from Leiden (n = 135) and Utrecht (n = 619). Persons with a 4-fold increase in mumps IgG concentrations or mumps IgG concentrations >1500 RU/mL were assumed to have had a mumps virus infection.
Results. Attack rates for symptomatic and asymptomatic mumps virus infection were 2.0% and 3.8%, respectively. Pre-outbreak mumps-specific IgG concentrations were lower among cases than among noncases (P = .005) despite vaccination history, but no serological cutoff for immune protection could be established. Mumps among housemates was significantly associated with serological evidence for mumps virus infection (odds ratio, 7.25 [95% confidence interval, 3.20–16.40]; P < .001).
Conclusions. Symptomatic and asymptomatic mumps virus infections in vaccinated persons can be identified
by retrospective assessment of mumps-specific IgG antibodies in blood samples.
Keywords. asymptomatic infection; attack rates; correlate of protection; IgG antibodies; MMR vaccination;
mumps virus; risk factors; serology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Worldwide resurgence of pertussis necessitates the need for improvement of pertussis vaccines and vaccination strategies. Since natural infections induce a longer-lasting immunity than vaccinations, detailed knowledge of the immune responses following natural infection can provide important clues for such improvement. The purpose was to elucidate the kinetics of the protective immune response evolving after experimental Bordetella pertussis (B. pertussis) infection in mice. Data were collected from (i) individual analyses, i.e. microarray, flow cytometry, multiplex immunoassays, and bacterial clearance; (ii) twelve time points during the infection; and (iii) different tissues involved in the immune responses, i.e. lungs, spleen and blood. Combined data revealed detailed insight in molecular and cellular sequence of events connecting different phases (innate, bridging and adaptive) of the immune response following the infection. We detected a prolonged acute phase response, broad pathogen recognition, and early gene signatures of subsequent T-cell recruitment in the lungs. Activation of particular transcription factors and specific cell markers provided insight into the time course of the transition from innate towards adaptive immune responses, which resulted in a broad spectrum of systemic antibody subclasses and splenic Th1/Th17 memory cells against B. pertussis. In addition, signatures preceding the local generation of Th1 and Th17 cells as well as IgA in the lungs, considered key elements in protection against B. pertussis, were established. In conclusion, molecular and cellular immunological processes in response to live B. pertussis infection were unraveled, which may provide guidance in selecting new vaccine candidates that should evoke local and prolonged protective immune responses.
PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e104548. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0104548 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CD4(+) T cells are prominent effector cells in controlling Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) infection but may also contribute to immunopathology. Studies probing the CD4(+) T cell response from individuals latently infected with Mtb or patients with active tuberculosis using either small or proteome-wide antigen screens so far revealed a multi-antigenic, yet mostly invariable repertoire of immunogenic Mtb proteins. Recent developments in mass spectrometry-based proteomics have highlighted the occurrence of numerous types of post-translational modifications (PTMs) in proteomes of prokaryotes, including Mtb. The well-known PTMs in Mtb are glycosylation, lipidation, or phosphorylation, known regulators of protein function or compartmentalization. Other PTMs include methylation, acetylation, and pupylation, involved in protein stability. While all PTMs add variability to the Mtb proteome, relatively little is understood about their role in the anti-Mtb immune responses. Here, we review Mtb protein PTMs and methods to assess their role in protective immunity against Mtb.
Frontiers in Immunology 08/2014; 5:361. DOI:10.3389/fimmu.2014.00361
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of peptides presented by human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I is tremendously important for the understanding of antigen presentation mechanisms under healthy or diseased conditions. Currently, mass spectrometry-based methods represent the best methodology for the identification of HLA class I-associated peptides. However, the HLA class I peptide repertoire remains largely unexplored because the variable nature of endogenous peptides represents difficulties in conventional peptide fragmentation technology. Here, we substantially enhanced (about threefold) the identification success rate of peptides presented by HLA class I using combined electron-transfer/higher-energy collision dissociation (EThcD), reporting over 12,000 high-confident (false discovery rate <1%) peptides from a single human B-cell line. The direct importance of such an unprecedented large dataset is highlighted by the discovery of unique features in antigen presentation. The observation that a substantial part of proteins is sampled across different HLA alleles, and the common occurrence of HLA class I nested sets, suggest that the constraints of HLA class I to comprehensively present the health states of cells are not as tight as previously thought. Our dataset contains a substantial set of peptides bearing a variety of posttranslational modifications presented with marked allele-specific differences. We propose that EThcD should become the method of choice in analyzing HLA class I-presented peptides.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 03/2014; 111(12). DOI:10.1073/pnas.1321458111 · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Knowledge of naturally processed Bordetella pertussis (B. pertussis) specific T cell epitopes may help to better understand the basis of cell-mediated immune mechanisms to control this re-emerging pathogen. Here we for the first time elucidate dominant MHC class II-presented B. pertussis CD4(+) T cell epitopes, expressed on human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDC) after processing of whole bacterial cells, using a platform immunoproteomics technology. Pertussis epitopes identified in the context of HLA-DR molecules were derived from two envelope proteins, i.e. putative periplasmic protein (PPP) and putative peptidoglycan-associated lipoprotein (PAL), and from two cytosolic proteins, i.e. 10 kDa chaporonin groES protein (groES) and adenylosuccinate synthetase (ASS). No epitopes were detectable from known virulence factors. CD4(+) T cell responsiveness in healthy adults against peptide pools representing epitope regions or full proteins confirmed immunogenicity of PAL, PPP, groES and ASS. Elevated lymphoproliferative activity to PPP, groES and ASS in subjects within a year after diagnosis of symptomatic pertussis suggested immunogenic exposure to these proteins during clinical infection. The PAL, PPP, groES and ASS specific responses were associated with secretion of functional Th1 (TNF-α and IFN-γ) and Th2 (IL-5 and Il-13) cytokines. Relative paucity in the natural B. pertussis epitope display of MDDC, not dominated by epitopes from known protective antigens, could interfere with effectiveness of immune recognition of B. pertussis. A more complete understanding of hallmarks in B. pertussis specific immunity may advance the design of novel immunological assays and prevention strategies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: For a better understanding of the maintenance of immune mechanisms to Bordetella pertussis (Bp) in relation to age, we investigated the dynamic range of specific B cell responses in various age-groups at different time points after a laboratory confirmed pertussis infection. Blood samples were obtained in a Dutch cross sectional observational study from symptomatic pertussis cases. Lymphocyte subpopulations were phenotyped by flowcytometry before and after culture. Memory B (Bmem) cells were differentiated into IgG antibody secreting cells (ASC) by polyclonal stimulation and detected by an ELISPOT assay specific for pertussis antigens pertussis toxin (Ptx), filamentous haemagglutinin (FHA) and pertactin (Prn). Bp antigen specific IgG concentrations in plasma were determined using multiplex technology. The majority of subjects having experienced a clinical pertussis episode demonstrated high levels of both Bp specific IgG and Bmem cell levels within the first 6 weeks after diagnosis. Significantly lower levels were observed thereafter. Waning of cellular and humoral immunity to maintenance levels occurred within 9 months after antigen encounter. Age was found to determine the maximum but not base-line frequencies of Bmem cell populations; higher levels of Bmem cells specific for Ptx and FHA were reached in adults and (pre-) elderly compared to under-fours and schoolchildren in the first 6 weeks after Bp exposure, whereas not in later phases. This age effect was less obvious for specific IgG levels. Nonetheless, subjects' levels of specific Bmem cells and specific IgG were weakly correlated. This is the first study to show that both age and closeness to last Bp encounter impacts the size of Bp specific Bmem cell and plasma IgG levels.
PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e85227. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0085227 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pertussis is still occurring in highly vaccinated populations, affecting individuals of all ages. Long-lived Th1 CD4(+) T cells are essential for protective immunity against pertussis. For better understanding of the limited immunological memory to Bordetella pertussis, we used a panel of Pertactin and Pertussis toxin specific peptides to interrogate CD4(+) T cell responses at the epitope level in a unique cohort of symptomatic pertussis patients of different ages, at various time intervals after infection. Our study showed that pertussis epitope-specific T cell responses contained Th1 and Th2 components irrespective of the epitope studied, time after infection, or age. In contrast, the breadth of the pertussis-directed CD4(+) T cell response seemed dependent on age and closeness to infection. Multi-epitope specificity long-term after infection was lost in older age groups. Detailed knowledge on pertussis specific immune mechanisms and their insufficiencies is important for understanding resurgence of pertussis in highly vaccinated populations.
PLoS ONE 12/2013; 8(12):e83583. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0083583 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Reestablishing self-tolerance in autoimmunity is thought to depend on self-reactive regulatory T cells (Tregs). Exploiting these antigen-specific regulators is hampered by the obscure nature of disease-relevant autoantigens. We have uncovered potent disease-suppressive Tregs recognizing Heat Shock Protein (Hsp) 70 self-antigens, enabling selective activity in inflamed tissues. Hsp70 is a major contributor to the MHC class II ligandome. Here we show that a conserved Hsp70 epitope (B29) is present in murine MHC class II and that upon transfer, B29-induced CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) T cells suppress established proteoglycan-induced arthritis in mice. These self-antigen-specific Tregs were activated in vivo, and when using Lymphocyte Activation Gene-3 as a selection marker, as few as 4,000 cells sufficed. Furthermore, depletion of transferred Tregs abrogated disease suppression. Transferred cells exhibited a stable phenotype and were found in joints and draining lymph nodes up to 2 mo after transfer. Given that (i) B29 administration by itself suppressed disease, (ii) our findings were made with wild-type (T-cell receptor nontransgenic) Tregs, and (iii) the B29 human homolog is presented by HLA class II, we are nearing translation of antigen-specific Treg activation as a promising intervention for chronic inflammatory diseases.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2012; 109(35):14134-9. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1206803109 · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To enhance preclinical evaluation of serological immune responses to the individual diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) components of DTP combination vaccines, a fast hexavalent bead-based method was developed. This multiplex immunoassay (MIA) can simultaneously determine levels of specific mouse serum IgG antibodies to P antigens P.69 pertactin (P.69 Prn), filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), pertussis toxin (Ptx), and combined fimbria type 2 and 3 antigens (Fim2/3) and to diphtheria toxin (Dtx) and tetanus toxin (TT) in a single well. The mouse DTP MIA was shown to be specific and sensitive and to correlate with the six single in-house enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs) for all antigens. Moreover, the MIA was expanded to include avidity measurements of DTP antigens in a multivalent manner. The sensitivities of the mouse DTP avidity MIA per antigen were comparable to those of the six individual in-house avidity ELISAs, and good correlations between IgG concentrations obtained by both methods for all antigens tested were shown. The regular and avidity mouse DTP MIAs were reproducible, with good intra- and interassay coefficients of variability (CV) for all antigens. Finally, the usefulness of the assay was demonstrated in a longitudinal study of the development and avidity maturation of specific IgG antibodies in mice having received different DTP vaccines. We conclude that the hexaplex mouse DTP MIA is a specific, sensitive, and high-throughput alternative for ELISA to investigate the quantity and quality of serological responses to DTP antigens in preclinical vaccine studies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neisseria meningitidis and Bordetella pertussis are Gram-negative bacterial pathogens that can cause serious diseases in humans. N. meningitidis outer membrane vesicle (OMV) vaccines and whole cell pertussis vaccines have been successfully used in humans to control infections with these pathogens. The mechanisms behind their effectiveness are poorly defined. Here we investigated the role of Toll-like receptor (TLR) 2 and TLR4 in the induction of immune responses in mice after immunization with these vaccines. Innate and adaptive immune responses were compared between wild type mice and mice deficient in TLR2, TLR4, or TRIF. TRIF-deficient and TLR4-deficient mice showed impaired immunity after immunization. In contrast, immune responses were not lower in TLR2-/- mice but tended even to be higher after immunization. Together our data demonstrate that TLR4 activation contributes to the immunogenicity of the N. meningitidis OMV vaccine and the whole cell pertussis vaccine, but that TLR2 activation is not required.
PLoS ONE 12/2010; 5(12):e15692. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0015692 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Frequent occurrence of whooping cough in vaccinated populations suggests limited duration of vaccine-induced immunological memory. To investigate peculiarities in B cell memory specific for pertussis antigens P.69 pertactin (P.69 Prn), pertussis toxin (Ptx) and filamentous hemagglutinin (FHA), we monitored the induction and maintenance of specific serum IgG, long-lived bone marrow (BM)-derived plasma cell (PC) and splenic memory B cell (B(mem)) populations in a long-term preclinical vaccination model. Groups of BALB/c mice were primed and boosted (day 28) with a combined diphtheria (D), tetanus (T), acellular pertussis (aP) vaccine (DTaP) or whole cell pertussis (P) vaccine (DTP) and the immune status was followed over time. Levels of pertussis specific IgG, induced after primary and booster immunization, peaked at day 98 to decline thereafter. This was not paralleled by a decay, but rather an increase in BM resident specific PC, over time (>1 year). In contrast, splenic B(mem) peaked after booster immunization to decline till background levels. Late recall of immunological memory more than 1 year after primary and booster vaccination, however, did reveal a rapid proliferative response of pre-existing B(mem) but failed to evoke an anamnestic IgG response. A combination of waning P-antigen specific IgG production by PC and poor functions of the B(mem) compartment such as self-maintenance and anamnestic IgG responses could be a hallmark of waning pertussis immunity. A better understanding of the mechanisms of limited immunological memory to pertussis may help to improve current vaccines.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: P.69 pertactin (P.69 Prn), an adhesion molecule from the causative agent of pertussis, Bordetella pertussis, is present in cellular and most acellular vaccines that are currently used worldwide. Although both humoral immunity and cellular immunity directed against P.69 Prn have been implicated in protective immune mechanisms, the identities of CD4(+) T-cell epitopes on the P.69 Prn protein remain unknown. Here, a single I-A(d)-restricted B. pertussis conserved CD4(+) T-cell epitope at the N terminus of P.69 Prn was identified by using a BALB/c T-cell hybridoma. The epitope appeared immunodominant among four other minor strain-conserved P.69 Prn epitopes recognized after vaccination and B. pertussis infection, and it was capable of evoking a Th1/Th17-type cytokine response. B. pertussis P.69 Prn immune splenocytes did not cross-react with natural variants of the epitope as present in Bordetella parapertussis and Bordetella bronchiseptica. Finally, it was found that the immunodominant P.69 Prn epitope is broadly recognized in the human population by CD4(+) T cells in an HLA-DQ-restricted manner. During B. pertussis infection, the epitope was associated with a Th1-type CD4(+) T-cell response. Hence, this novel P.69 Prn epitope is involved in CD4(+) T-cell immunity after B. pertussis vaccination and infection in mice and, more importantly, in humans. Thus, it may provide a useful tool for the evaluation of the type, magnitude, and maintenance of B. pertussis-specific CD4(+) T-cell mechanisms in preclinical and clinical vaccine studies.
Infection and immunity 12/2008; 77(2):896-903. DOI:10.1128/IAI.00769-08 · 4.16 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Highly homologous meningococcal porin A (PorA) proteins induce protective humoral immunity against Neisseria meningitidis group B infection but with large and consistent differences in the levels of serum bactericidal activity achieved. We investigated whether a poor PorA-specific serological outcome is associated with a limited size of the specific B-cell subpopulation involved. The numbers of PorA-specific splenic plasma cells, bone marrow (BM) plasma cells, and splenic memory B cells were compared between mice that received priming and boosting with the weakly immunogenic PorA (P1.7-2,4) protein and those that received priming and boosting with the highly immunogenic PorA (P1.5-1,2-2) protein. Immunoglobulin G (IgG) titers (except at day 42), bactericidal activity, and the avidity of IgG produced against P1.7-2,4 were significantly lower at all time points after priming and boosting than against P1.5-1,2-2. These differences, however, were not associated with a lack of P1.7-2,4-specific plasma cells. Instead, priming with both of the PorAs resulted in the initial expansion of comparable numbers of splenic and BM plasma cells. Moreover, P1.7-2,4-specific BM plasma cells, but not P1.5-1,2-2-specific plasma cells, expanded significantly further after boosting. Likewise, after a relative delay during the priming phase, the splenic P1.7-2,4-specific memory B cells largely outnumbered those specific for P1.5-1,2-2, upon boosting. These trends were observed with different vaccine formulations of the porins. Our results show for the first time that B-cell subpopulations involved in a successfully maturated antibody response against a clinically relevant vaccine antigen are maintained at smaller population sizes than those associated with poor affinity maturation. This bears consequences for the interpretation of immunological memory data in clinical vaccine trials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Virus infection induces an adaptive immune response by T cells that is specific for defined viral epitopes. The epitope-specific analysis of T cells has become an important tool for investigating the anti viral response following infection or vaccination. In this review, the inherent differences in the procedures to identify the epitopes are discussed. Specifically, the screening of lymphocytes for epitope specific responses and the usage of mass spectrometry for sequencing of viral epitopes are evaluated.