[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Chinese rhesus macaques are of particular interest in simian immunodeficiency virus/human immunodeficiency virus (SIV/HIV) research as these animals have prolonged kinetics of disease progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), compared to their Indian counterparts, suggesting that they may be a better model for HIV. Nevertheless, the specific mechanism(s) accounting for these kinetics remains unclear. The study of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules, including their MHC/peptide-binding motifs, provides valuable information for measuring cellular immune responses and deciphering outcomes of infection and vaccine efficacy. In this study, we have provided detailed characterization of six prevalent Chinese rhesus macaque MHC class I alleles, yielding a combined phenotypic frequency of 29 %. The peptide-binding specificity of two of these alleles, Mamu-A2*01:02 and Mamu-B*010:01, as well as the previously characterized allele Mamu-B*003:01 (and Indian rhesus Mamu-B*003:01), was found to be analogous to that of alleles in the HLA-B27 supertype family. Specific alleles in the HLA-B27 supertype family, including HLA-B*27:05, have been associated with long-term nonprogression to AIDS in humans. All six alleles characterized in the present study were found to have specificities analogous to HLA supertype alleles. These data contribute to the concept that Chinese rhesus macaque MHC immunogenetics is more similar to HLA than their Indian rhesus macaque counterparts and thereby warrants further studies to decipher the role of these alleles in the context of SIV infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Classic ways to determine MHC restriction involve inhibition with locus-specific antibodies and antigen presentation assays with panels of cell lines matched or mismatched at the various loci of interest. However, these determinations are often complicated by T cell epitope degeneracy and promiscuity. We describe a selection of 46 HLA DR, DQ, and DP specificities that provide worldwide population (phenotypic) coverage of almost 90 % at each locus, and account for over 66 % of all genes at each locus. This panel afforded coverage of at least four HLA class II alleles in over 95 % of the individuals in four study populations of diverse ethnicity from the USA and South Africa. Next, a panel of single HLA class II-transfected cell lines, corresponding to these 46 allelic variants was assembled, consisting of lines previously developed and 15 novel lines generated for the present study. The novel lines were validated by assessing their HLA class II expression by FACS analysis, the in vitro peptide binding activity of HLA molecules purified from the cell lines, and their antigen presenting capacity to T cell lines of known restriction. We also show that these HLA class II-transfected cell lines can be used to rapidly and unambiguously determine HLA restriction of epitopes recognized by an individual donor in a single experiment. This panel of lines will enable high throughput determination of HLA restriction, enabling better characterization of HLA class II-restricted T cell responses and facilitating the development of HLA tetrameric staining reagents.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: A panel of 133 allergens derived from 28 different sources, including fungi, trees, grasses, weeds, and indoor allergens, was surveyed utilizing prediction of HLA class II-binding peptides and ELISPOT assays with PBMC from allergic donors, resulting in the identification of 257 T cell epitopes. More than 90% of the epitopes were novel, and for 14 allergen sources were the first ever identified to our knowledge. The epitopes identified in the different allergen sources summed up to a variable fraction of the total extract response. In cases of allergens in which the identified T cell epitopes accounted for a minor fraction of the extract response, fewer known protein sequences were available, suggesting that for low epitope coverage allergen sources, additional allergen proteins remain to be identified. IL-5 and IFN-γ responses were measured as prototype Th2 and Th1 responses, respectively. Whereas in some cases (e.g., orchard grass, Alternaria, cypress, and Russian thistle) IL-5 production greatly exceeded IFN-γ, in others (e.g., Aspergillus, Penicillum, and alder) the production of IFN-γ exceeded IL-5. Thus, different allergen sources are associated with variable polarization of the responding T cells. The present study represents the most comprehensive survey to date of human allergen-derived T cell epitopes. These epitopes might be used to characterize T cell phenotype/T cell plasticity as a function of seasonality, or as a result of specific immunotherapy treatment or varying disease severity (asthma or rhinitis).
No preview · Article · Jul 2012 · The Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Idiosyncratic adverse drug reactions are unpredictable, dose-independent and potentially life threatening; this makes them a major factor contributing to the cost and uncertainty of drug development. Clinical data suggest that many such reactions involve immune mechanisms, and genetic association studies have identified strong linkages between drug hypersensitivity reactions to several drugs and specific HLA alleles. One of the strongest such genetic associations found has been for the antiviral drug abacavir, which causes severe adverse reactions exclusively in patients expressing the HLA molecular variant B*57:01. Abacavir adverse reactions were recently shown to be driven by drug-specific activation of cytokine-producing, cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells that required HLA-B*57:01 molecules for their function; however, the mechanism by which abacavir induces this pathologic T-cell response remains unclear. Here we show that abacavir can bind within the F pocket of the peptide-binding groove of HLA-B*57:01, thereby altering its specificity. This provides an explanation for HLA-linked idiosyncratic adverse drug reactions, namely that drugs can alter the repertoire of self-peptides presented to T cells, thus causing the equivalent of an alloreactive T-cell response. Indeed, we identified specific self-peptides that are presented only in the presence of abacavir and that were recognized by T cells of hypersensitive patients. The assays that we have established can be applied to test additional compounds with suspected HLA-linked hypersensitivities in vitro. Where successful, these assays could speed up the discovery and mechanistic understanding of HLA-linked hypersensitivities, and guide the development of safer drugs.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The SIV-infected rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is the most established model of AIDS disease systems, providing insight into pathogenesis and a model system for testing novel vaccines. The understanding of cellular immune responses based on the identification and study of Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC) molecules, including their MHC:peptide-binding motif, provides valuable information to decipher outcomes of infection and vaccine efficacy. Detailed characterization of Mamu-B*039:01, a common allele expressed in Chinese rhesus macaques, revealed a unique MHC:peptide-binding preference consisting of glycine at the second position. Peptides containing a glycine at the second position were shown to be antigenic from animals positive for Mamu-B*039:01. A similar motif was previously described for the Dd mouse MHC allele, but for none of the human HLA molecules for which a motif is known. Further investigation showed that one additional macaque allele, present in Indian rhesus macaques, Mamu-B*052:01, shares this same motif. These “G2” alleles were associated with the presence of specific residues in their B pocket. This pocket structure was found in 6% of macaque sequences but none of 950 human HLA class I alleles. Evolutionary studies using the “G2” alleles points to common ancestry for the macaque sequences, while convergent evolution is suggested when murine and macaque sequences are considered. This is the first detailed characterization of the pocket residues yielding this specific motif in nonhuman primates and mice, revealing a new supertype motif not present in humans.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00251-011-0598-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Rhesus and pigtail macaques have proven to be valuable animal models for several important human diseases, including HIV, where they exhibit similar pathology and disease progression. Because rhesus macaques have been extensively characterized in terms of their major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I alleles, their demand has soared, making them increasingly difficult to obtain for research purposes. This problem has been exacerbated by a continued export ban in place since 1978. Pigtail macaques represent a potential alternative animal model. However, because their MHC class I alleles have not been characterized in detail, their use has been hindered. To address this, in the present study, we have characterized the peptide binding specificity of the pigtail macaque class I allele Mane-A1*082:01 (formerly known as Mane A*0301), representative of the second most common MHC class I antigen detected across several cohorts. The motif was defined on the basis of binding studies utilizing purified MHC protein and panels of single amino acid substitution analog peptides, as well as sequences of peptide ligands eluted from Mane-A1*082:01. Based on these analyses, Mane-A1*082:01 was found to recognize a motif with H in position 2 and the aromatic residues F and Y, or the hydrophobic/aliphatic residue M, at the C-terminus. Finally, analysis of the binding of a combinatorial peptide library allowed the generation of a detailed quantitative motif that proved effective in the prediction of a set of high-affinity binders derived from chimeric SIV/HIV, an important model virus for studying HIV infection in humans.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV)-infected Indian rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is the most established model of HIV infection and AIDS-related research, despite the potential that macaques of Chinese origin is a more relevant model. Ongoing efforts to further characterize the Chinese rhesus macaques’ major histocompatibility complex (MHC) for composition and function should facilitate greater utilization of the species. Previous studies have demonstrated that Chinese-origin M. mulatta (Mamu) class I alleles are more polymorphic than their Indian counterparts, perhaps inferring a model more representative of human MHC, human leukocyte antigen (HLA). Furthermore, the Chinese rhesus macaque class I allele Mamu-A1*02201, the most frequent allele thus far identified, has recently been characterized and shown to be an HLA-B7 supertype analog, the most frequent supertype in human populations. In this study, we have characterized two additional alleles expressed with high frequency in Chinese rhesus macaques, Mamu-A1*02601 and Mamu-B*08301. Upon the development of MHC–peptide-binding assays and definition of their associated motifs, we reveal that these Mamu alleles share peptide-binding characteristics with the HLA-A2 and HLA-A3 supertypes, respectively, the next most frequent human supertypes after HLA-B7. These data suggest that Chinese rhesus macaques may indeed be a more representative model of HLA gene diversity and function as compared to the species of Indian origin and therefore a better model for investigating human immune responses.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00251-010-0502-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Of the two rhesus macaque subspecies used for AIDS studies, the Simian immunodeficiency virus-infected Indian rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta) is the most established model of HIV infection, providing both insight into pathogenesis and a system for testing novel vaccines. Despite the Chinese rhesus macaque potentially being a more relevant model for AIDS outcomes than the Indian rhesus macaque, the Chinese-origin rhesus macaques have not been well-characterized for their major histocompatibility complex (MHC) composition and function, reducing their greater utilization. In this study, we characterized a total of 50 unique Chinese rhesus macaques from several varying origins for their entire MHC class I allele composition and identified a total of 58 unique complete MHC class I sequences. Only nine of the sequences had been associated with Indian rhesus macaques, and 28/58 (48.3%) of the sequences identified were novel. From all MHC alleles detected, we prioritized Mamu-A1*02201 for functional characterization based on its higher frequency of expression. Upon the development of MHC/peptide binding assays and definition of its associated motif, we revealed that this allele shares peptide binding characteristics with the HLA-B7 supertype, the most frequent supertype in human populations. These studies provide the first functional characterization of an MHC class I molecule in the context of Chinese rhesus macaques and the first instance of HLA-B7 analogy for rhesus macaques.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00251-010-0450-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Influenza virus remains a significant health concern, with current circulating strains that affect millions each year plus the threat of newly emerging strains, such as swine-origin H1N1 and avian H5N1. Our hypothesis is that influenza-derived HLA-class I-restricted epitopes can be identified for use as a reagent to monitor and quantitate human CD8(+) T-cell responses and for vaccine development to induce protective cellular immunity. Protein sequences from influenza A virus strains currently in circulation, agents of past pandemics and zoonotic infections of man were evaluated for sequences predicted to bind to alleles representative of the most frequent HLA-A and -B (class I) types worldwide. Peptides that bound several different HLA molecules and were conserved among diverse influenza subtypes were tested for their capacity to recall influenza-specific immune responses using human donor PBMC. Accordingly, 28 different epitopes antigenic for human donor PBMC were identified and 25 were 100% conserved in the newly emerged swine-origin H1N1 strain. The epitope set defined herein should provide a reagent applicable to quantitate CD8(+) T cell human responses irrespective of influenza subtype and HLA composition of the responding population. In addition, these epitopes may be suitable for vaccine applications directed at the induction of cellular immunity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The goal of the present study was to design a vaccine that would provide universal protection against infection of humans with diverse influenza A viruses. Accordingly, protein sequences from influenza A virus strains currently in circulation (H1N1, H3N2), agents of past pandemics (H1N1, H2N2, H3N2) and zoonotic infections of man (H1N1, H5N1, H7N2, H7N3, H7N7, H9N2) were evaluated for the presence of amino acid sequences, motifs, that are predicted to mediate peptide epitope binding with high affinity to the most frequent HLA-DR allelic products. Peptides conserved among diverse influenza strains were then synthesized, evaluated for binding to purified HLA-DR molecules and for their capacity to induce influenza-specific immune recall responses using human donor peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC). Accordingly, 20 epitopes were selected for further investigation based on their conservancy among diverse influenza strains, predicted population coverage in diverse ethnic groups and capacity to recall influenza-specific responses. A DNA plasmid encoding the epitopes was constructed using amino acid spacers between epitopes to promote optimum processing and presentation. Immunogenicity of the DNA vaccine was measured using HLA-DR4 transgenic mice and the TriGrid in vivo electroporation device. Vaccination resulted in peptide-specific immune responses, augmented HA-specific antibody responses and protection of HLA-DR4 transgenic mice from lethal PR8 influenza virus challenge. These studies demonstrate the utility of this vaccine format and the contribution of CD4(+) T cell responses to protection against influenza infection.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: A potential etiology of chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome is autoimmunity. We determined whether T cells from men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome would recognize peptides derived from the normal self-prostatic proteins prostate specific antigen and prostatic acid phosphatase.
CD4 T cells purified from peripheral blood of 31 patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome and from the buffy coat preparation of 27 normal male blood donors were stimulated in vitro with a panel of immunogenic peptides from prostate specific antigen and prostatic acid phosphatase, and assayed for reactivity with the peptides by interferon-gamma enzyme-linked immunosorbent spot assay. Intermediate resolution HLA typing was done by polymerase chain reaction. Peptides were also tested by binding assay against different class II alleles.
Peptide PAP(173-192) was recognized more frequently by CD4 T cells from patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome than from healthy donors. The recognition of prostate specific antigen peptides was not statistically different when comparing cases to normal male blood donors individually. Peptide reactivity was more common in patients than in normal male blood donors for any prostate specific antigen peptide or any tested peptide. All peptides showed high promiscuity on binding assays. There was no association of cases with any specific HLA class II phenotype at intermediate resolution.
CD4 T cells from patients with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome have a higher rate of recognizing the self-prostatic proteins prostatic acid phosphatase and prostate specific antigen compared to those from normal male blood donors. Data provide further evidence to support the role of autoimmunity in some men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2009 · The Journal of urology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Protein sequences from multiple hepatitis B virus (HBV) isolates were analyzed for the presence of amino acid motifs characteristic of cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) and helper T-lymphocyte (HTL) epitopes with the goal of identifying conserved epitopes suitable for use in a therapeutic vaccine. Specifically, sequences bearing HLA-A1, -A2, -A3, -A24, -B7, and -DR supertype binding motifs were identified, synthesized as peptides, and tested for binding to soluble HLA. The immunogenicity of peptides that bound with moderate to high affinity subsequently was assessed using HLA transgenic mice (CTL) and HLA cross-reacting H-2(bxd) (BALB/c x C57BL/6J) mice (HTL). Through this process, 30 CTL and 16 HTL epitopes were selected as a set that would be the most useful for vaccine design, based on epitope conservation among HBV sequences and HLA-based predicted population coverage in diverse ethnic groups. A plasmid DNA-based vaccine encoding the epitopes as a single gene product, with each epitope separated by spacer residues to enhance appropriate epitope processing, was designed. Immunogenicity testing in mice demonstrated the induction of multiple CTL and HTL responses. Furthermore, as a complementary approach, mass spectrometry allowed the identification of correctly processed and major histocompatibility complex-presented epitopes from human cells transfected with the DNA plasmid. A heterologous prime-boost immunization with the plasmid DNA and a recombinant MVA gave further enhancement of the immune responses. Thus, a multiepitope therapeutic vaccine candidate capable of stimulating those cellular immune responses thought to be essential for controlling and clearing HBV infection was successfully designed and evaluated in vitro and in HLA transgenic mice.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2008 · Journal of Virology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We investigated the immune response to proteolipid protein (PLP), the most abundant central nervous system myelin protein in humans. A total of 8207 short-term T cell lines were generated from 49 individuals, 39 patients with multiple sclerosis and 10 control subjects. As we have reported previously, the frequency of PLP-reactive T cells did not differ between the two groups. To determine immunodominant PLP epitopes, proliferative responses of 971 PLP-specific lines were tested with 27 overlapping 20-amino acid peptides encompassing the human PLP sequence and the binding affinities of the PLP peptides to DRB5*0101 and DRB1*1501, DR2 MHC class II isotypes associated with multiple sclerosis, were determined. The T cell response after primary PLP stimulation was focused on two immunodominant epitopes comprising residues p30-49 and p180-199. These two fragments were recognized after processing of native protein by APCs and were situated in hydrophilic regions of PLP exhibiting only moderate affinity to DR2 molecules. In contrast, when T cells from DR2+ subjects were stimulated initially by individual synthetic peptides with either high or low affinity to DRB5*0101 and DRB1*1501 isotypes, additional cryptic epitopes were recognized. MHC restriction of lines specific for the cryptic PLP epitopes were related to binding affinity to DR2 isotypes. Our results indicate that protein Ags are recognized in vivo as immunodominant epitopes after Ag processing by APCs and as cryptic epitopes after processing, presumably by extracellular proteolytic enzymes.