[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: By confining germline transcription as a byproduct of the mechanisms inherent to genetic rearrangements, the translation of
respective mRNAs and their biological relevance might have been overlooked. Here we report the identification, cloning, and
biochemical characterization of a human Vκ-like protein that is encoded by a germline transcript. This surrogate protein assembles
with the immunoglobulin μ heavy chain at the surface of B cell progenitors and precursors to form a κ-like antigen receptor.
These findings support the notion that germline transcription is not futile and stress the flexibility in eukaryotic gene
usage and expression. In addition, the present study confirms the co-existence of surrogate λ and κ receptors that are proposed
to work in concert to promote B lymphocyte maturation.
Preview · Article · Jun 2005 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: T-cell homing within germinal centres (GCs) is required for humoral B-cell responses. However, the mechanisms implicated in the recruitment of T cells into the GC are not completely understood. Here we show, by immunohistology, and Northern and Western blots, that in vivo human GC B lymphocytes can express CxC and CC chemokines. Moreover, B-cell subset-specific experiments reveal that interleukin (IL)-8 and regulated on activation, normal, T-cell expressed, and secreted (RANTES) are predominantly expressed by GC centroblast and centrocytes, suggesting that chemokine expression is essential at stages in which B-lymphocytes engage in active antigen-dependent interactions with T lymphocytes. In keeping with this hypothesis, we show that the T cells recruited into the GC correlatively express the receptors for IL-8 and RANTES. We propose that chemokine expression is a key B-cell function that facilitates T-lymphocyte recruitment into the GCs and supports cognate B-cell : T-cell encounters. Moreover, our data are consistent with the impaired homing of T cells to secondary lymphoid organs in mice that are either deficient in CC and CxC chemokines or their receptors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Proteins containing AT hooks bind A/T-rich DNA through a nine-amino-acid motif and are thought to co-regulate transcription by modifying the architecture of DNA, thereby enhancing the accessibility of promoters to transcription factors. Here we describe AKNA, a human AT-hook protein that directly binds the A/T-rich regulatory elements of the promoters of CD40 and CD40 ligand (CD40L) and coordinately regulates their expression. Consistent with its function, AKNA is a nuclear protein that contains multiple PEST protein-cleavage motifs, which are common in regulatory proteins with high turnover rates. AKNA is mainly expressed by B and T lymphocytes, natural killer cells and dendritic cells. During B-lymphocyte differentiation, AKNA is mainly expressed by germinal centre B lymphocytes, a stage in which receptor and ligand interactions are crucial for B-lymphocyte maturation. Our findings show that an AT-hook molecule can coordinately regulate the expression of a key receptor and its ligand, and point towards a molecular mechanism that explains homotypic cell interactions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We identified, cloned, and biochemically characterized the full-length cDNAs encoding the heavy and light chains of a human monoclonal antibody (mAb) from the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-cell line P22. The cell line P22, which originated from a patient with bullous pemphigoid (an autoimmune disease causing skin blistering) expressed immunoglobulin-G (IgG) with a lambda light chain. Although the variable heavy (IGHV) chain gene family could not be assigned by IGHV repertoire analysis, the determination of its nucleotide sequence demonstrated that the heavy chain of P22 belonged to the IGHV4 family. The limited IGHV4 gene usage by memory IgG, IGA and IgE-expressing cells supports the notion of the autoreactivity-associated IGHV4 genes and stresses the strong selection pressure within germinal centres towards IGHV4 family. Alignment of P22 IGHV4 cDNA sequence to germline sequences from gene databases, revealed a remarkable divergence, suggesting that the heavy chain of the P22 mAb encodes a distinct IGHV4 gene. The variable light chain (IGLV) encodes a IGLV4 gene and is 98% similar to a previously reported IGLV gene. Furthermore, fluorescent staining with the recombinant mAb showed the same reactivity to that of the native antibody. The data reported herein, (a) reveal an autoantibody encoding a distinct IGHV4 gene, (b) confirm the notion that autoantibodies preferentially use IGHV4 genes, and (c) hypothesize that somatic hypermutation within GC may be a mechanism by which autoreactive B lymphocytes escape negative selection.
No preview · Article · Jan 2001 · Journal of Autoimmunity
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the identification of a human cDNA encoding a 25 kDa protein of relevant evolutionary and lymphoid interest (PRELI). PRELI was cloned by screening a B lymphocyte-specific cDNA library with a probe generated by mRNA differential display. PRELI amino acid sequence is 85% similar to the avian px19 protein, expressed within the blood islands and in the liver during avian embryo development. PRELI and px19 contain tandem repeats (A/TAEKAK) of the late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) motif, characteristic of a group of survival molecules and originally thought to be present only in plant proteins. Interestingly, PRELI expression is high in the fetal liver, a major site for B cell lymphopoiesis, while the mRNA levels in other fetal tissues such as the brain, lung, and kidney are comparatively low. At the adult stage, PRELI expression is drastically reduced in the liver but exhibits high mRNA levels in the spleen, brain, lung and kidney tissues, suggesting that PRELI expression may be important for the development of vital and immunocompetent organs. Moreover, PRELI is also highly expressed in the adult lymph nodes and peripheral blood leukocytes, further stressing that at the adult stage, PRELI expression may be important during secondary immune responses. Consistent with this hypothesis, the expression of PRELI is predominant within germinal centers (GC), a stage in which B lymphocytes are under a stressful selection pressure. Taken together these data: (i) strongly support the notion that the conserved LEA motif represents a phylogenetic link between plants and animals, (ii) reveal a novel molecule whose expression may play a role in the maturation of distinct human tissues, and (iii) suggest that PRELI expression may be important for GC B lymphocytes.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2000 · International Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using a cDNA subtraction technique, a novel member of the ubiquitin family was isolated from human dendritic cells. This gene encodes a diubiquitin protein containing tandem head to tail ubiquitin-like domains, with the conservation of key functional residues. Expression of this 777-bp mRNA was restricted to dendritic cells and B cells, with strong expression in mature B cells. Southern blot analysis indicated that a single copy of this gene is present. In situ hybridization on tonsillar tissue showed expression in epithelial cells and isolated cells within the germinal center. With respect to an expressed-sequence tag (EST) this cDNA could be localized to the major histocompatibility complex class I region of chromosome 6. Comparative analysis and the expression pattern of this gene suggests a function in antigen processing and presentation.
No preview · Article · Oct 1997 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: RP105 is a 105-kDa type I membrane protein of the leucine-rich repeat (LRR) family. Anti-RP105 sensitizes B cells to antigen-receptor-mediated apoptosis, but protects B cells from radiation-induced apoptosis and stimulates B cell proliferation. The sequence of the mouse RP105 has been reported. Here, we report the characterization of the human RP105. The 2.6-kb cDNA encodes a protein of 661 amino acids which displays 78% homology with mouse RP105. The 22 LRR and the 9 potential N-linked glycosylation sites within the extracellular region are conserved. While previous studies have shown that RP105 is expressed on surface IgM+IgD+2 B cells in mice, human RP105 was shown to be expressed on all subsets of mature B cells and dendritic cells. Human RP105 gene was mapped to the long arm of chromosome 5, where numerous cytokines and receptors have been localized.
No preview · Article · Jul 1997 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bet v 1 and homologous proteins represent major allergens for almost 95% of patients allergic to tree pollen and approximately 70% of those allergic to fruits and vegetables. As yet, no continuous (sequential) IgE epitopes have been determined for Bet v 1, and evidence has accumulated that Bet v 1 IgE epitopes belong to the conformational (discontinuous) type.
A panel of 85 mouse monoclonal anti-Bet v 1 antibodies was raised as a tool with which to study the interaction of human IgE antibodies with Bet v 1.
The epitopes of selected monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were characterized by mapping with synthetic overlapping peptides and by cross-competition experiments. Cross-reactivity of Bet v 1-specific mAbs with tree and plant food allergens was investigated by Western blotting. The influence of Bet v 1-specific mAbs on the IgE-Bet v 1 interaction was studied by competition assays with immobilized purified recombinant Bet v 1 and by basophil histamine release experiments.
Antibodies that increased the IgE binding to Bet v 1 up to fivefold could be defined, whereas others inhibited IgE binding to Bet v 1 up to 99% and competed with the Bet v 1-induced histamine release from patients' basophils.
The activity of the enhancing antibodies is interpreted as a stabilization of Bet v 1 states/IgE epitopes, which are either more accessible for certain IgE antibodies or are recognized with higher affinity. Those mAbs that competed with the Bet v 1-IgE interaction, if humanized or produced as recombinant antibody fragments, might be considered as potential tools for local allergy therapy.
No preview · Article · Apr 1997 · Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Birch pollen allergy is a very frequent pathology in Europe and North America. More than 95% of the tree pollen allergic patients display IgE reactivity against Bet v 1, the major birch pollen allergen. Starting with PBL from a patient desensitized by immunotherapy, we have generated five B cell lines (BAB1 to BAB5) that secrete human IgG mAbs of high affinity for Bet v 1. Although competition studies indicated that these human IgG mAb recognized different epitopes, broad cross-reactivity was found with Bet v 1 homologous allergens present in tree pollens and plant-derived foods. When tested for interference with allergic patients' IgE, BAB1 inhibited (by 80-100%) the binding of IgE to nitrocellulose-blotted Bet v 1, while BAB2 enhanced it. The biologic significance of the ability of BAB1 to interfere with patients' IgE binding is indicated by the finding that BAB1 completely inhibited Bet v 1-induced histamine release from allergic patients' basophils. Allergen-specific human IgG mAbs such as BAB1, which presents high blocking activity in both immunochemical and cellular IgE competition experiments, might have therapeutical application.
Full-text · Article · Aug 1996 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Using an approach similar to that used to study primary B-lymphocyte development within bone marrow and primary T-lymphocyte development within thymus, the peripheral B-cell maturation pathway within secondary lymphoid tissue (human tonsils) was analysed on the expression of discrete surface antigens. sIgD and CD38 permit the identification of four subpopulations of tonsillar B lymphocytes, including sIgD+ CD38-, sIgD+, CD38+, sIgD-CD38+ and sIgD-CD38- B cells. Further phenotypic, functional and Ig gene analysis (IgV gene sequences, expression of sterile transcripts and DNA switch circles) allowed us to conclude the following: (1) sIgM+ IgD+ CD38- B cells are naive B cells (Bm1 + 2), which carry unmutated antigen-receptors; (2) sIgM+ IgD+ CD38+ B cells are germinal center founder cells (Bm2'), which become prone to undergo apoptosis before the onset of somatic mutation; (3) sIgM-IgD+ CD38+ are germinal center B cells (Bm 3 delta), that have accumulated the highest number of somatic mutations ever reported in normal B cells; these cells may have undergone C mu-deletion by homologous recombination through sigma mu-sigma delta sequences: (4) sIgD-CD38+ CD77+ B cells are centroblasts (Bm3), in which somatic mutation machinery is activated; (5) sIgD-CD38+ CD77- B cells are centrocytes (Bm4), in which the isotype switching machinery is activated; (6) sIgD-CD38- cells (Bm5) represent somatically mutated resting memory B cells. In conclusion, human peripheral B-cell subpopulations corresponding to the differentiation stages before, during and after the triggering of apoptosis program, somatic mutation and isotype switch have been identified and isolated using a combination of surface markers.
No preview · Article · Jul 1996 · Seminars in Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During T cell-dependent antibody responses, B cells within germinal centers (GC) alter the affinity of their antigen receptor by introducing somatic mutations into variable region of immunoglobulin (IgV) genes. During this process, GC B cells are destined to die unless positively selected by antigens and CD40-ligand. To understand survival/death control of germinal center B cell, the expression of four apoptosis-inducing genes, Fas, c-myc, Bax, and P53, together with the survival gene bcl-2, has been analyzed herein among purified tonsillar naive, GC, and memory B cells. IgD+CD38- naive B cells were separated into CD23- (mature B cell [Bm]1) subset and CD23+ (Bm2), IgD-CD38+ GC B cells were separated into subsets of CD77+ centroblasts (Bm3) and CD77- centrocytes (Bm4), whereas IgD-CD38- cells represented the Bm5 memory B cell subset. Sequence analysis of IgV region genes indicated that somatic hypermutation was triggered in the Bm3 centroblast subset. Here we show that bcl-2 is only detectable with naive (Bm1 and 2) and memory B cell (Bm5) subsets, whereas all four apoptosis-inducing genes were most significantly expressed within GC B cells. Fas was equally expressed in Bm3 centroblasts and Bm4 centrocytes, whereas Bax was most significantly expressed in Bm4 centrocytes. c-myc, a positive regulator of cell cycle, was most significantly expressed in proliferating Bm3 centroblasts, whereas P53, a negative regulator of cell cycle, was most signficantly expressed in nonproliferating Bm4 centrocytes. The present results indicate that the survival/death of GC B cells are regulated by the up- and downregulation of multiple genes, among which the expression of c-myc and P53 in the absence of bcl-2 may prime the proliferating Bm3 centroblasts and nonproliferating Bm4 centrocytes to apoptosis.
Preview · Article · Apr 1996 · Journal of Experimental Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Human tonsillar B cells were separated into naive IgD+CD38-CD23- (Bm1) and IgD+CD38-CD23 (Bm2), germinal center IgD-CD38+CD23- centroblasts (Bm3) and IgD-CD38+CD77- centrocytes (Bm4) and memory IgD-CD38- (Bm5) subsets. Previous IgVH sequence analysis concluded that the triggering of somatic mutations occurs during the transition from Bm2 subset into the Bm3 subset. To determine the initiation of isotype switching, sterile transcript expression was analyzed by amplification, cloning, and sequencing. A selective sterile I gamma, I alpha, and I epsilon expression was observed at centrocyte (Bm4) stage, suggesting that isotype switch is triggered within germinal centers, after somatic mutation is initiated with centroblasts (Bm3). Finally, the high level of 5'S gamma-S mu 3' DNA switching circles observed in germinal center B cells indicates that within human tonsils, germinal center is a major location for isotype switching.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: B-chronic lymphocytic leukemias (B-CLL) represent expanded clones of resting B lymphocytes that mostly express surface IgM (sIgM). The present study shows that B-CLL cells, freshly isolated from two patients, were sIgM+, sIgG-, and sIgA- but expressed IgG and IgA transcripts. cDNA cloning and sequencing showed that the VDJ segments associated to gamma and alpha heavy chain transcripts are identical to those from mu transcripts, thus showing that B lymphocytes giving rise to CLL cells have undergone isotype switching in vivo. Stimulation of these B-CLL cells through surface CD40 in the presence of interleukin-10 induced them to secrete IgG and IgA, proving that they can also differentiate into Ig-secreting cells. Finally, CD40-stimulated B-CLL cells were induced to switch towards IgE in response to interleukin-4, as shown by the presence of specific VDJ-C epsilon transcripts and the secretion of IgE. Therefore, B-CLL cells tested herein can undergo isotype switching in vivo and can be induced to undergo further isotype switching and differentiation in vitro.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A novel kappa protein, encoded by a germline JC kappa transcript, is expressed by normal and leukemic human B cell precursors. The transcript displays an open reading frame initiated by a non-AUG codon, and predicts a 15 kDa molecule which could be readily confirmed by in vitro translation. Cellular expression was demonstrated by immunofluorescence, precipitation and Western blotting. Furthermore, 2-D gel electrophoresis revealed that germline JC kappa can covalently associate with mu heavy chain at the surface of pre-B cells. We therefore propose that during B cell lymphopoiesis, two alternative pathways could be operative in which mu heavy chain can either associate with lambda 5 or germ-line JC kappa.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have previously shown that human B lymphocytes cultured in the CD40 system, composed of an anti-CD40 mAb presented by a CD32-transfected fibroblastic cell line, proliferate but do not secrete antibodies. However, the addition of particles of Staphylococcus aureus Cowan (SAC) induces B cell differentiation even in the absence of exogenous cytokines (CD40/SAC system). Additionally, B lymphocytes cultured in the CD40 system in the presence of human IL-10, produce IgM, IgG, and IgA, and Ig levels are further increased by SAC. Here, we have studied the capacity of peripheral blood lymphocytes from patients with IgA deficiency (IgA-D) to secrete Igs, particularly IgA after CD40 triggering. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMNC) from IgA-D patients cultured in the CD40/SAC system produced IgM and IgG, but not IgA. The addition of IL-10 to the cultures, enhanced the production of IgM and IgG and most strikingly induced the production of high amounts of IgA. The addition of IL-10 to PBMNC from IgA-D patients activated through CD40 alone resulted in the production of IgA. Thus, SAC and anti-CD40 mAb stimulate B cells to differentiate into cells secreting IgG and IgM whereas IL-10 plays a central role in inducing B cells from IgA-D patients to differentiate into IgA secreting cells.
Preview · Article · Aug 1994 · Journal of Clinical Investigation