Background. Recent studies have reported T cell immunity to the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in unexposed donors, possibly due to cross-recognition by T-cells specific for common cold coronaviruses (CCCs). True T-cell cross-reactivity, defined as the recognition by a single TCR of more than one distinct peptide-MHC ligand, has never been shown in the context of SARS-CoV-2. Methods. We used the ViraFEST platform to identify T cell responses cross-reactive for the spike (S) glycoproteins of SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs at the T cell receptor (TCR) clonotype level in convalescent COVID-19 patients (CCPs) and SARS-CoV-2-unexposed donors. Confirmation of SARS-CoV-2/CCC cross-reactivity and assessments of functional avidity were performed using a TCR cloning and transfection system. Results. Memory CD4+ T-cell clonotypes that cross-recognized the S proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and at least one other CCC were detected in 65% of CCPs and unexposed donors. Several of these TCRs were shared among multiple donors. Cross-reactive T-cells demonstrated significantly impaired SARS-CoV-2-specific proliferation in vitro relative to mono-specific CD4+ T-cells, which was consistent with lower functional avidity of their TCRs for SARS CoV-2 relative to CCC. Conclusions. For the first time, our data confirm the existence of unique memory CD4+ T cell clonotypes cross-recognizing SARS-CoV-2 and CCCs. The lower avidity of cross-reactive TCRs for SARS-CoV-2 may be the result of antigenic imprinting, such that pre-existing CCC-specific memory T cells have reduced expansive capacity upon SARS-CoV-2 infection. Further studies are needed to determine how these cross-reactive T-cell responses impact clinical outcomes in COVID-19 patients.
Arbor G. Dykema, Boyang Zhang, Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Caroline C. Garliss, Laurene S. Cheung, Dilshad Choudhury, Jiajia Zhang, Luis Aparicio, Sadhana Bom, Rufiaat Rashid, Justina X. Caushi, Emily Han-Chung Hsiue, Katherine Cascino, Elizabeth A. Thompson, Abena K. Kwaa, Dipika Singh, Sampriti Thapa, Alvaro A. Ordonez, Andrew Pekosz, Franco R. D'Alessio, Jonathan D. Powell, Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian, Shibin Zhou, Drew M. Pardoll, Hongkai Ji, Andrea L. Cox, Joel N. Blankson, Kellie N. Smith
A complete carcinogen, Ultraviolet B radiation (290-320 nm; UVB), is the major cause of skin cancer. UVB-induced systemic immunosuppression that contributes to photocarcinogenesis is due to the glycerophosphocholine-derived lipid mediator Platelet-activating factor. A major question in photobiology is how UVB radiation, which only absorbs appreciably in the epidermal layers of skin, can generate systemic effects. UVB exposure and PAF Receptor (PAFR) activation in keratinocytes induce large amounts of microvesicle particle (extracellular vesicles 100-1000nm; MVP) release. MVPs released from skin keratinocytes in vitro in response to UVB (UVB-MVP) are dependent upon the keratinocyte PAFR. The present studies used both pharmacologic and genetic approaches in cells and mice to determine that both the PAFR and enzyme acid sphingomyelinase (aSMase) were necessary for UVB-MVP generation. Discovery that the calcium-sensing receptor is a keratinocyte-selective MVP marker allowed us to determine that UVB-MVP leaving the keratinocyte can be found systemically in mice and in human subjects following UVB. Moreover, UVB-MVP contain bioactive contents including PAFR agonists which allow them to serve as effectors for UVB downstream effects, in particular UVB-mediated systemic immunosuppression.
Langni Liu, Azeezat A. Awoyemi, Katherine E. Fahy, Pariksha Thapa, Christina Borchers, Benita Y. Wu, Cameron L. McGlone, Benjamin Schmeusser, Zafer Sattouf, Craig A. Rohan, Amy R. Williams, Elizabeth E. Cates, Christina Knisely, Lisa E. Kelly, Ji C. Bihl, David R. Cool, Ravi P. Sahu, Jinju Wang, Yanfang Chen, Christine M. Rapp, Michael G. Kemp, R. Michael Johnson, Jeffrey B. Travers
One of the primary mechanisms of tumor cell immune evasion is the loss of antigenicity, which arises due to lack of immunogenic tumor antigens as well as dysregulation of the antigen processing machinery. In a screen for small-molecule compounds from herbal medicine that potentiate T cell-mediated cytotoxicity, we identified atractylenolide I (ATT-I) that significantly promotes tumor antigen presentation of both human and mouse colorectal cancer (CRC) cells and thereby enhances the cytotoxic response of CD8+ T cells. Cellular thermal shift assay (CETSA) with multiplexed quantitative mass spectrometry identified the proteasome 26S subunit non-ATPase 4 (PSMD4), an essential component of the immunoproteasome complex, as a primary target protein of ATT-I. Binding of ATT-I with PSMD4 augments the antigen-processing activity of immunoproteasome, leading to enhanced major histocompatibility class I (MHC-I)-mediated antigen presentation on cancer cells. In syngeneic mouse CRC models and human patient-derived CRC organoid models, ATT-I treatment promotes the cytotoxicity of CD8+ T cells and thus profoundly enhances the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade therapy. Collectively, we show here that targeting the function of immunoproteasome with ATT-I promotes tumor antigen presentation, empowers T-cell cytotoxicity, and thus elevates the tumor response to immunotherapy.
Hanchen Xu, Kevin Van der Jeught, Zhuolong Zhou, Lu Zhang, Tao Yu, Yifan Sun, Yujing Li, Changlin Wan, Kaman So, Degang Liu, Michael Frieden, Yuanzhang Fang, Amber L. Mosley, Xiaoming He, Xinna Zhang, George E. Sandusky, Yunlong Liu, Samy O. Meroueh, Chi Zhang, Aruna B. Wijeratne, Cheng Huang, Guang Ji, Xiongbin Lu
Inhibitors of calcineurin phosphatase activity (CNIs) such as cyclosporin A (CsA) are widely used to treat tissue transplant rejection and acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), for which inhibition of NFAT-dependent gene expression is the mechanistic paradigm. We recently reported that CNIs inhibit TCR-proximal signaling by preventing calcineurin-mediated dephosphorylation of LckS59, an inhibitory modification, raising the possibility of another mechanism by which CNIs suppress immune responses. Here we utilized T cells from mice that express LckS59A, which cannot accept a phosphate at residue 59, to initiate aGVHD. Although CsA inhibited NFAT-dependent gene upregulation in allo-aggressive T cells expressing either LckWT or LckS59A, it was ineffective in treating disease when the T cells expressed LckS59A. Two important NFAT-independent T cell functions were found to be CsA-resistant in LckS59A T cells: upregulation of the cytolytic protein perforin in tissue-infiltrating CD8+ T cells and antigen-specific T:DC (dendritic cell) adhesion and clustering in lymph nodes. These results demonstrate that effective treatment of aGVHD by CsA requires NFAT-independent inhibition of TCR signaling. Given that NFATs are widely expressed and off-target effects are a major limitation in CNI use, it is possible that targeting TCR-associated calcineurin directly may provide effective therapies with less toxicity.
Shizuka Otsuka, Nicolas Melis, Matthias M. Gaida, Debjani Dutta, Roberto Weigert, Jonathan D. Ashwell
Adoptive T cell therapies (ACTs) hold great promise in cancer treatment, but low overall response rates in patients with solid tumors underscore remaining challenges in realizing the potential of this cellular immunotherapy approach. Promoting CD8+ T cell adaptation to tissue residency represents an underutilized but promising strategy to improve tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte (TIL) function. Here, we report that deletion of the HIF negative regulator von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) in CD8+ T cells induced HIF-1α/HIF-2α–dependent differentiation of tissue-resident memory–like (Trm-like) TILs in mouse models of malignancy. VHL-deficient TILs accumulated in tumors and exhibited a core Trm signature despite an exhaustion-associated phenotype, which led to retained polyfunctionality and response to αPD-1 immunotherapy, resulting in tumor eradication and protective tissue-resident memory. VHL deficiency similarly facilitated enhanced accumulation of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells with a Trm-like phenotype in tumors. Thus, HIF activity in CD8+ TILs promotes accumulation and antitumor activity, providing a new strategy to enhance the efficacy of ACTs.
Ilkka Liikanen, Colette Lauhan, Sara Quon, Kyla Omilusik, Anthony T. Phan, Laura Barceló Bartrolí, Amir Ferry, John Goulding, Joyce Chen, James P. Scott-Browne, Jason T. Yustein, Nicole E. Scharping, Deborah A. Witherden, Ananda W. Goldrath
Tissue-based T cells are important effectors in the prevention and control of mucosal viral infections – less is known about tissue-based B cells. We demonstrate that B cells and antibody-secreting cells (ASCs) are present in inflammatory infiltrates in skin biopsies of persons during symptomatic HSV2 reactivation and early healing. Both CD20+ B cells, most of which are antigen-inexperienced by co-expression of IgD, and ASCs, characterized by dense IgG RNA expression in combination with CD138, IRF4 and Blimp1 RNA, are seen in association with T cells. ASCs are found clustered with CD4+ T cells, suggesting potential for crosstalk. HSV2-specific antibodies to virus surface antigens are also present in tissue and increase in concentration during HSV2 reactivation and healing, unlike in serum where concentrations remain static over time. B cells, ASCs, and HSV-specific antibody were rarely detected in biopsies of unaffected skin. Evaluation of serial biopsies demonstrate that B cells and ASCs follow a more migratory than resident pattern of infiltration in HSV-affected genital skin, in contrast to T cells. Together, these observations suggest distinct phenotypes of B cells in HSV-affected tissue; dissecting their role in reactivation may reveal new therapeutic avenues to control these infections.
Emily S. Ford, Anton M. Sholukh, RuthMabel Boytz, Savanna S. Carmack, Alexis Klock, Khamsone Phasouk, Danica Shao, Raabya Rossenkhan, Paul T. Edlefsen, Tao Peng, Christine Johnston, Anna Wald, Jia Zhu, Lawrence Corey
Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C), a hyperinflammatory syndrome associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection, shares clinical features with toxic shock syndrome, which is triggered by bacterial superantigens. Superantigen specificity for different Vβ-chains results in Vβ-skewing, whereby T cells with specific Vβ-chains and diverse antigen specificity are overrepresented in the TCR repertoire. Here, we characterized the TCR repertoire of MIS-C patients and found a profound expansion of TCR Βeta Variable gene (TRBV)11-2, with up to 24% of clonal T cell space occupied by TRBV11-2 T cells, which correlated with MIS-C severity and serum cytokine levels. Analysis of TRBJ gene usage and CDR3 length distribution of MIS-C expanded TRBV11-2 clones revealed extensive junctional diversity. Patients with TRBV11-2 expansion showed HLA class I allele restriction to HLA-I A02, C35 and C04, indicating a novel mechanism for CDR3-independent T cell expansion. In silico modelling indicated that polyacidic residues in the Vβ chain encoded by TRBV11-2 strongly interact with the superantigen-like motif of SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein, suggesting that unprocessed SARS-CoV-2 spike may directly mediate TRBV11-2 expansion. Overall, our data indicate that a CDR3-independent interaction between SARS-CoV-2 spike and TCR leads to T cell expansion and possibly activation, which may account for the clinical presentation of MIS-C.
Rebecca A. Porritt, Lisa Paschold, Magali Noval Rivas, Mary Hongying Cheng, Lael M. Yonker, Harsha Chandnani, Merrick Lopez, Donjete Simnica, Christoph Schultheiß, Chintda Santiskulvong, Jennifer van Eyk, John K. McCormick, Alessio Fasano, Ivet Bahar, Mascha Binder, Moshe Arditi
BACKGROUND. Rejection is the primary barrier to broader implementation of vascularized composite allografts (VCA), including face and limb transplants. The immunologic pathways activated in face transplant rejection have not been fully characterized. METHODS. Utilizing skin biopsies prospectively collected over nine years from seven face transplant patients, we studied rejection by gene expression profiling, histology, immunostaining and T cell receptor sequencing. RESULTS. Grade 1 rejection did not differ significantly from non-rejection, suggesting that it does not represent a pathologic state and that watchful waiting is warranted. In Grade 2, there was a balanced upregulation of both pro-inflammatory T cell activation pathways and anti-inflammatory checkpoint and immunomodulatory pathways, with a net result of no tissue injury. In Grade 3, IFNγ-driven inflammation, antigen presenting cell activation and infiltration of the skin by proliferative T cells bearing markers of antigen specific activation and cytotoxic effector molecules tipped the balance towards tissue injury. Rejection of VCA and solid organ transplants had both distinct and common features. VCA rejection was uniquely associated with upregulation of immunoregulatory genes, including SOCS1, induction of lipid antigen-presenting CD1 proteins, and infiltration by T cells predicted to recognize CD1b and CD1c. CONCLUSIONS. Our findings suggest that the distinct features of VCA rejection reflect the unique immunobiology of skin and that enhancing cutaneous immunoregulatory networks may be a useful strategy in combatting rejection.
Thet Su Win, William J. Crisler, Beatrice Dyring-Andersen, Rachel Lopdrup, Jessica E. Teague, Qian Zhan, Victor Barrera, Shannan J. Ho Sui, Sotirios Tasigiorgos, Naoka Murakami, Anil Chandraker, Stefan G. Tullius, Bohdan Pomahac, Leonardo V. Riella, Rachael Clark
IgE induced by type 2 immune responses in atopic dermatitis is implicated in the progression of atopic dermatitis to other allergic diseases, including food allergies, allergic rhinitis, and asthma. However, the keratinocyte-derived signals that promote IgE and ensuing allergic diseases remain unclear. Herein, in a mouse model of atopic dermatitis–like skin inflammation induced by epicutaneous Staphylococcus aureus exposure, keratinocyte release of IL‑36α along with IL-4 triggered B cell IgE class-switching, plasma cell differentiation, and increased serum IgE levels—all of which were abrogated in IL-36R–deficient mice or anti-IL‑36R–blocking antibody–treated mice. Moreover, skin allergen sensitization during S. aureus epicutaneous exposure-induced IL-36 responses was required for the development of allergen-specific lung inflammation. In translating these findings, elevated IL‑36 cytokines in human atopic dermatitis skin and in IL‑36 receptor antagonist–deficiency patients coincided with increased serum IgE levels. Collectively, keratinocyte-initiated IL‑36 responses represent a key mechanism and potential therapeutic target against allergic diseases.
Garrett J. Patrick, Haiyun Liu, Martin P. Alphonse, Dustin A. Dikeman, Christine Youn, Jack C. Otterson, Yu Wang, Advaitaa Ravipati, Momina Mazhar, George Denny, Roger V. Ortines, Emily Zhang, Robert J. Miller, Carly A. Dillen, Qi Liu, Sabrina J. Nolan, Kristine Nguyen, LeeAnn Marcello, Danh C. Do, Eric M. Wier, Yan Zhang, Gary Caviness, Alexander C. Klimowicz, Diane V. Mierz, Jay S. Fine, Guangping Sun, Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky, Alina I. Marusina, Alexander A. Merleev, Emanual Maverakis, Luis A. Garza, Joshua D. Milner, Peisong Gao, Meera Ramanujam, Ernest L. Raymond, Nathan K. Archer, Lloyd S. Miller
In humans receiving intestinal transplantation (ITx), long-term multilineage blood chimerism often develops. Donor T cell macrochimerism (≥4%) frequently occurs without graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) and is associated with reduced rejection. Here we demonstrate that patients with macrochimerism had high graft-versus-host (GvH) to host-versus-graft (HvG) T cell clonal ratios in their allografts. These GvH clones entered the circulation, where their peak levels were associated with declines in HvG clones early post-transplant, suggesting that GvH reactions may contribute to chimerism and control HvG responses without causing GVHD. Consistently, donor-derived T cells, including GvH clones, and CD34+ HSPCs were simultaneously detected in the recipients’ bone marrow (BM) >100 days post-transplant. Individual GvH clones appeared in ileal mucosa or PBMCs before detection in recipient BM, consistent with an intestinal mucosal origin, where donor GvH-reactive T cells expanded early upon entry of recipient APCs into the graft. These results, combined cytotoxic single cell transcriptional profiles of donor T cells in recipient BM, suggest that tissue-resident GvH-reactive donor T cells migrated into the recipient circulation and BM, where they destroyed recipient hematopoietic cells through cytolytic effector functions and promoted engraftment of graft-derived HSPCs that maintain chimerism. These mechanisms suggest an approach to achieving intestinal allograft tolerance.
Jianing Fu, Julien Zuber, Brittany Shonts, Aleksandar Obradovic, Zicheng Wang, Kristjana Frangaj, Wenzhao Meng, Aaron M. Rosenfeld, Elizabeth E. Waffarn, Peter Liou, Sai-Ping Lau, Thomas M. Savage, Suxiao Yang, Kortney Rogers, Nichole M. Danzl, Shilpa Ravella, Prakash Satwani, Alina Iuga, Siu-Hong Ho, Adam Griesemer, Yufeng Shen, Eline T. Luning Prak, Mercedes Martinez, Tomoaki Kato, Megan Sykes