Consulting Professor, Medicine - Immunology & Rheumatology
Dengue virus infection is a public health threat to hundreds of millions of individuals in the tropical regions of the globe. Although Dengue infection usually manifests itself in its mildest, though often debilitating clinical form, dengue fever, life-threatening complications commonly arise in the form of hemorrhagic shock and encephalitis. The etiological basis for the virus-induced pathology in general, and the different clinical manifestations in particular, are not well understood. We reasoned that a detailed knowledge of the global biological processes affected by virus entry into a cell might help shed new light on this long-standing problem.A bacterial two-hybrid screen using DENV2 structural proteins as bait was performed, and the results were used to feed a manually curated, global dengue-human protein interaction network. Gene ontology and pathway enrichment, along with network topology and microarray meta-analysis, were used to generate hypothesis regarding dengue disease biology.Combining bioinformatic tools with two-hybrid technology, we screened human cDNA libraries to catalogue proteins physically interacting with the DENV2 virus structural proteins, Env, cap and PrM. We identified 31 interacting human proteins representing distinct biological processes that are closely related to the major clinical diagnostic feature of dengue infection: haemostatic imbalance. In addition, we found dengue-binding human proteins involved with additional key aspects, previously described as fundamental for virus entry into cells and the innate immune response to infection. Construction of a DENV2-human global protein interaction network revealed interesting biological properties suggested by simple network topology analysis.Our experimental strategy revealed that dengue structural proteins interact with human protein targets involved in the maintenance of blood coagulation and innate anti-viral response processes, and predicts that the interaction of dengue proteins with a proposed human protein interaction network produces a modified biological outcome that may be behind the hallmark pathologies of dengue infection.
View details for DOI 10.1186/1471-2334-11-34
View details for Web of Science ID 000287239500001
View details for PubMedID 21281507
Whole genome oligo-microarrays were used to characterize age-dependent and tissue-specific changes in gene expression in pancreatic lymph nodes, spleen, and peripheral blood cells, obtained from up to 8 individual NOD mice at 6 different time points (1.5 to 20 weeks of age), compared to NOD.B10 tissue controls. "Milestone Genes" are genes whose expression was significantly changed (approximately 3 fold) as the result of splicing or changes in transcript level. Milestone Genes were identified among genes within type one diabetes (T1D) susceptibility regions (Idd). Milestone Genes showing uniform patterns of changes in expression at various time points were identified, but the patterns of distribution and kinetics of expression were unique to each tissue. Potential T1D candidate genes were identified among Milestone Genes within Idd regions and/or hierarchical clusters. These studies identified tissue- and age-specific changes in gene expression that may play an important role in the inductive or destructive events of T1D.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clim.2008.07.028
View details for Web of Science ID 000260553600003
View details for PubMedID 18801706
The ubiquitin E3 ligase gene related to anergy in lymphocytes (GRAIL) (Rnf128) is a type 1 transmembrane protein that induces T cell anergy through the ubiquitination activity of its cytosolic RING finger. GRAIL also contains an equally large luminal region consisting primarily of an uncharacterized protease-associated (PA) domain. Using two-hybrid technology to screen for proteins that bound the PA domain we identified CD151, a member of the tetraspanin family of membrane proteins. GRAIL bound to the luminal/extracellular portion of both CD151 and the related tetraspanin CD81 using its PA domain, which promoted ubiquitination of cytosolic lysine residues. GRAIL exhibited specificity for lysines only within the tetraspanin amino terminus even in the presence of other cytosolic lysine residues in the substrate. GRAIL-mediated ubiquitination promoted proteasomal degradation and cell surface down-regulation of tetraspanins via Lys-48 linkages. As a result, the juxtaposition of PA and RING finger domains across a lipid bilayer facilitates the capture of transmembrane substrates for subsequent ubiquitination. These findings identify for the first time a single subunit E3 ligase containing a substrate-binding domain spatially restricted by a membrane from its E2 recruitment domain as well as an E3 ligase for members of the tetraspanin family.
View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M805092200
View details for Web of Science ID 000259969300052
View details for PubMedID 18713730
Ubiquitination of eukaryotic proteins regulates a broad range of cellular processes, including regulation of T cell activation and tolerance. We have previously demonstrated that gene related to anergy in lymphocytes (GRAIL), a ring finger ubiquitin E3 ligase, is required for the induction of T cell anergy; however, the substrate(s) for GRAIL E3 ligase activity is/are unknown. In this study, we report a novel prokaryotic system developed to screen for substrates of E3 ligases. Using this screen, Rho guanine dissociation inhibitor (RhoGDI) was identified as a potential substrate of GRAIL. GRAIL was subsequently demonstrated to bind and ubiquitinate RhoGDI, although GRAIL-mediated ubiquitination of RhoGDI did not result in proteosomal degradation. Expression of GRAIL in T cells resulted in specific inhibition of RhoA GTPase activation; activation of Rac1, cdc42, and Ras GTPases were not affected. Interestingly, stable T cell lines expressing dominant-negative RhoA mimicked the GRAIL-mediated IL-2 inhibition phenotype, and T cells expressing constitutively active RhoA were able to overcome GRAIL-mediated inhibition of IL-2 expression. These findings validate our prokaryotic screen as a method of identifying substrates for ubiquitin E3 ligases and suggest a role for Rho effector molecules in T cell anergy.
View details for Web of Science ID 000242261800012
View details for PubMedID 17114425
Human CD8+ T cells activated and expanded by TCR cross-linking and high-dose IL-2 acquire potent cytolytic ability against tumors and are a promising approach for immunotherapy of malignant diseases. We have recently reported that in vitro killing by these activated cells, which share phenotypic and functional characteristics with NK cells, is mediated principally by NKG2D. NKG2D is a surface receptor that is expressed by all NK cells and transmits an activating signal via the DAP10 adaptor molecule. Using stable RNA interference induced by lentiviral transduction, we show that NKG2D is required for cytolysis of tumor cells, including autologous tumor cells from patients with ovarian cancer. We also demonstrated that NKG2D is required for in vivo antitumor activity. Furthermore, both activated and expanded CD8+ T cells and NK cells use DAP10. In addition, direct killing was partially dependent on the DAP12 signaling pathway. This requirement by activated and expanded CD8+ T cells for DAP12, and hence stimulus from a putative DAP12-partnered activating surface receptor, persisted when assayed by anti-NKG2D Ab-mediated redirected cytolysis. These studies demonstrated the importance of NKG2D, DAP10, and DAP12 in human effector cell function.
View details for Web of Science ID 000234030400008
View details for PubMedID 16339517
Since the completion of the sequencing of the human genome, scientific focus has shifted from studying genes to analysing the much larger number of proteins encoded by them. Several proteins can be generated from a single gene depending on how the genetic information is read (transcribed) and how the resultant protein is modified following translation (post-translational modification). Genomic and proteomic technologies are already providing useful information about autoimmune disease, and they are likely to lead to important discoveries within the next decade.
View details for DOI 10.1038/nature03726
View details for Web of Science ID 000229476200038
View details for PubMedID 15931213
The ability of tumors to evade the immune system is thought to result from the inability of T lymphocytes to recognize and respond to tumor antigens. This lack of T cell response may depend on a failure of dendritic cells to present antigen in the proper context so that T cells become tolerant to tumor antigens rather than primed to undergo an immune response. The inability of tumor-associated dendritic cells to effectively present antigen may in turn depend on inhibitory factors in the tumor milieu. Recent experiments suggest that the administration of toll-like receptor ligands stimulate dendritic cell activation and maturation and may thus help overcome T cell tolerance to tumor antigens. Whether or not such an approach is clinically feasible remains to be seen.
View details for PubMedID 15252217
Acquisition of the anergy phenotype in T cells is blocked by inhibitors of protein synthesis and calcineurin activity, suggesting that anergic T cells may have a unique genetic program. Retroviral transduction of hemopoietic stem cells from TCR transgenic mice and subsequent reconstitution of syngeneic mice to express the E3 ubiquitin ligase, gene related to anergy in lymphocytes (GRAIL), or an enzymatically inactive form, H2N2 GRAIL, allowed analysis of the role of GRAIL in T cell anergy in vivo. Constitutive expression of GRAIL was sufficient to render naive CD4 T cells anergic, however, when the enzymatically inactive form H2N2 GRAIL was expressed, it functioned as a dominant negative of endogenous GRAIL and blocked the development of anergy. These data provide direct evidence that a biochemical pathway composed of GRAIL and/or GRAIL-interacting proteins is important in the development of the CD4 T cell anergic phenotype in vivo.
View details for Web of Science ID 000222170900014
View details for PubMedID 15210761
Recent reports of tumor regression following delivery of autologous tumor antigen-pulsed DCs suggest that defective antigen presentation may play a key role in tumor escape. Here we show in two different murine tumor models, CT26 (colon adenocarcinoma) and B16 (melanoma), that the number and activation state of intratumoral DCs are critical factors in the host response to tumors. We used CCL20/macrophage inflammatory protein-3alpha (MIP-3alpha) chemokine to increase the number of tumoral DCs and intratumoral injections of CG-rich motifs (CpGs) to activate such cells. Expression of CCL20 in the tumor site attracted large numbers of circulating DCs into the tumor mass and, in the case of CT26 tumors, led to complete tumor regression. Intratumoral CpG injections, in addition to CCL20, were required to induce therapeutic immunity against B16 tumors. In this model CpG overcame tumor-mediated inhibition of DC activation and enabled tumoral DCs to cross-present tumor antigens to naive CD8 T cells. CpG activation of tumoral DCs alone was not sufficient to induce tumor regression in either tumor model, nor was systemic delivery of the DC growth factor, Flt3 ligand, which dramatically increased the number of circulating DCs but not the number of tumoral DCs. These results indicate that the number of tumoral DCs as well as the tumor milieu determines the ability of tumor-bearing hosts to mount an effective antitumor immune response. Our results also suggest that DCs can be manipulated in vivo without delivery of defined tumor antigens to induce a specific T cell-mediated antitumor response and provide the basis for the use of chemokines in DC-targeted clinical strategies.
View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI200419762
View details for Web of Science ID 000189379500020
View details for PubMedID 14991076
The active ubiquitin E3 ligase GRAIL is crucial in the induction of CD4 T cell anergy. Here we show that GRAIL is associated with and regulated by two isoforms of the ubiquitin-specific protease otubain 1. In lethally irradiated mice reconstituted with bone marrow cells from T cell receptor-transgenic mice retrovirally transduced to express the genes encoding these proteases, otubain 1-expressing cells contained negligible amounts of endogenous GRAIL, proliferated well and produced large amounts of interleukin 2 after antigenic stimulation. In contrast, cells expressing the alternatively spliced isoform, otubain 1 alternative reading frame 1, contained large amounts of endogenous GRAIL and were functionally anergic, and they proliferated poorly and produced undetectable interleukin 2 when stimulated in a similar way. Thus, these two proteins have opposing epistatic functions in controlling the stability of GRAIL expression and the resultant anergy phenotype in T cells.
View details for DOI 10.1038/ni1017
View details for Web of Science ID 000187635800013
View details for PubMedID 14661020
T cell anergy may serve to limit autoreactive T cell responses. We examined early changes in gene expression after antigen-TCR signaling in the presence (activation) or absence (anergy) of B7 costimulation. Induced expression of GRAIL (gene related to anergy in lymphocytes) was observed in anergic CD4(+) T cells. GRAIL is a type I transmembrane protein that localizes to the endocytic pathway and bears homology to RING zinc-finger proteins. Ubiquitination studies in vitro support GRAIL function as an E3 ubiquitin ligase. Expression of GRAIL in retrovirally transduced T cell hybridomas dramatically limits activation-induced IL-2 and IL-4 production. Additional studies suggest that GRAIL E3 ubiquitin ligase activity and intact endocytic trafficking are critical for cytokine transcriptional regulation. Expression of GRAIL after an anergizing stimulus may result in ubiquitin-mediated regulation of proteins essential for mitogenic cytokine expression, thus positioning GRAIL as a key player in the induction of the anergic phenotype.
View details for Web of Science ID 000182353900009
View details for PubMedID 12705856
Ligation of the V7 (CD101) molecule on T cells with anti-V7 mAb blocks TCR/CD3-induced proliferation by inhibiting IL-2 transcription. To explore the basis for this observation, we analyzed the effects of V7 ligation on CD3/TCR-induced changes in intracellular free Ca2+ and Ca2+-dependent nuclear factor of activated T cells (NF-AT) translocation to the nucleus, which is required for IL-2 transcription. T cells exposed to anti-V7 mAb fluxed Ca2+ transiently, but did not flux Ca2+ in response to subsequent treatment with anti-CD3; however, they recovered the capacity to flux Ca2+ after treatment with pervanadate, indicating that tyrosine dephosphorylation of a critical V7-related substrate is required in the desensitization process. One such substrate, phospholipase C (PLC)-gamma1, becomes tyrosine phosphorylated on CD3/TCR activation and mediates inositol triphosphate-dependent Ca2+ flux. Co-cross-linking of T cells with anti-CD3 and anti-V7 resulted in selective inhibition of PLC-gamma1 tyrosine phosphorylation, which may explain V7-mediated blockade of anti-CD3-induced Ca2+ flux. Moreover, anti-CD3-induced binding of transcription factors to a consensus NF-AT-binding oligonucleotide, which is dependent on Ca2+, was blocked completely by treatment of the cells with anti-V7, whereas binding to a consensus-activating protein-1 oligonucleotide was unaffected. Western blot analysis of cytoplasmic and nuclear extracts confirmed that anti-V7 prevented nuclear translocation of NF-ATc induced by anti-CD3. We conclude that V7 ligation interferes with T cell activation and IL-2 secretion through a Ca2+ and tyrosine kinase-dependent pathway that inhibits PLC-gamma1 phosphorylation and prevents NF-AT translocation to the nucleus.
View details for Web of Science ID 000074302700028
View details for PubMedID 9647226
Previous studies have demonstrated that a mAb that recognizes the leukocyte surface Ag V7 inhibits TCR/CD3-dependent T cell activation. In the current study, we demonstrate that in addition to inhibiting T cell proliferation and IL-2 production, anti-V7 blocks tyrosine phosphorylation of TCR/CD3-associated substrates. PMA overcomes this effect, and both PMA and exogenous IL-2 overcome anti-V7-mediated inhibition of T cell proliferation and IL-2 production. T cells stimulated with anti-CD3 in the absence of CD28 or V7 ligation become unresponsive (anergic) to restimulation with anti-CD3; T cells primed in the presence of either anti-V7 or anti-CD28 retain their ability to respond to restimulation with anti-CD3. When T cells are primed in the presence of optimal concentrations of anti-V7 and anti-CD28 Abs, they proliferate normally, indicating that the costimulatory signals generated through CD28 dominate the inhibitory signals generated through V7. However, as the anti-CD28 stimulus is diluted, the V7 effect becomes dominant and proliferation is inhibited. Thus, although both anti-V7 and anti-CD28 Abs prevent anergy, they induce distinct, competing intracellular signals. Wortmannin, which blocks phosphoinositol 3-kinase-dependent signaling, has little effect on V7-mediated inhibition, while herbimycin, an inhibitor of tyrosine kinase, synergizes with anti-V7 to inhibit T cell activation. On the basis of these findings, V7-mediated signals appear to inhibit TCR-dependent tyrosine kinases that are required for IL-2 production and cellular proliferation.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XL78900010
View details for PubMedID 9233604
V7 is a novel cell surface glycoprotein that is expressed on 25% of circulating T lymphocytes. This molecule appears to play a critical role in T cell activation based on the observation that a monoclonal anti-V7 antibody inhibits T cell receptor (TCR)-dependent interleukin-2 (IL-2) production and proliferation of T cells. In the current study, CD4+ V7+ and CD4+ V7- T cells were separated from one another and their response to various stimuli analyzed. Although there were only minor differences between the two subsets in the expression of activation/differentiation markers, including CD45RA and R0 isotypes, when exposed to immobilized anti-CD3 or anti-TCR antibodies in the absence of APC, CD4+ V7+ T cells alone produced IL-2 and proliferated vigorously. By contrast, CD4+ V7- cells responded poorly to such stimuli, but they recovered their capacity to respond if antigen-presenting cells (APC) or anti-CD28-antibody were added to the cultures. The enhancement of the V7- T cell response by APC appears to be related to augmentation of TCR signals because the effect could be blocked by antibodies against molecules on APC [major histocompatibility (MHC) class II, CD86] that are known to up-regulate such signals through their interaction with counter-receptors on T cells. To assess the role of V7 in a system independent of co-stimulation, CD4+ T cells were stimulated with the bacterial superantigens, staphylococcal enterotoxins A and B. The cells responded by proliferating and then becoming anergic. Addition of anti-V7 antibody at the initiation of culture with superantigen did not inhibit cellular proliferation but prevented T cells from becoming anergic, while addition of anti-CD28 antibody had no effect on either proliferation or anergy induction. These results indicate that V7 and CD28 mediate distinct intracellular signals and suggest that V7 functions to preserve T cell reactivity whether the stimulus is mitogenic or anergizing.
View details for Web of Science ID A1997XD60100017
View details for PubMedID 9209493