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Quantitative SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike responses to Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines by previous infection status.
OBJECTIVES: We investigate determinants of SARS-CoV-2 anti-spike IgG responses in healthcare workers (HCWs) following one or two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech or Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. METHODS: HCWs participating in regular SARS-CoV-2 PCR and antibody testing were invited for serological testing prior to first and second vaccination, and 4 weeks post-vaccination if receiving a 12-week dosing interval. Quantitative post-vaccination anti-spike antibody responses were measured using the Abbott SARS-CoV-2 IgG II Quant assay (detection threshold: ≥50 AU/ml). We used multivariable logistic regression to identify predictors of seropositivity and generalised additive models to track antibody responses over time. RESULTS: 3570/3610(98.9%) HCWs were seropositive >14 days post-first vaccination and prior to second vaccination, 2706/2720(99.5%) after Pfizer-BioNTech and 864/890(97.1%) following Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. Previously infected and younger HCWs were more likely to test seropositive post-first vaccination, with no evidence of differences by sex or ethnicity. All 470 HCWs tested >14 days after second vaccine were seropositive. Quantitative antibody responses were higher after previous infection: median(IQR) >21 days post-first Pfizer-BioNTech 14,604(7644-22,291) AU/ml vs. 1028(564-1985) AU/ml without prior infection (p<0.001). Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine recipients had lower readings post-first dose compared to Pfizer-BioNTech, with and without previous infection, 10,095(5354-17,096) and 435(203-962) AU/ml respectively (both p<0.001 vs. Pfizer-BioNTech). Antibody responses >21 days post-second Pfizer vaccination in those not previously infected, 10,058 (6408-15,582) AU/ml, were similar to those after prior infection and one vaccine dose. CONCLUSIONS: SARS-CoV-2 vaccination leads to detectable anti-spike antibodies in nearly all adult HCWs. Whether differences in response impact vaccine efficacy needs further study.
T cells rely for their development and function on the correct folding and turnover of proteins generated in response to a broad range of molecular cues. In the absence of the eukaryotic type II chaperonin complex, CCT, T cell activation induced changes in the proteome are compromised including the formation of nuclear actin filaments and the formation of a normal cell stress response. Consequently, thymocyte maturation and selection, and T cell homeostatic maintenance and receptor-mediated activation are severely impaired. In the absence of CCT-controlled protein folding, Th2 polarization diverges from normal differentiation with paradoxical continued IFN-γ expression. As a result, CCT-deficient T cells fail to generate an efficient immune protection against helminths as they are unable to sustain a coordinated recruitment of the innate and adaptive immune systems. These findings thus demonstrate that normal T cell biology is critically dependent on CCT-controlled proteostasis and that its absence is incompatible with protective immunity.
Targeting human Acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase as a dual viral and T cell metabolic checkpoint
AbstractDetermining divergent metabolic requirements of T cells, and the viruses and tumours they fail to combat, could provide new therapeutic checkpoints. Inhibition of acyl-CoA:cholesterol acyltransferase (ACAT) has direct anti-carcinogenic activity. Here, we show that ACAT inhibition has antiviral activity against hepatitis B (HBV), as well as boosting protective anti-HBV and anti-hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) T cells. ACAT inhibition reduces CD8+ T cell neutral lipid droplets and promotes lipid microdomains, enhancing TCR signalling and TCR-independent bioenergetics. Dysfunctional HBV- and HCC-specific T cells are rescued by ACAT inhibitors directly ex vivo from human liver and tumour tissue respectively, including tissue-resident responses. ACAT inhibition enhances in vitro responsiveness of HBV-specific CD8+ T cells to PD-1 blockade and increases the functional avidity of TCR-gene-modified T cells. Finally, ACAT regulates HBV particle genesis in vitro, with inhibitors reducing both virions and subviral particles. Thus, ACAT inhibition provides a paradigm of a metabolic checkpoint able to constrain tumours and viruses but rescue exhausted T cells, rendering it an attractive therapeutic target for the functional cure of HBV and HBV-related HCC.
HLA-E restricted, HIV-1 suppressing, Gag specific CD8+ T cells offer universal vaccine opportunities
AbstractHuman leukocyte antigen-E (HLA-E) normally presents a HLA class Ia signal peptide to the NKG2A/C-CD94 regulatory receptors on natural killer (NK) cells and T cell subsets. Rhesus macaques immunized with a cytomegalovirus vectored simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) vaccine, generated Mamu-E (HLA-E homolog) restricted T cell responses that mediated post-challenge SIV replication arrest in >50% of animals. However, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) specific HLA-E restricted T cells have not been observed in HIV-1-infected individuals. Here we primed HLA-E restricted HIV-1 specific CD8+ T cells in vitro. These T cell clones, and allogeneic CD8+ T cells transduced with their T cell receptors, suppressed HIV-1 replication in CD4+ T cells in vitro. Vaccine induction of efficacious HLA-E restricted HIV-1 specific T cells should therefore be possible.One Sentence SummaryCD8+ T cells that recognize a Gag peptide presented by HLA-E suppress HIV-1 replication in vitro.
Heightened resistance to type 1 interferons characterizes HIV-1 at transmission and following analytical treatment interruption
AbstractType 1 interferons (IFN-I) are potent innate antiviral effectors that constrain HIV-1 transmission. However, harnessing these cytokines for HIV-1 cure strategies has been hampered by an incomplete understanding of their anti-viral activities at later stages of infection. Here, we characterized the IFN-I sensitivity of 500 clonally-derived HIV-1 isolates from plasma and CD4+ T cells of 26 individuals sampled longitudinally following transmission and/or after antiretroviral therapy (ART) and analytical treatment interruption (ATI). Determining the concentration of IFNα2 and IFNβ that reduced HIV-1 replication by 50% (IC50), we found remarkably consistent changes in the sensitivity of viruses to IFN-I inhibition, both across individuals and over time. IFN-I resistance was uniformly high during acute infection, decreased in all subjects in the first year post-infection, was reacquired concomitant with CD4+ T cell loss, and remained elevated in subjects with accelerated disease. Isolates obtained by viral outgrowth during suppressive ART were relatively IFN-I sensitive, resembling viruses circulating just prior to ART initiation. However, viruses that rebounded following treatment interruption displayed the highest levels of IFNα2 and IFNβ resistance observed at any time during the infection course. These findings indicate a dynamic interplay between host innate immune responses and the evolving HIV-1 quasispecies, with the relative contribution of IFN-I to HIV-1 control impacted by both ART and ATI. Although elevated at transmission, IFN-mediated pressures are the highest during viral rebound, limiting the viruses that successfully reactivate from latency.One Sentence SummaryHIV-1 resistance to IFN-I is highest during acute infection and following analytic treatment interruption, indicating a dynamic interplay between host innate immunity and virus biology.
CD4+T follicular helper (Tfh) cells in human tonsil and blood are clonally convergent, but divergent from non-Tfh CD4+cells
ABSTRACTT follicular helper (Tfh) cells are fundamental for B cell selection and antibody maturation in germinal centers. Circulating Tfh (cTfh) cells constitute a minor proportion of the CD4+T cells in peripheral blood, but their clonotypic relationship to Tfh populations resident in lymph nodes and the extent to which they differ from non-Tfh CD4+cells has been unclear. Using donor-matched blood and tonsil samples we investigated T cell receptor (TCR) sharing between tonsillar Tfh cells and peripheral Tfh and non-Tfh cell populations. TCR transcript sequencing revealed considerable clonal overlap between peripheral and tonsillar Tfh cell subsets as well as a clear distinction between Tfh and non-Tfh cells. Furthermore, influenza-specific cTfh cell clones derived from blood could be found in the repertoire of tonsillar Tfh cells. Therefore, human blood samples can be used to gain insight into the specificity of Tfh responses occurring in lymphoid tissues, provided cTfh subsets are studied.
AbstractDynamic regulation of cellular metabolism is important for maintaining homeostasis and can directly influence immune cell function and differentiation including Natural Killer (NK) cell responses. Persistent HIV-1 infection leads to a state of chronic activation, subset redistribution and progressive NK cell dysregulation. In this study we examined the metabolic processes that characterise NK cell subsets in HIV-1 infection, including adaptive NK cell subpopulations expressing the activating receptor NKG2C, which expand during chronic infection. These adaptive NK cells exhibit an enhanced metabolic profile in human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infected HIV-1 seronegative individuals. However, the bioenergetic advantage of adaptive CD57+NKG2C+ NK cells is diminished during chronic HIV-1 infection, where NK cells uniformly display reduced oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and limited fuel flexibility upon CD16 stimulation. Defective OXPHOS was accompanied by increased mitochondrial depolarisation and structural alterations indicative of mitochondrial dysfunction, suggesting that mitochondrial defects are restricting the metabolic plasticity of NK cell subsets in HIV-1 infection. The metabolic requirement for receptor stimulation was alleviated upon IL-15 pre-treatment enhancing mammalian target of rapamycin complex1 (mTORC1) activity and NK cell functionality in HIV-1 infection, representing an effective strategy for pharmacologically boosting NK cell responses.
ABSTRACTThe non-classical class Ib molecule human leukocyte antigen E (HLA-E) has limited polymorphism and can bind HLA class Ia leader sequence peptides (VL9). HLA-E-VL9 complexes interact with the natural killer (NK) cell inhibitory receptor NKG2A/CD94 and regulate NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Here we report a murine HLA-E-VL9-specific IgM monoclonal antibody 3H4 that enhanced killing of HLA-E-VL9-expressing target cells by a NKG2A+ NK cell line, most likely due to steric clashes between 3H4 and CD94/NKG2A when docked on the HLA-E-VL9 surface as determined by a 1.8 Å co-complex crystal structure. Key 3H4-mediated contacts with HLA-E-VL9 were generated by germline-encoded CDR-H3 residues. Human IgM HLA-E-VL9 reactive antibodies could also be isolated from CD10−/CD27- naïve B cells; these antibodies also recognized microbiome-derived peptides presented by HLA-E. Thus, a subset of natural antibodies that recognize VL9-bound HLA-E exist as part of the normal Ig repertoire with capacity to regulate NK cell function.
Subordinate effect of −21M HLA-B dimorphism on NK cell repertoire diversity and function in HIV-1 infected individuals of African origin
AbstractNatural Killer (NK) cells play an important role in antiviral defence and their potent effector function identifies them as key candidates for immunotherapeutic interventions in chronic viral infections. Their remarkable functional agility is achieved by virtue of a wide array of germline encoded inhibitory and activating receptors ensuring a self-tolerant and tunable repertoire. NK cell diversity is generated by a combination of factors including genetic determinants and infections/environmental factors, which together shape the NK cell pool and functional potential. Recently a genetic polymorphism at position −21 of HLA-B, which influences the supply of HLA-E binding peptides and availability of HLA-E for recognition by the inhibitory NK cell receptor NKG2A, was shown to have a marked influence on NK cell functionality in healthy human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) seronegative Caucasian individuals. In this study, −21 methionine (M)-expressing alleles supplying HLA-E binding peptides were largely poor ligands for inhibitory killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs), and a bias to NKG2A-mediated education of functionally-potent NK cells was observed. Here, we investigated the effect of this polymorphism on the phenotype and functional capacity of NK cells in a cohort of African individuals with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1)/HCMV co-infection. A similarly profound influence of dimorphism at position −21 of HLA-B on NK cells was not evident in these subjects. They predominantly expressed African specific HLA-B and −C alleles that contribute a distinct supply of NKG2A and KIR ligands, and these genetic differences were compounded by the marked effect of HIV/HCMV coinfection on NK cell differentiation. Together, these factors resulted in a lack of correlation of the HLA-B −21 polymorphism with surface abundance of HLA-E and loss of the NK cell functional advantage in subjects with −21M HLA-B alleles. Instead our data suggest that during HIV/HCMV co-infection exposure of NK cells to an environment that displays altered HLA-E ligands drives adaptive NKG2C+ NK cell expansions influencing effector responses. Increased efforts to understand how NK cells are functionally calibrated to self-HLA during chronic viral infections will pave the way to developing targeted therapeutic interventions to overcome the current barriers to enhancing immune-based antiviral control.
AbstractProteasomes catalyse the degradation of endogenous proteins into oligopeptides, but can concurrently create spliced oligopeptides through ligation of previously non-contiguous peptide fragments. Recent studies have uncovered a formerly unappreciated role for proteasome-catalysed peptide splicing (PCPS) in the generation of non-genomically templated human leukocyte antigen class I (HLA-I)-bound cis-spliced peptides that can be targeted by CD8+ T cells in cancer and infection. However, the mechanisms defining PCPS reactions are poorly understood. Here, we experimentally define the biochemical constraints of proteasome-catalysed cis-splicing reactions by examination of in vitro proteasomal digests of a panel of viral- and self-derived polypeptide substrates using a tailored mass-spectrometry-based de novo sequencing workflow. We show that forward and reverse PCPS reactions display unique splicing signatures, defined by preferential fusion of distinct amino acid residues with stringent peptide length distributions, suggesting sequence- and size-dependent accessibility of splice reactants for proteasomal substrate binding pockets. Our data provide the basis for a more informed mechanistic understanding of PCPS that will facilitate future prediction of spliced peptides from protein sequences.
ObjectivesPatients with malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) or pleural metastases often present with malignant pleural effusion (MPE). This study aimed to analyze the effect of pleural fluid on cancer cells.Materials and methodsEstablished patient-derived cancer cell cultures derived from MPE (MPM, breast carcinoma, lung adenocarcinoma) were seeded in 100% pleural fluid (exudate MPM MPE, transudate MPE, non-MPE transudate fluid) and proliferation was monitored. In addition, the establishment of new MPM cell cultures, derived from MPE specimens, was attempted by seeding the cells in 100% MPE fluid.ResultsAll established cancer cell cultures proliferated with similar growth rates in the different types of pleural fluid. Primary MPM cell culture success was similar with MPE fluid as with full culture medium.ConclusionsPleural fluid alone is adequate for cancer cell proliferation in vitro, regardless of the source of pleural fluid. These results support the hypothesis that pleural fluid has important pro-growth biological properties, but the mechanisms for this effect are unclear and likely not malignant effusion specific.
Deep analysis of the USP18-dependent ISGylome and proteome unveils important roles for USP18 in tumour cell antigenicity and radiosensitivity
AbstractThe deubiquitylating enzyme USP18 is a major negative regulator of the interferon (IFN) signalling cascade. IFN pathways contribute to resistance to conventional chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and immunotherapy and are often deregulated in cancer. USP18 is the predominant human protease that cleaves interferon-stimulated gene ISG15, a ubiquitin-like protein tightly regulated in the context of innate immunity, from its modified substrate proteins in vivo. In this study, using advanced proteomic techniques, we have expanded the USP18-dependent ISGylome and proteome in a chronic myeloid leukaemia (CML)-derived cell line (HAP1) treated with type I IFN. Novel ISGylation targets were characterised that modulate the sensing of innate ligands, antigen presentation and secretion of cytokines. Consequently, CML USP18-deficient cells are more antigenic, driving increased activation of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) and are more susceptible to irradiation. Our results suggest USP18 as a pharmacological target in cancer immunotherapy and radiotherapy.
AbstractHuman immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) is a life-threatening pathogen that still lacks a curative therapy or vaccine. Despite the reduction in AIDS-related deaths achieved by current antiretroviral therapies, drawbacks including drug resistance and the failure to eradicate infection highlight the need to identify new pathways to target the infection. Circadian rhythms are endogenous 24-hour oscillations which regulate physiological processes including immune responses to infection, and there is an emerging role for the circadian components participating viral replication. The molecular clock consists of transcriptional/translational feedback loops that generate rhythms. In mammals, CLOCK and BMAL1 activate rhythmic transcription of genes including the nuclear receptor REV-ERBα, which represses BMAL1 and plays an essential role in sustaining a functional clock. We investigated whether REV-ERB activity regulates HIV-1 replication, and found REV-ERB agonists inhibited HIV-1 promoter activity in cell lines, primary human CD4 T cells and macrophages, whilst antagonism or genetic disruption of REV-ERB increased promoter activity. Furthermore, the REV-ERB agonist SR9009 inhibited promoter activity of different HIV-subtypes and HIV-1 replication in primary T cells. This study shows a role for REV-ERB synthetic ligands to inhibit HIV-1 LTR promoter activity and viral replication, supporting a role for circadian clock transcription factors in regulating HIV-1 replication.
AbstractHuman leukocyte antigen (HLA) is highly polymorphic and plays a key role in guiding adaptive immune responses by presenting foreign and self peptides to T cells. Each HLA variant selects a minor fraction of peptides that match a certain motif required for optimal interaction with the peptide-binding groove. These restriction rules define the landscape of peptides presented to T cells. Given these limitations, one might suggest that the choice of peptides presented by HLA is non-random and there is preferential presentation of an array of peptides that is optimal for distinguishing self and foreign proteins. In this study we explore these preferences with a comparative analysis of self peptides enriched and depleted in HLA ligands. We show that HLAs exhibit preferences towards presenting peptides from certain proteins while disfavoring others with specific functions, and highlight differences between various HLA genes and alleles in those preferences. We link those differences to HLA anchor residue propensities and amino acid composition of preferentially presented proteins. The set of proteins that peptides presented by a given HLA are most likely to be derived from can be used to distinguish between class I and class II HLAs and HLA alleles. Our observations can be extrapolated to explain the protective effect of certain HLA alleles in infectious diseases, and we hypothesize that they can also explain susceptibility to certain autoimmune diseases and cancers. We demonstrate that these differences lead to differential presentation of HIV, influenza virus, SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 proteins by various HLA alleles. Finally, we show that the reported self peptidome preferences of distinct HLA variants can be compensated by combinations of HLA-A/HLA-B and HLA-A/HLA-C alleles in frequent haplotypes.