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A multi-genotype therapeutic human papillomavirus vaccine elicits potent T cell responses to conserved regions of early proteins.
Despite an efficacious prophylactic human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine there is still a considerable global burden of HPV-related disease. Therapeutic vaccines that could prevent cancers in at-risk women are urgently needed. Most candidate therapeutic vaccines have focused on two high-risk (hr) HPV genotypes, 16 and 18, and two viral targets, E6 and E7, which may limit global coverage and efficacy. We designed the synthetic gene '5GHPV3' by selecting conserved regions from each of the six early proteins and generating consensus sequences to represent five hrHPV genotypes. 5GHPV3 was delivered by plasmid DNA, chimpanzee adenovirus (ChAdOx1) and modified vaccinia Ankara (MVA) vectors in prime-boost regimens to mice. ChAdOx1-5GHPV3 / MVA-5GHPV3 induced higher magnitude and more durable HPV-specific T cell responses than other regimens. Vaccine-induced T cells were polyfunctional and persisted at high frequencies for at least six weeks. Importantly, HPV-specific effector CD8 + T cells were detected in the cervix following systemic administration of ChAdOx1-5GHPV3 / MVA-5GHPV3 and increased in frequency over time, indicating continued trafficking of T cells to the cervix. Finally, T cells specific for 5GHPV3 encoded antigens were detected by IFN-γ Elispot in women with current or past hrHPV infections, confirming the presence of epitopes relevant to natural immune control.
BACKGROUND:Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is predominantly associated with neutrophilic inflammation. Active neutrophil elastase (NE) is a serine proteinase, secreted by neutrophils, in response to inflammation and pathogen invasion. We sought to investigate if NE could be used as a biomarker for bacterial infection in patients with COPD. METHODS:NE was quantified using ProteaseTag® Active NE Immunoassay (ProAxsis, Belfast) from the sputum of COPD subjects at stable state, exacerbation and 2 weeks post treatment visit. RESULTS:NE was measured in 90 samples from 30 COPD subjects (18 males) with a mean (range) age of 65 (45-81) years and mean (SD) FEV1 of 47% (18). The geometric mean (95%CI) of NE at stable state was 2454 ng/mL (1460 to 4125 ng/mL). There was a significant increase in NE levels at an exacerbation (p = 0.003), and NE levels were higher in a bacterial-associated exacerbation (NE log difference 3.873, 95% CI of log difference 1.396 to 10.740, p = 0.011). NE was an accurate predictor of a bacteria-associated exacerbation (area (95%CI) under the receiver operator characteristic curve 0.812 (0.657 to 0.968). CONCLUSION:NE is elevated during exacerbations of COPD. NE may be a viable biomarker for distinguishing a bacterial exacerbation in patients with COPD. TRIAL REGISTRATION:Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Rutland ethics committee (reference number: 07/H0406/157).
BACKGROUND:Airway ecology is altered in asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Anti-microbial interventions might have benefit in subgroups of airway disease. Differences in sputum microbial profiles at acute exacerbation of airways disease are reflected by the γProteobacteria:Firmicutes (γP:F) ratio. We hypothesized that sputum microbiomic clusters exist in stable airways disease, which can be differentiated by the sputum γP:F ratio. METHODS:Sputum samples were collected from 63 subjects with severe asthma and 78 subjects with moderate-to-severe COPD in a prospective single centre trial. Microbial profiles were obtained through 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Topological data analysis was used to visualize the data set and cluster analysis performed at genus level. Clinical characteristics and sputum inflammatory mediators were compared across the clusters. RESULTS:Two ecological clusters were identified across the combined airways disease population. The smaller cluster was predominantly COPD and was characterized by dominance of Haemophilus at genus level (n = 20), high γP:F ratio, increased H influenzae, low diversity measures and increased pro-inflammatory mediators when compared to the larger Haemophilus-low cluster (n = 121), in which Streptococcus demonstrated the highest relative abundance at the genus level. Similar clusters were identified within disease groups individually and the γP:F ratio consistently differentiated between clusters. CONCLUSION:Cluster analysis by airway ecology of asthma and COPD in stable state identified two subgroups differentiated according to dominance of Haemophilus. The γP:F ratio was able to distinguish the Haemophilus-high versus Haemophilus-low subgroups, whether the Haemophilus-high group might benefit from treatment strategies to modulate the airway ecology warrants further investigation.
Identification of Immunodominant HIV-1 Epitopes Presented by HLA-C*12:02, a Protective Allele, Using an Immunopeptidomics Approach
<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title> <jats:p>Despite the fact that the cell surface expression level of HLA-C on both uninfected and HIV-infected cells is lower than those of HLA-A and -B, increasing evidence suggests an important role for HLA-C and HLA-C-restricted CD8<jats:sup>+</jats:sup> T cell responses in determining the efficiency of viral control in HIV-1-infected individuals. Nonetheless, HLA-C-restricted T cell responses are much less well studied than HLA-A/B-restricted ones, and relatively few optimal HIV-1 CD8<jats:sup>+</jats:sup> T cell epitopes restricted by HLA-C alleles have been defined. Recent improvements in the sensitivity of mass spectrometry (MS)-based approaches for profiling the immunopeptidome present an opportunity for epitope discovery on a large scale. Here, we employed an MS-based immunopeptidomic strategy to characterize HIV-1 peptides presented by a protective allele, HLA-C*12:02. We identified a total of 10,799 unique 8- to 12-mer peptides, including 15 HIV-1 peptides. The latter included 2 previously reported immunodominant HIV-1 epitopes, and analysis of T cell responses to the other HIV-1 peptides detected revealed an additional immunodominant epitope. These findings illustrate the utility of MS-based approaches for epitope definition and emphasize the capacity of HLA-C to present immunodominant T cell epitopes in HIV-infected individuals, indicating the importance of further evaluation of HLA-C-restricted responses to identify novel targets for HIV-1 prophylactic and therapeutic strategies.</jats:p> <jats:p><jats:bold>IMPORTANCE</jats:bold> Mass spectrometry (MS)-based approaches are increasingly being employed for large-scale identification of HLA-bound peptides derived from pathogens, but only very limited profiling of the HIV-1 immunopeptidome has been conducted to date. Notably, a growing body of evidence has recently begun to indicate a protective role for HLA-C in HIV-1 infection, which may suggest that despite the fact that levels of HLA-C expression on both uninfected and HIV-1-infected cells are lower than those of HLA-A/B, HLA-C still presents epitopes to CD8<jats:sup>+</jats:sup> T cells effectively. To explore this, we analyzed HLA-C*12:02-restricted HIV-1 peptides presented on HIV-1-infected cells expressing only HLA-C*12:02 (a protective allele) using liquid chromatography-tandem MS (LC-MS/MS). We identified a number of novel HLA-C*12:02-bound HIV-1 peptides and showed that although the majority of them did not elicit T cell responses during natural infection in a Japanese cohort, they included three immunodominant epitopes, emphasizing the contribution of HLA-C to epitope presentation on HIV-infected cells.</jats:p>
Constitutive Siglec-1 expression confers susceptibility to HIV-1 infection of human dendritic cell precursors.
The human dendritic cell (DC) lineage has recently been unraveled by high-dimensional mapping, revealing the existence of a discrete new population of blood circulating DC precursors (pre-DCs). Whether this new DC population possesses specific functional features as compared to the other blood DC subset upon pathogen encounter remained to be evaluated. A unique feature of pre-DCs among blood DCs is their constitutive expression of the viral adhesion receptor Siglec-1. Here, we show that pre-DCs, but not other blood DC subsets, are susceptible to infection by HIV-1 in a Siglec-1-dependent manner. Siglec-1 mediates pre-DC infection of CCR5- and CXCR4-tropic strains. Infection of pre-DCs is further enhanced in the presence of HIV-2/SIVmac Vpx, indicating that Siglec-1 does not counteract restriction factors such as SAMHD1. Instead, Siglec-1 promotes attachment and fusion of viral particles. HIV-1-infected pre-DCs produce new infectious viral particles that accumulate in intracellular compartments reminiscent of the virus-containing compartment of macrophages. Pre-DC activation by toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands induces an antiviral state that inhibits HIV-1 fusion and infection, but Siglec-1 remains functional and mediates replication-independent transfer of HIV-1 to activated primary T lymphocytes. Altogether, Siglec-1-mediated susceptibility to HIV-1 infection of pre-DCs constitutes a unique functional feature that might represent a preferential relationship of this emerging cell type with viruses.
High polymorphism rates in well-known T cell epitopes restricted by protective HLA alleles during HIV infection are associated with rapid disease progression in early-infected MSM in China.
T cell epitopes restricted by several protective HLA alleles, such as B*57, B*5801, B*27, B*51 and B*13, have been very well defined over the past two decades. We investigated 32 well-known T cell epitopes restricted by protective HLA molecules among 54 Chinese men who have sex with men (MSM) at the early stage of HIV-1 infection. Subjects in our cohort carrying protective HLA types did not exhibit slow CD4 T cell count decline (P = 0.489) or low viral load set points (P = 0.500). Variations occurred in 96.88% (31/32) of the known wild-type epitopes (rate 1.85-100%), and the variation rates of the strains of two CRF01_AE lineages were significantly higher than those of non-CRF01_AE strains (76.82% vs. 48.96%, P = 0.004; 71.27% vs. 8.96%, P = 0.025). Subjects infected with CRF01_AE exhibited relatively rapid disease progression (P = 0.035). Therefore, the lack of wild-type protective T cell epitopes restricted by classic protective HLA alleles in CRF01_AE HIV-1 strains may be one of the reasons why rapid disease progression is observed in Chinese MSM with HIV-1 infection.
Hypoxia drives glucose transporter 3 expression through HIF-mediated induction of the long non-coding RNA NICI.
Hypoxia inducible transcription factors (HIFs) directly dictate the expression of multiple RNA species including novel and as yet uncharacterized long non-coding transcripts with unknown function. We used pan-genomic HIF-binding and transcriptomic data to identify a novel long non-coding RNA NICI (Non-coding Intergenic Co-Induced transcript) on chromosome 12p13.31 which is regulated by hypoxia via HIF-1 promoter-binding in multiple cell types. CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletion of the hypoxia-response element revealed co-regulation of NICI and the neighboring protein-coding gene, solute carrier family 2 member 3 (SLC2A3) which encodes the high-affinity glucose transporter 3 (GLUT3). Knock-down or knock-out of NICI attenuated hypoxic induction of SLC2A3 indicating a direct regulatory role of NICI in SLC2A3 expression, which was further evidenced by CRISPR/Cas9-VPR mediated activation of NICI expression. We also demonstrate that regulation of SLC2A3 is mediated through transcriptional activation rather than post-transcriptional mechanisms since knock-out of NICI leads to reduced recruitment of RNA polymerase 2 to the SLC2A3 promoter. Consistent with this we observe NICI-dependent regulation of glucose consumption and cell proliferation. Furthermore, NICI expression is regulated by the VHL tumour suppressor and is highly expressed in clear cell renal cancer, where SLC2A3 expression is associated with patient prognosis, implying an important role for the HIF/NICI/SLC2A3 axis in this malignancy.
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Autonomic nervous system dysfunction (ANSD) is a significant cause of mortality in tetanus. Currently diagnosis relies on non-specific clinical signs. Heart rate variability (HRV) may indicate underlying autonomic nervous system activity and represents a potentially valuable non-invasive tool for ANSD diagnosis in tetanus. HRV was measured from 3 5-minute ECG recordings during a 24-hour period in a cohort patients with severe tetanus, all receiving mechanical ventilation. HRV measurements from all subjects - 5 with ANSD (Ablett Grade 4) and 4 patients without ANSD (Ablett Grade 3) - showed HRV was lower than reported ranges for healthy individuals. Comparing different severities of tetanus, raw data for both time and frequency measurements of HRV were reduced in those with ANSD compared to those without. Differences were statistically significant in all except root mean square standard deviation RMSSD (p=0.07) indicating HRV may be a valuable tool in ANSD diagnosis.</jats:p>