Δευτέρα, 18 Φεβρουαρίου 2019

Immunogenetics

Biology, evolution, and history of antigen processing and presentation: Immunogenetics special issue 2019


Class I transactivator, NLRC5: a central player in the MHC class I pathway and cancer immune surveillance

Abstract

Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I and class II molecules play critical roles in the activation of the adaptive immune system by presenting antigens to CD8+ and CD4+ T cells, respectively. Although it has been well known that CIITA (MHC class II transactivator), an NLR (nucleotide-binding domain, leucine-rich-repeat containing) protein, as a master regulator of MHC class II gene expression, the mechanism of MHC class I gene transactivation was unclear. Recently, another NLR protein, NLRC5 (NLR family, CARD domain-containing 5), was identified as an MHC class I transactivator (CITA). NLRC5 is a critical regulator for the transcriptional activation of MHC class I genes and other genes involved in the MHC class I antigen presentation pathway. CITA/NLRC5 plays a crucial role in human cancer immunity through the recruitment and activation of tumor killing CD8+ T cells. Here, we discuss the molecular function and mechanism of CITA/NLRC5 in the MHC class I pathway and its role in cancer.



Genetics of antigen processing and presentation

Abstract

Immune response to disease requires coordinated expression of an army of molecules. The highly polymorphic MHC class I and class II molecules are key to control of specificity of antigen presentation. Processing of the antigen, to peptides or other moieties, requires other sets of molecules. For classical class I, this includes TAP peptide transporters, proteasome components and Tapasin, genes which are encoded within the MHC. Similarly, HLA-DO and -DM, which influence presentation by HLA class II molecules, are encoded in the MHC region. Analysis of MHC mutants, including point mutations and large deletions, has been central to understanding the roles of these genes. Mouse genetics has also played a major role. Many other genes have been identified including those controlling expression of HLA class I and class II at the transcriptional level. Another genetic approach that has provided insight has been the analysis of microorganisms, including viruses and bacteria that escape immune recognition by blocking these antigen processing and presentation pathways. Here, we provide a brief history of the genetic approaches, both traditional and modern, that have been used in the quest to understand antigen processing and presentation.



MHC class II fine tuning by ubiquitination: lesson from MARCHs

Abstract

Ubiquitination, a posttranscriptional modification, has been known to contribute to many aspects of cellular event (e.g., protein quality control, signal transduction). In 2007 and 2016, we reported physiological E3 ubiquitin ligases for MHC class II; these are membrane-associated ring-CH-type finger (MARCH)-1 and MARCH-8. Importantly, MARCH-1 and -8 are structurally close to each other, but have different expression profiles. MARCH-1 and -8 are expressed at secondary lymphoid organs and thymic epithelial cells, respectively. These findings suggest contribution of MARCHs to immunological disorders in human; however, its contribution remains to be elucidated. In this review, recent progress on MARCHs will be summarized from molecular and/or immunological point of view and future direction would be discussed.



Thymus-specific serine protease, a protease that shapes the CD4 T cell repertoire

Abstract

The lifespan of T cells is determined by continuous interactions of their T cell receptors (TCR) with self-peptide-MHC (self-pMHC) complexes presented by different subsets of antigen-presenting cells (APC). In the thymus, developing thymocytes are positively selected through recognition of self-pMHC presented by cortical thymic epithelial cells (cTEC). They are subsequently negatively selected by medullary thymic epithelial cells (mTEC) or thymic dendritic cells (DC) presenting self-pMHC complexes. In the periphery, the homeostasis of mature T cells is likewise controlled by the interaction of their TCR with self-pMHC complexes presented by lymph node stromal cells while they may be tolerized by DC presenting tissue-derived self-antigens. To perform these tasks, the different subsets of APC are equipped with distinct combination of antigen processing enzymes and consequently present specific repertoire of self-peptides. Here, we discuss one such antigen processing enzyme, the thymus-specific serine protease (TSSP), which is predominantly expressed by thymic stromal cells. In thymic DC and TEC, TSSP edits the repertoire of peptide presented by class II molecules and thus shapes the CD4 T cell repertoire.



What to do with HLA-DO/H-2O two decades later?

Abstract

The main objective of antigen processing is to orchestrate the selection of immunodominant epitopes for recognition by CD4 T cells. To achieve this, MHC class II molecules have evolved with a flexible peptide-binding groove in need of a bound peptide. Newly synthesized MHC-II molecules bind a class II invariant chain (Ii) upon synthesis and are shuttled to a specialized compartment, where they encounter exogenous antigens. Ii serves multiple functions, one of which is to maintain the shape of the MHC-II groove so that it can readily bind exogenous antigens upon dissociation of the Ii peptide in MHC- II compartment. MIIC contains processing enzymes, one or both accessory molecules, HLA-DM/H2-M (DM) and HLA-DO/H2-O (DO), and optimal denaturing conditions. In a process known as "editing," DM facilitates the dissociation of the invariant chain peptide, CLIP, for exchange with exogenous antigens. Despite the availability of mechanistic insights into DM functions, understanding how DO contributes to epitope selection has proven to be more challenging. The current dogma assumes that DO inhibits DM, whereas an opposing model suggests that DO fine-tunes the epitope selection process. Understanding which of these, or potentially other models of DO function is important, as DO variants have been linked to autoimmunity, cancer, and the generation of broadly neutralizing antibodies to viruses. This review therefore attempts to evaluate experimental evidence in support of these hypotheses, with an emphasis on the less discussed model, and to explore intriguing questions about the importance of DO in biology.



Origin and evolution of the specialized forms of proteasomes involved in antigen presentation

Abstract

Proteasomes are a multi-subunit protease complex that produces peptides bound by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I molecules. Phylogenetic studies indicate that two specialized forms of proteasomes, immunoproteasomes and thymoproteasomes, and the proteasome activator PA28αβ emerged in a common ancestor of jawed vertebrates which acquired adaptive immunity based on the MHC, T cell receptors, and B cell receptors ~ 500 million years ago. Comparative genomics studies now provide strong evidence that the genes coding for the immunoproteasome subunits emerged by genome-wide duplication. On the other hand, the gene encoding the thymoproteasome subunit β5t emerged by tandem duplication from the gene coding for the β5 subunit. Strikingly, birds lack immunoproteasomes, thymoproteasomes, and the proteasome activator PA28αβ, raising an interesting question of whether they have evolved any compensatory mechanisms.



Ancient features of the MHC class II presentation pathway, and a model for the possible origin of MHC molecules

Abstract

Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules are only found in jawed vertebrates and not in more primitive species. MHC class II type structures likely represent the ancestral structure of MHC molecules. Efficient MHC class II transport to endosomal compartments depends on association with a specialized chaperone, the MHC class II invariant chain (aliases Ii or CD74). The present study identifies conserved motifs in the CLIP region of CD74 molecules, used for binding in the MHC class II binding groove, throughout jawed vertebrates. Peculiarly, in CD74a molecules of Ostariophysi, a fish clade including for example Mexican tetra and zebrafish, the CLIP region has duplicated. In mammals, in endosomal compartments, the peptide-free form of classical MHC class II is stabilized by binding to nonclassical MHC class II "DM," a process that participates in "peptide editing" (selection for high affinity peptides). Hitherto, DM-lineage genes had only been reported from the level of amphibians, but the present study reveals the existence of DMA and DMB genes in lungfish. This is the first study which details how classical and DM lineage molecules have distinguishing glycine-rich motifs in their transmembrane regions. In addition, based on extant MHC class II structures and functions, the present study proposes a model for early MHC evolution, in which, in an ancestral jawed vertebrate, the ancestral MHC molecule derived from a heavy-chain-only antibody type molecule that cycled between the cell surface and endosomal compartments.



Class II MHC antigen processing in immune tolerance and inflammation

Abstract

Presentation of peptide antigens by MHC-II proteins is prerequisite to effective CD4 T cell tolerance to self and to recognition of foreign antigens. Antigen uptake and processing pathways as well as expression of the peptide exchange factors HLA-DM and HLA-DO differ among the various professional and non-professional antigen-presenting cells and are modulated by cell developmental state and activation. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of these cell-specific factors in controlling the source and breadth of peptides presented by MHC-II under different conditions. During inflammation, increased presentation of selected self-peptides has implications for maintenance of peripheral tolerance and autoimmunity.



A personal retrospective on the mechanisms of antigen processing

Abstract

My intention here is to describe the history of the molecular aspects of the antigen processing field from a personal perspective, beginning with the early identification of the species that we now know as MHC class I and MHC class II molecules, to the recognition that their stable surface expression and detection by T cells depends on peptide association, and to the unraveling of the biochemical and cell biological mechanisms that regulate peptide binding. One goal is to highlight the role that serendipity or, more colloquially, pure blind luck can play in advancing the research enterprise when it is combined with an appropriately receptive mind. This is not intended to be an overarching review, and because of my own work I focus primarily on studies of the human MHC. This means that I neglect the work of many other individuals who made advances in other species, particularly those who produced the many knockout mouse strains used to demonstrate the importance of the antigen processing machinery for initiating immune responses. I apologize in advance to colleagues around the globe whose contributions I deal with inadequately for these reasons, and to those whose foundational work is now firmly established in text books and therefore not cited. So many individuals have worked to advance the field that giving all of them the credit they deserve is almost impossible. I have attempted, while focusing on work from my own laboratory, to point out contemporaneous or sometimes earlier advances made by others. Much of the success of my own laboratory came because we simultaneously worked on both the MHC class I and class II systems and used the findings in one area to inform the other, but mainly it depended on the extraordinary group of students and fellows who have worked on these projects over the years. To those who worked in other areas who are not mentioned here, rest assured that I appreciate your efforts just as much.



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