Simon J Davis

University of Cambridge, Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom

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Publications (73)710.7 Total impact

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  • Michael L Dustin, Simon J Davis
    Nature Immunology 01/2014; 15(2):136-7. · 26.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The glutamine synthetase-based protein expression system is widely used in industry and academia for producing recombinant proteins but relies on the cloning of transfected cells, necessitating substantial investments in time and handling. We streamlined the production of protein-producing cultures of Chinese hamster ovary cells using this system by co-expressing green fluorescent protein from an internal ribosomal entry site and selecting for high green fluorescent protein-expressing cells using fluorescence-activated cell sorting. Whereas other expression systems utilizing green fluorescent protein and fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based selection have relied on two or more sorting steps, we obtained stable expression of a test protein at levels >50% of that of an "average" clone and ~40% that of the "best" clone following a single sorting step. Versus clone-based selection, the principal savings are in the number of handling steps (reduced by a third), handling time (reduced by 70%), and the time needed to produce protein-expressing cultures (reduced by ~3 weeks). Coupling the glutamine synthetase-based expression system with product-independent selection in this way also facilitated the production of a hard-to-assay protein. Utilizing just a single fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based selection step, the new streamlined implementation of the glutamine synthetase-based protein expression system offers protein yields sufficient for most research purposes, where <10 mg/L of protein expression is often required but relatively large numbers of constructs frequently need to be trialed.
    BMC Biotechnology 09/2013; 13(1):74. · 2.17 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Immune responses to persistent viral infections and cancer often fail because of intense regulation of antigen-specific T cells-a process referred to as immune exhaustion. The mechanisms that underlie the induction of exhaustion are not completely understood. To gain novel insights into this process, we simultaneously examined the dynamics of virus-specific CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells in the living spleen by two-photon microscopy (TPM) during the establishment of an acute or persistent viral infection. We demonstrate that immune exhaustion during viral persistence maps anatomically to the splenic marginal zone/red pulp and is defined by prolonged motility paralysis of virus-specific CD8(+) and CD4(+) T cells. Unexpectedly, therapeutic blockade of PD-1-PD-L1 restored CD8(+) T cell motility within 30 min, despite the presence of high viral loads. This result was supported by planar bilayer data showing that PD-L1 localizes to the central supramolecular activation cluster, decreases antiviral CD8(+) T cell motility, and promotes stable immunological synapse formation. Restoration of T cell motility in vivo was followed by recovery of cell signaling and effector functions, which gave rise to a fatal disease mediated by IFN-γ. We conclude that motility paralysis is a manifestation of immune exhaustion induced by PD-1 that prevents antiviral CD8(+) T cells from performing their effector functions and subjects them to prolonged states of negative immune regulation.
    Journal of Experimental Medicine 03/2013; · 13.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Persistent viral infections and tumors often pose a challenge to the immune system by exposing T and B cells to heightened antigenic loads and/or diverse immunoregulatory machinery. Conse­ quently, lymphocytes exposed to these environ­ ments are stricken with a state of dysfunction commonly referred to as immune exhaustion (Wherry, 2011). The term exhaustion refers to a state of functional decline that occurs when lymphocytes are chronically exposed to an anti­ gen. During a persistent viral infection, this is operationally defined for T cells as a progressive loss in their ability to lyse target cells and pro­ duce important cytokines such as IFN­, TNF, and IL­2 (Ahmed and Oldstone, 1988; Zajac et al., 1998; Brooks et al., 2005; Wherry et al., 2003). Exhaustion can in some instances be followed by clonal deletion, resulting in the physical removal of antiviral cells from the im­ mune repertoire (Moskophidis et al., 1993). It is now widely accepted that immune exhaustion contributes to the persistence of many viruses as well as tumors and is maintained by negative im­ mune regulators such as PD­1 (Barber et al., 2006; Velu et al., 2009), IL­10 (Brooks et al., 2006b; Ejrnaes et al., 2006), and CTLA­4 (Kaufmann et al., 2007). Recent studies have shown that ther­ apeutic blockade of negative immune regulators can reverse immune exhaustion and promote clearance of both viruses and tumors (Kim and Ahmed, 2010). Immunoregulatory blockade can also be added to therapeutic vaccination regimens to improve their efficacy (Brooks et al., 2008; Ha et al., 2008). In general, immune regulators are CORRESPONDENCE Dorian B. McGavern:
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    ABSTRACT: PD-1, a receptor expressed by T-cells, B-cells and monocytes, is a potent regulator of immune responses and a promising therapeutic target. The structure and interactions of human PD-1 are, however, incompletely characterized. We present the solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR)-based structure of the human PD-1 extracellular region and detailed analyses of its interactions with its ligands, PD-L1 and PD-L2. PD-1 has typical immunoglobulin superfamily topology, but differs at the edge of the GFCC' sheet which is flexible and completely lacks a C″ strand. Changes in PD-1 backbone NMR signals induced by ligand binding suggest that, whilst binding is centred on the GFCC' sheet, PD-1 is engaged by its two ligands differently and in ways incompletely explained by crystal structures of mouse PD-1/ligand complexes. The affinities of these interactions and that of PD-L1 with the costimulatory protein B7-1, measured using surface plasmon resonance, are significantly weaker than expected. The three- to four-fold greater affinity of PD-L2 versus PD-L1 for human PD-1 is principally due to the three-fold smaller dissociation rate for PD-L2 binding. Isothermal titration calorimetry revealed that the PD-1/PD-L1 interaction is entropically driven, whereas PD-1/PD-L2 binding has a large enthalpic component. Mathematical simulations based on the biophysical data and quantitative expression data suggest an unexpectedly limited contribution of PD-L2 to PD-1 ligation during interactions of activated T-cells with antigen presenting cells. These findings provide a rigorous structural and biophysical framework for interpreting the important functions of PD-1, and reveal that potent inhibitory signalling can be initiated by weakly interacting receptors.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 02/2013; · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2013; 104(2):525-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2013; 104(2):525-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Determining the organization of key molecules on the surface of live cells in two dimensions and how this changes during biological processes, such as signalling, is a major challenge in cell biology and requires methods with nanoscale spatial resolution and high temporal resolution. Here, we review biophysical tools, based on scanning ion conductance microscopy and single-molecule fluorescence and the combination of both of these methods, which have recently been developed to address these issues. We then give examples of how these methods have been be applied to provide new insights into cell membrane organization and function, and discuss some of the issues that will need to be addressed to further exploit these methods in the future.
    Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society B Biological Sciences 01/2013; 368(1611):20120027. · 6.23 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2013; 104(2):503-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Single-particle tracking (SPT) is widely used to study processes from membrane receptor organization to the dynamics of RNAs in living cells. While single-dye labeling strategies have the benefit of being minimally invasive, this comes at the expense of data quality; typically a data set of short trajectories is obtained and analyzed by means of the mean square displacements (MSD) or the distribution of the particles' displacements in a set time interval (jump distance, JD). To evaluate the applicability of both approaches, a quantitative comparison of both methods under typically encountered experimental conditions is necessary. Here we use Monte Carlo simulations to systematically compare the accuracy of diffusion coefficients (D-values) obtained for three cases: one population of diffusing species, two populations with different D-values, and a population switching between two D-values. For the first case we find that the MSD gives more or equally accurate results than the JD analysis (relative errors of D-values <6%). If two diffusing species are present or a particle undergoes a motion change, the JD analysis successfully distinguishes both species (relative error <5%). Finally we apply the JD analysis to investigate the motion of endogenous LPS receptors in live macrophages before and after treatment with methyl-β-cyclodextrin and latrunculin B.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(5):e64287. · 3.73 Impact Factor
  • Biophysical Journal 01/2013; 104(2):118-. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Shinji Ikemizu, Mami Chirifu, Simon J Davis
    Nature Immunology 12/2012; 13(12):1141-2. · 26.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Although there has been much success in identifying genetic variants associated with common diseases using genome-wide association studies (GWAS), it has been difficult to demonstrate which variants are causal and what role they have in disease. Moreover, the modest contribution that these variants make to disease risk has raised questions regarding their medical relevance. Here we have investigated a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the TNFRSF1A gene, that encodes tumour necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1), which was discovered through GWAS to be associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), but not with other autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn’s disease. By analysing MS GWAS data in conjunction with the 1000 Genomes Project data we provide genetic evidence that strongly implicates this SNP, rs1800693, as the causal variant in the TNFRSF1A region. We further substantiate this through functional studies showing that the MS risk allele directs expression of a novel, soluble form of TNFR1 that can block TNF. Importantly, TNF-blocking drugs can promote onset or exacerbation of MS, but they have proven highly efficacious in the treatment of autoimmune diseases for which there is no association with rs1800693. This indicates that the clinical experience with these drugs parallels the disease association of rs1800693, and that the MS-associated TNFR1 variant mimics the effect of TNF-blocking drugs. Hence, our study demonstrates that clinical practice can be informed by comparing GWAS across common autoimmune diseases and by investigating the functional consequences of the disease-associated genetic variation.
    Nature 07/2012; 488(7412):508-11. · 38.60 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Native and non-native ligands of the T cell receptor (TCR), including antibodies, have been proposed to induce signaling in T cells via intra- or intersubunit conformational rearrangements within the extracellular regions of TCR complexes. We have investigated whether any signatures can be found for such postulated structural changes during TCR triggering induced by antibodies, using crystallographic and mutagenesis-based approaches. The crystal structure of murine CD3ε complexed with the mitogenic anti-CD3ε antibody 2C11 enabled the first direct structural comparisons of antibody-liganded and unliganded forms of CD3ε from a single species, which revealed that antibody binding does not induce any substantial rearrangements within CD3ε. Saturation mutagenesis of surface-exposed CD3ε residues, coupled with assays of antibody-induced signaling by the mutated complexes, suggests a new configuration for the complex within which CD3ε is highly exposed and reveals that no large new CD3ε interfaces are required to form during antibody-induced signaling. The TCR complex therefore appears to be a structure that is capable of initiating intracellular signaling in T cells without substantial structural rearrangements within or between the component subunits. Our findings raise the possibility that signaling by native ligands might also be initiated in the absence of large structural rearrangements in the receptor.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2012; 287(16):13324-35. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    Frontiers in Immunology 01/2012; 3:92.
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    James H Felce, Simon J Davis
    Frontiers in Endocrinology 01/2012; 3:86.
  • Andreas Jansson, Simon J Davis
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    ABSTRACT: Modulating the activities of costimulatory molecules controlling immune responses holds considerable promise for immunotherapy. CTLA4Ig (abatacept), a soluble version of the T cell-expressed membrane receptor CTLA-4, is approved for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Like natural CTLA-4 molecules, CTLA4Ig ligates B7-1 and B7-2 on antigen presenting cells, preventing CD28-mediated costimulation of T cells. However, CTLA4Ig can also prevent ligation of CTLA-4, potentially blocking vital inhibitory signals, thereby augmenting immunity. There have been no quantitative analyses of the likely effects of CTLA4Ig on costimulatory interactions at the immunological synapse. We present a mathematical model, based on rigorous biophysical and expression data, for simulating the effects of abatacept and a mutated derivative, LEA29Y, on the synaptic interactions of CD28 and CTLA-4. The simulations reveal an unexpectedly large window within which CD28, but not CTLA-4, ligation is blocked by CTLA4Ig, perhaps explaining the efficacy of abatacept at the recommended therapeutic dose (10mg/kg) and its relative safety. However, the simulations suggest that the present dosing regimen is close to the maximum theoretically safe dose. The simulations also show that, within the therapeutic window, LEA29Y enhances the interaction of CTLA-4 with the more potent of its two native ligands, B7-1. They also suggest that CTLA-4 ligation by B7-1 could, in principle, be enhanced by further decreasing the off-rate of CTLA4Ig for binding to B7-2. Our findings therefore offer molecular explanations for why LEA29Y might prove to be more effective than abatacept in a clinical setting, and suggest ways in which its therapeutic efficacy could be further optimised.
    Molecular Immunology 12/2011; 49(3):527-36. · 2.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The T lineage glycoprotein CD6 is generally considered to be a costimulator of T-cell activation. Here, we demonstrate that CD6 significantly reduces early and late T-cell responses upon superantigen stimulation or TCR triggering by Abs. Measuring calcium mobilization in single cells responding to superantigen, we found that human T cells expressing rat CD6 react significantly less well compared with T cells not expressing the exogenous receptor. When the cytoplasmic domain of rat CD6 was removed, calcium responses were recovered, indicating that the inhibitory properties of CD6 are attributable to its cytoplasmic domain. Calcium responses, and also late indicators of T-cell activation such as IL-2 release, were also diminished in TCR-activated Jurkat cells expressing human CD6, compared with CD6-deficient cells or cells expressing a cytoplasmic deletion mutant of human CD6. Similarly, calcium signals triggered by anti-CD3 were enhanced in human T lymphocytes following morpholino-mediated suppression of CD6 expression. Finally, the proliferation of T lymphocytes was increased when the CD6–CD166 interaction was blocked with anti-CD166 Abs, but inhibited when anti-CD6 Abs were used. Our data suggest that CD6 is a signaling attenuator whose expression alone, i.e. in the absence of ligand engagement, is sufficient to restrain signaling in T cells.
    European Journal of Immunology 11/2011; 42(1):195 - 205. · 4.97 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

2k Citations
710.70 Total Impact Points


  • 2011–2013
    • University of Cambridge
      • Department of Chemistry
      Cambridge, ENG, United Kingdom
    • University of Skövde
      • Systems Biology Research Centre
      Skövde, Vaestra Goetaland, Sweden
    • French National Centre for Scientific Research
      Lutetia Parisorum, Île-de-France, France
    • University of Porto
      • Institute for Molecular and Cell Biology
      Porto, Distrito do Porto, Portugal
    • Netherlands Cancer Institute
      • Division of Immunology
      Amsterdamo, North Holland, Netherlands
  • 1997–2013
    • Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
    • University of Oxford
      • • Department of Biochemistry
      • • Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine
      • • MRC Human Immunology Unit
      Oxford, England, United Kingdom
  • 2012
    • Kumamoto University
      • Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences
      Kumamoto-shi, Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan