First generation immune checkpoint inhibitors including anti-CTLA-4 and anti-PD-1 antibodies have led to major clinical progress, yet resistance frequently leads to treatment failure. Thus, new targets acting on T cells are needed. CD33-related Siglecs are pattern recognition immune receptors binding to a range of sialoglycan ligands, which appear to function as self-associated molecular patterns (SAMPs) that suppress autoimmune responses. Siglecs are expressed at very low levels on normal T cells, and these receptors were not yet considered as interesting targets on T cells for cancer immunotherapy. Here, we show an upregulation of Siglecs including Siglec-9 on tumor-infiltrating T cells from non-small cell lung (NSCLC), colorectal and ovarian cancer patients. Siglec-9 expressing T cells co-expressed several inhibitory receptors including PD-1. Targeting of the sialoglycan-SAMP/Siglec pathway in vitro and in vivo resulted in increased anti-cancer immunity. T cell expression of Siglec-9 in NSCLC patients correlated with a reduced survival, and Siglec-9 polymorphisms showed associations with the risk of developing lung and colorectal cancer. Our data identify the sialoglycan-SAMP/Siglec pathway as new potential target to improve T cell activation for immunotherapy.
Michal A. Stanczak, Shoib S. Siddiqui, Marcel P. Trefny, Daniela S. Thommen, Kayluz Frias Boligan, Stephan von Gunten, Alexandar Tzankov, Lothar Tietze, Didier Lardinois, Viola Heinzelmann-Schwarz, Michael S. von Bergwelt-Baildon, Wu Zhang, Heinz-Josef Lenz, Younghan Han, Christopher I. Amos, Mohammedyaseen Syedbasha, Adrian Egli, Frank Stenner, Daniel E. Speiser, Ajit Varki, Alfred Zippelius, Heinz Läubli
While T cells are important for the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and lupus nephritis, little is known about how T cells function after infiltrating the kidney. The current paradigm suggests that kidney infiltrating T cells (KITs) are activated effector cells contributing to tissue damage and ultimately organ failure. Herein, we demonstrate that the majority of CD4+ and CD8+ KITs in three murine lupus models are not effector cells, as hypothesized, but rather expressed multiple inhibitory receptors and proved highly dysfunctional with reduced cytokine production and proliferative capacity. Mechanistically this was linked directly to metabolic and specifically mitochondrial dysfunction. This was driven by the expression of an “exhausted” transcriptional signature. Our data thus reveal that the tissue parenchyma has the capability to suppress T cell responses and limit damage to self. These findings open novel avenues for the treatment of autoimmunity based on selectively exploiting the exhausted phenotype of tissue-infiltrating T cells.
Jeremy S. Tilstra, Lyndsay Avery, Ashley V. Menk, Rachael A. Gordon, Shuchi Smita, Lawrence P. Kane, Maria Chikina, Greg M. Delgoffe, Mark J. Shlomchik
Congenital neutropenia is characterized by low absolute neutrophil numbers in blood, leading to recurrent bacterial infections, and patients often require life-long granulocyte CSF (G-CSF) support. X-linked neutropenia (XLN) is caused by gain-of-function mutations in the actin regulator Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp). To understand the pathophysiology in XLN and the role of WASp in neutrophils, we here examined XLN patients and 2 XLN mouse models. XLN patients had reduced myelopoiesis and extremely low blood neutrophil number. However, their neutrophils had a hyperactive phenotype and were present in normal numbers in XLN patient saliva. Murine XLN neutrophils were hyperactivated, with increased actin dynamics and migration into tissues. We provide molecular evidence that the hyperactivity of XLN neutrophils is caused by WASp in a constitutively open conformation due to contingent phosphorylation of the critical tyrosine-293 and plasma membrane localization. This renders WASp activity less dependent on regulation by PI3K. Our data show that the amplitude of WASp activity inside a cell could be enhanced by cell-surface receptor signaling even in the context in which WASp is already in an active conformation. Moreover, these data categorize XLN as an atypical congenital neutropenia in which constitutive activation of WASp in tissue neutrophils compensates for reduced myelopoiesis.
Marton Keszei, Julien Record, Joanna S. Kritikou, Hannah Wurzer, Chiara Geyer, Meike Thiemann, Paul Drescher, Hanna Brauner, Laura Köcher, Jaime James, Minghui He, Marisa A.P. Baptista, Carin I.M. Dahlberg, Amlan Biswas, Sonia Lain, David P. Lane, Wenxia Song, Katrin Pütsep, Peter Vandenberghe, Scott B. Snapper, Lisa S. Westerberg
Regulatory T-cells (Treg) are critical for maintaining immune homeostasis. However, current Treg immunotherapies do not optimally treat inflammatory diseases in patients. Understanding the cellular processes that control Treg function may allow for the augmentation of therapeutic efficacy. In contrast to activated conventional T-cells, where protein kinase C-θ (PKC-θ) localizes to the contact-point between T-cells and antigen-presenting cells, in human and mouse Treg, PKC-θ localizes to the opposite end of the cell in the distal pole complex (DPC). Here, using a phosphoproteomic screen, we identified the intermediate filament vimentin as a PKC-θ phospho-target and show that vimentin forms a DPC superstructure on which PKC-θ accumulates. Treatment of mouse Treg with either a clinically relevant PKC-θ inhibitor or vimentin siRNA disrupted vimentin and enhanced Treg metabolic and suppressive activity. Moreover, vimentin-disrupted mouse Treg were significantly better than controls in suppressing alloreactive T-cell priming in graft-versus-host disease, and graft-versus-host disease lethality, using a complete MHC mismatch mouse model of acute graft-versus-host disease (C57BL/6 donor in to BALB/c host). Interestingly, vimentin disruption augmented suppressor function of PKC-θ-deficient mouse Treg. This suggests that enhanced Treg activity after PKC-θ inhibition is secondary to effects on vimentin, not just PKC-θ kinase activity inhibition. Our data demonstrated that vimentin is a key metabolic and functional controller of Treg activity, and provide proof-of-principle that disrupting vimentin is a feasible, translationally relevant method to enhance Treg potency.
Cameron McDonald-Hyman, James T. Muller, Michael Loschi, Govindarajan Thangavelu, Asim Saha, Sudha Kumari, Dawn K. Reichenbach, Michelle J. Smith, Guoan Zhang, Brent H. Koehn, Jiqiang Lin, Jason S. Mitchell, Brian T. Fife, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Colby J. Feser, Andrew Kemal Kirchmeier, Mark J. Osborn, Keli L. Hippen, Ameeta Kelekar, Jonathan S. Serody, Laurence A. Turka, David H. Munn, Hongbo Chi, Thomas A. Neubert, Michael L. Dustin, Bruce R. Blazar
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract remains the major cause of morbidity and non-relapse mortality after bone marrow transplantation (BMT). The Paneth cell protein, regenerating islet-derived 3-alpha (REG3α), is a biomarker specific for GI GVHD. REG3α serum levels rose in the systematic circulation as GVHD progressively destroyed Paneth cells and reduced GI epithelial barrier function. Paradoxically, GVHD suppressed intestinal REG3γ (the mouse homologue of human REG3α), and the absence of REG3γ in BMT recipients intensified GVHD but did not change the composition of the microbiome. IL-22 administration restored REG3γ production and prevented apoptosis of both intestinal stem cells (ISCs) and Paneth cells, but this protection was completely abrogated in Reg3g−/− mice. In vitro, addition of REG3α reduced the apoptosis of colonic cell lines. Strategies that increase intestinal REG3α/γ to promote crypt regeneration may offer a novel, non-immunosuppressive approach for GVHD and perhaps for other diseases involving the ISC niche such as inflammatory bowel disease.
Dongchang Zhao, Yeung-Hyen Kim, Seihwan Jeong, Joel K. Greenson, Mohammed S. Chaudhry, Matthias Hoepting, Erik R. Anderson, Marcel R.M. van den Brink, Jonathan U. Peled, Antonio L.C. Gomes, Ann E. Slingerland, Michael J. Donovan, Andrew C. Harris, John E. Levine, Umut Özbek, Lora V. Hooper, Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck, Aaron M. Ver Heul, Ta-Chiang Liu, Pavan Reddy, James L.M. Ferrara
Controlling graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major unmet need in stem cell transplantation, and new, targeted therapies are being actively developed. CD28-CD80/86 costimulation blockade represents a promising strategy, but targeting CD80/CD86 with CTLA4-Ig may be associated with undesired blockade of coinhibitory pathways. In contrast, targeted blockade of CD28 exclusively inhibits T cell costimulation and may more potently prevent GVHD. Here, we investigated FR104, an antagonistic CD28-specific pegylated-Fab′, in the nonhuman primate (NHP) GVHD model and completed a multiparameter interrogation comparing it with CTLA4-Ig, with and without sirolimus, including clinical, histopathologic, flow cytometric, and transcriptomic analyses. We document that FR104 monoprophylaxis and combined prophylaxis with FR104/sirolimus led to enhanced control of effector T cell proliferation and activation compared with the use of CTLA4-Ig or CTLA4-Ig/sirolimus. Importantly, FR104/sirolimus did not lead to a beneficial impact on Treg reconstitution or homeostasis, consistent with control of conventional T cell activation and IL-2 production needed to support Tregs. While FR104/sirolimus had a salutary effect on GVHD-free survival, overall survival was not improved, due to death in the absence of GVHD in several FR104/sirolimus recipients in the setting of sepsis and a paralyzed INF-γ response. These results therefore suggest that effectively deploying CD28 in the clinic will require close scrutiny of both the benefits and risks of extensively abrogating conventional T cell activation after transplant.
Benjamin K. Watkins, Victor Tkachev, Scott N. Furlan, Daniel J. Hunt, Kayla Betz, Alison Yu, Melanie Brown, Nicolas Poirier, Hengqi Betty Zheng, Agne Taraseviciute, Lucrezia Colonna, Caroline Mary, Gilles Blancho, Jean-Paul Soulillou, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Prachi Sharma, Anapatricia Garcia, Elizabeth Strobert, Kelly Hamby, Aneesah Garrett, Taylor Deane, Bruce R. Blazar, Bernard Vanhove, Leslie S. Kean
B cells are increasingly recognised to play an important role in the ongoing control of hepatitis B virus (HBV). The development of antibodies against the viral surface antigen (HBsAg) constitutes the hallmark of resolution of acute infection and is a therapeutic goal for functional cure of chronic HBV (CHB). We characterised B cells directly ex vivo from the blood and liver of patients with CHB to investigate constraints on their antiviral potential. Unexpectedly, we found that HBsAg-specific B cells persisted in the blood and liver of many patients with CHB and were enriched for T-bet, a signature of antiviral potential in B cells. However purified, differentiated HBsAg-specific B cells from patients with CHB had defective antibody production, consistent with undetectable anti-HBs antibodies in vivo. HBsAg-specific and global B cells had an accumulation of CD21–CD27– atypical memory B cells (atMBC) with high expression of inhibitory receptors including PD-1. These atMBC demonstrated altered signalling, homing, differentiation into antibody-producing cells, survival and antiviral/pro-inflammatory cytokine production, that could be partially rescued by PD-1 blockade. Analysis of B cells within healthy and HBV-infected livers implicated the combination of this tolerogenic niche and HBV infection in driving PD-1hiatMBC and impairing B cell immunity.
Alice R. Burton, Laura J. Pallett, Laura E. McCoy, Kornelija Suveizdyte, Oliver E. Amin, Leo Swadling, Elena Alberts, Brian R. Davidson, Patrick T.F. Kennedy, Upkar S. Gill, Claudia Mauri, Paul A. Blair, Nadege Pelletier, Mala K. Maini
SUMOylation is involved in the development of several inflammatory diseases, but the physiological significance of SUMO-modulated c-Maf in autoimmune diabetes is not completely understood. Here, we report that an age-dependent attenuation of c-Maf SUMOylation in CD4+ T cells is positively correlated with the IL-21–mediated diabetogenesis in NOD mice. Using 2 strains of T cell–specific transgenic NOD mice overexpressing wild-type c-Maf (Tg-WTc) or SUMOylation site–mutated c-Maf (Tg-KRc), we demonstrated that Tg-KRc mice developed diabetes more rapidly than Tg-WTc mice in a CD4+ T cell–autonomous manner. Moreover, SUMO-defective c-Maf preferentially transactivated Il21 to promote the development of CD4+ T cells with an extrafollicular helper T cell phenotype and expand the numbers of granzyme B–producing effector/memory CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, SUMO-defective c-Maf selectively inhibited recruitment of Daxx/HDAC2 to the Il21 promoter and enhanced histone acetylation mediated by CREB-binding protein (CBP) and p300. Using pharmacological interference with CBP/p300, we illustrated that CBP30 treatment ameliorated c-Maf–mediated/IL-21–based diabetogenesis. Taken together, our results show that the SUMOylation status of c-Maf has a stronger regulatory effect on IL-21 than the level of c-Maf expression, through an epigenetic mechanism. These findings provide new insights into how SUMOylation modulates the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes in a T cell–restricted manner and on the basis of a single transcription factor.
Chao-Yuan Hsu, Li-Tzu Yeh, Shin-Huei Fu, Ming-Wei Chien, Yu-Wen Liu, Shi-Chuen Miaw, Deh-Ming Chang, Huey-Kang Sytwu
Autosomal dominant hyper IgE syndrome (AD-HIES), or Job’s syndrome, is a primary immune deficiency caused by dominant-negative mutations in STAT3. Recurrent Staphylococcus aureus skin abscesses are a defining feature of this syndrome. A widely held hypothesis that defects in peripheral Th17 differentiation confer this susceptibility has never been directly evaluated. To assess the cutaneous immune response in AD-HIES, we induced suction blisters in healthy volunteers (HVs) and patients with AD-HIES and then challenged the wound with lethally irradiated bacteria. We show that cutaneous production of IL-17A and IL-17F was normal in patients with AD-HIES. Overproduction of TNF-α differentiated the responses in AD-HIES from HVs. This was associated with reduced IL-10 family signaling in blister-infiltrating cells and defective epithelial cell function. Mouse models of AD-HIES recapitulated these aberrant epithelial responses to S. aureus and involved defective epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) rather than a failure of bacterial killing. Defective responses in mouse models of AD-HIES and primary keratinocyte cultures from patients with AD-HIES could be reversed by TNF-α blockade and by drugs with reported modulatory effects on EMT. Our results identify these as potential therapeutic approaches in patients with AD-HIES suffering S. aureus infections.
Ian A. Myles, Erik D. Anderson, Noah J. Earland, Kol A. Zarember, Inka Sastalla, Kelli W. Williams, Portia Gough, Ian N. Moore, Sundar Ganesan, Cedar J. Fowler, Arian Laurence, Mary Garofalo, Douglas B. Kuhns, Mark D. Kieh, Arhum Saleem, Pamela A. Welch, Dirk A. Darnell, John I. Gallin, Alexandra F. Freeman, Steven M. Holland, Sandip K. Datta
Purinergic receptor-7 (P2X7R) signaling controls Th17 and Th1 generation/differentiation, while NOD-like receptor P3 (NLRP3) acts as a Th2 transcriptional factor. Here, we demonstrated the existence of a P2X7R/NLRP3 pathway in T cells that is dysregulated by a P2X7R intracellular region loss-of-function mutation, leading to NLRP3 displacement and to excessive Th17 generation due to abrogation of the NLRP3-mediated Th2 program. This ultimately resulted in poor outcomes in cardiac-transplanted patients carrying the mutant allele, who showed abnormal Th17 generation. Transient NLRP3 silencing in nonmutant T cells or overexpression in mutant T cells normalized the Th profile. Interestingly, IL-17 blockade reduced Th17 skewing of human T cells in vitro and abrogated the severe allograft vasculopathy and abnormal Th17 generation observed in preclinical models in which P2X7R was genetically deleted. This P2X7R intracellular region mutation thus impaired the modulatory effects of P2X7R on NLRP3 expression and function in T cells and led to NLRP3 dysregulation and Th17 skewing, delineating a high-risk group of cardiac-transplanted patients who may benefit from personalized therapy.
Francesca D’Addio, Andrea Vergani, Luciano Potena, Anna Maestroni, Vera Usuelli, Moufida Ben Nasr, Roberto Bassi, Sara Tezza, Sergio Dellepiane, Basset El Essawy, Maria Iascone, Attilio Iacovoni, Laura Borgese, Kaifeng Liu, Gary Visner, Sirano Dhe-Paganon, Domenico Corradi, Reza Abdi, Randall C. Starling, Franco Folli, Gian Vincenzo Zuccotti, Mohamed H. Sayegh, Peter S. Heeger, Anil Chandraker, Francesco Grigioni, Paolo Fiorina