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Constitutive Lck Activity Drives Sensitivity Differences between CD8+ Memory T Cell Subsets

Moogk, Duane; Zhong, Shi; Yu, Zhiya; Liadi, Ivan; Rittase, William; Fang, Victoria; Dougherty, Janna; Perez-Garcia, Arianne; Osman, Iman; Zhu, Cheng; Varadarajan, Navin; Restifo, Nicholas P; Frey, Alan B; Krogsgaard, Michelle
CD8+ T cells develop increased sensitivity following Ag experience, and differences in sensitivity exist between T cell memory subsets. How differential TCR signaling between memory subsets contributes to sensitivity differences is unclear. We show in mouse effector memory T cells (TEM) that >50% of lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck) exists in a constitutively active conformation, compared with <20% in central memory T cells (TCM). Immediately proximal to Lck signaling, we observed enhanced Zap-70 phosphorylation in TEM following TCR ligation compared with TCM Furthermore, we observed superior cytotoxic effector function in TEM compared with TCM, and we provide evidence that this results from a lower probability of TCM reaching threshold signaling owing to the decreased magnitude of TCR-proximal signaling. We provide evidence that the differences in Lck constitutive activity between CD8+ TCM and TEM are due to differential regulation by SH2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (Shp-1) and C-terminal Src kinase, and we use modeling of early TCR signaling to reveal the significance of these differences. We show that inhibition of Shp-1 results in increased constitutive Lck activity in TCM to levels similar to TEM, as well as increased cytotoxic effector function in TCM Collectively, this work demonstrates a role for constitutive Lck activity in controlling Ag sensitivity, and it suggests that differential activities of TCR-proximal signaling components may contribute to establishing the divergent effector properties of TCM and TEM. This work also identifies Shp-1 as a potential target to improve the cytotoxic effector functions of TCM for adoptive cell therapy applications.
PMCID:4935560
PMID: 27271569
ISSN: 1550-6606
CID: 2136402

Structural Model of the Extracellular Assembly of the TCR-CD3 Complex

Natarajan, Aswin; Nadarajah, Vidushan; Felsovalyi, Klara; Wang, Wenjuan; Jeyachandran, Vivian R; Wasson, Riley A; Cardozo, Timothy; Bracken, Clay; Krogsgaard, Michelle
Antigen recognition of peptide-major histocompatibility complexes (pMHCs) by T cells, a key step in initiating adaptive immune responses, is performed by the T cell receptor (TCR) bound to CD3 heterodimers. However, the biophysical basis of the transmission of TCR-CD3 extracellular interaction into a productive intracellular signaling sequence remains incomplete. Here we used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy combined with mutational analysis and computational docking to derive a structural model of the extracellular TCR-CD3 assembly. In the inactivated state, CD3gammaepsilon interacts with the helix 3 and helix 4-F strand regions of the TCR Cbeta subunit, whereas CD3deltaepsilon interacts with the F and C strand regions of the TCR Calpha subunit in this model, placing the CD3 subunits on opposing sides of the TCR. This work identifies the molecular contacts between the TCR and CD3 subunits, identifying a physical basis for transmitting an activating signal through the complex.
PMCID:4902171
PMID: 26997265
ISSN: 2211-1247
CID: 2051952

T-cell receptor affinity and avidity defines antitumor response and autoimmunity in T-cell immunotherapy

Zhong, Shi; Malecek, Karolina; Johnson, Laura A; Yu, Zhiya; Vega-Saenz de Miera, Eleazar; Darvishian, Farbod; McGary, Katelyn; Huang, Kevin; Boyer, Josh; Corse, Emily; Shao, Yongzhao; Rosenberg, Steven A; Restifo, Nicholas P; Osman, Iman; Krogsgaard, Michelle
T cells expressing antigen-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) can mediate effective tumor regression, but they often also are accompanied by autoimmune responses. To determine the TCR affinity threshold defining the optimal balance between effective antitumor activity and autoimmunity in vivo, we used a unique self-antigen system comprising seven human melanoma gp100(209-217)-specific TCRs spanning physiological affinities (1-100 muM). We found that in vitro and in vivo T-cell responses are determined by TCR affinity, except in one case that was compensated by substantial CD8 involvement. Strikingly, we found that T-cell antitumor activity and autoimmunity are closely coupled but plateau at a defined TCR affinity of 10 microM, likely due to diminished contribution of TCR affinity to avidity above the threshold. Together, these results suggest that a relatively low-affinity threshold is necessary for the immune system to avoid self-damage, given the close relationship between antitumor activity and autoimmunity. The low threshold, in turn, indicates that adoptive T-cell therapy treatment strategies using in vitro-generated high-affinity TCRs do not necessarily improve efficacy.
PMCID:3637771
PMID: 23576742
ISSN: 0027-8424
CID: 304932

2D TCR-pMHC-CD8 kinetics determines T-cell responses in a self-antigen-specific TCR system

Liu, Baoyu; Zhong, Shi; Malecek, Karolina; Johnson, Laura A; Rosenberg, Steven A; Zhu, Cheng; Krogsgaard, Michelle
Two-dimensional (2D) kinetic analysis directly measures molecular interactions at cell-cell junctions, thereby incorporating inherent cellular effects. By comparison, three-dimensional (3D) analysis probes the intrinsic physical chemistry of interacting molecules isolated from the cell. To understand how T-cell tumor reactivity relates to 2D and 3D binding parameters and to directly compare them, we performed kinetic analyses of a panel of human T-cell receptors (TCRs) interacting with a melanoma self-antigen peptide (gp100209 -217 ) bound to peptide-major histocompatibility complex in the absence and presence of co-receptor CD8. We found that while 3D parameters are inadequate to predict T-cell function, 2D parameters (that do not correlate with their 3D counterparts) show a far broader dynamic range and significantly improved correlation with T-cell function. Thus, our data support the general notion that 2D parameters of TCR-peptide-major histocompatibility complex-CD8 interactions determine T-cell responsiveness and suggest a potential 2D-based strategy to screen TCRs for tumor immunotherapy.
PMCID:3941036
PMID: 24114747
ISSN: 0014-2980
CID: 782802

Specific Increase in Potency via Structure-Based Design of a TCR

Malecek, Karolina; Grigoryan, Arsen; Zhong, Shi; Gu, Wei Jun; Johnson, Laura A; Rosenberg, Steven A; Cardozo, Timothy; Krogsgaard, Michelle
Adoptive immunotherapy with Ag-specific T lymphocytes is a powerful strategy for cancer treatment. However, most tumor Ags are nonreactive "self" proteins, which presents an immunotherapy design challenge. Recent studies have shown that tumor-specific TCRs can be transduced into normal PBLs, which persist after transfer in approximately 30% of patients and effectively destroy tumor cells in vivo. Although encouraging, the limited clinical responses underscore the need for enrichment of T cells with desirable antitumor capabilities prior to patient transfer. In this study, we used structure-based design to predict point mutations of a TCR (DMF5) that enhance its binding affinity for an agonist tumor Ag-MHC (peptide-MHC [pMHC]), Mart-1 (27L)-HLA-A2, which elicits full T cell activation to trigger immune responses. We analyzed the effects of selected TCR point mutations on T cell activation potency and analyzed cross-reactivity with related Ags. Our results showed that the mutated TCRs had improved T cell activation potency while retaining a high degree of specificity. Such affinity-optimized TCRs have demonstrated to be very specific for Mart-1 (27L), the epitope for which they were structurally designed. Although of somewhat limited clinical relevance, these studies open the possibility for future structural-based studies that could potentially be used in adoptive immunotherapy to treat melanoma while avoiding adverse autoimmunity-derived effects.
PMCID:4205480
PMID: 25070852
ISSN: 0022-1767
CID: 1089952

Quantitative analysis of T cell receptor complex interaction sites using genetically encoded photo-cross-linkers

Wang, Wenjuan; Li, Tianqi; Felsovalyi, Klara; Chen, Chunlai; Cardozo, Timothy; Krogsgaard, Michelle
The T cell receptor (TCR)-cluster of differentiation 3 (CD3) signaling complex plays an important role in initiation of adaptive immune responses, but weak interactions have obstructed delineation of the individual TCR-CD3 subunit interactions during T cell signaling. Here, we demonstrate that unnatural amino acids (UAA) can be used to photo-cross-link subunits of TCR-CD3 on the cell surface. Incorporating UAA in mammalian cells is usually a low efficiency process. In addition, TCR-CD3 is composed of eight subunits and both TCR and CD3 chains are required for expression on the cell surface. Photo-cross-linking of UAAs for studying protein complexes such as TCR-CD3 is challenging due to the difficulty of transfecting and expressing multisubunit protein complexes in cells combined with the low efficiency of UAA incorporation. Here, we demonstrate that by systematic optimization, we can incorporate UAA in TCR-CD3 with high efficiency. Accordingly, the incorporated UAA can be used for site-specific photo-cross-linking experiments to pinpoint protein interaction sites, as well as to confirm interaction sites identified by X-ray crystallography. We systemically compared two different photo-cross-linkers-p-azido-phenylalanine (pAzpa) and H-p-Bz-Phe-OH (pBpa)-for their ability to map protein subunit interactions in the 2B4 TCR. pAzpa was found to have higher cross-linking efficiency, indicating that optimization of the selection of the most optimal cross-linker is important for correct identification of protein-protein interactions. This method is therefore suitable for studying interaction sites of large, dynamic heteromeric protein complexes associated with various cellular membrane systems.
PMCID:4168801
PMID: 25061810
ISSN: 1554-8929
CID: 1252232

Strength of PD-1 signaling differentially affects T-cell effector functions

Wei, Fang; Zhong, Shi; Ma, Zhengyu; Kong, Hong; Medvec, Andrew; Ahmed, Rafi; Freeman, Gordon J; Krogsgaard, Michelle; Riley, James L
High surface expression of programmed death 1 (PD-1) is associated with T-cell exhaustion; however, the relationship between PD-1 expression and T-cell dysfunction has not been delineated. We developed a model to study PD-1 signaling in primary human T cells to study how PD-1 expression affected T-cell function. By determining the number of T-cell receptor/peptide-MHC complexes needed to initiate a Ca2+ flux, we found that PD-1 ligation dramatically shifts the dose-response curve, making T cells much less sensitive to T-cell receptor-generated signals. Importantly, other T-cell functions were differentially sensitive to PD-1 expression. We observed that high levels of PD-1 expression were required to inhibit macrophage inflammatory protein 1 beta production, lower levels were required to block cytotoxicity and IFN-gamma production, and very low levels of PD-1 expression could inhibit TNF-alpha and IL-2 production as well as T-cell expansion. These findings provide insight into the role of PD-1 expression in enforcing T-cell exhaustion and the therapeutic potential of PD-1 blockade.
PMCID:3703988
PMID: 23610399
ISSN: 0027-8424
CID: 377372

Melanoma expression of matrix metalloproteinase-23 is associated with blunted tumor immunity and poor responses to immunotherapy

Moogk, Duane; da Silva, Ines; Ma, Michelle W; Friedman, Erica B; de Miera, Eleazar; Darvishian, Farbod; Scanlon, Patrick; Perez-Garcia, Arianne; Pavlick, Anna C; Bhardwaj, Nina; Christos, Paul J; Osman, Iman; Krogsgaard, Michelle
BackgroundMatrix metalloproteinase-23 (MMP-23) can block the voltage-gated potassium channel Kv1.3, whose function is important for sustained Ca2+ signaling during T cell activation. MMP-23 may also alter T cell activity and phenotype through cleavage of proteins affecting cytokine and chemokine signaling. We therefore tested the hypothesis that MMP-23 can negatively regulate the anti-tumor T cell response in human melanoma.MethodsWe characterized MMP-23 expression in primary melanoma patients who received adjuvant immunotherapy. We examined the association of MMP-23 with the anti-tumor immune response - as assessed by the prevalence of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and Foxp3+ regulatory T cells. Further, we examined the association between MMP-23 expression and response to immunotherapy. Considering also an in trans mechanism, we examined the association of melanoma MMP-23 and melanoma Kv1.3 expression.ResultsOur data revealed an inverse association between primary melanoma MMP-23 expression and the anti-tumor T cell response, as demonstrated by decreased tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) (P inverted question mark= inverted question mark0.05), in particular brisk TILs (P inverted question mark= inverted question mark0.04), and a trend towards an increased proportion of immunosuppressive Foxp3+ regulatory T cells (P inverted question mark= inverted question mark0.07). High melanoma MMP-23 expression is also associated with recurrence in patients treated with immune biologics (P inverted question mark= inverted question mark0.037) but not in those treated with vaccines (P inverted question mark= inverted question mark0.64). Further, high melanoma MMP-23 expression is associated with shorter periods of progression-free survival for patients receiving immune biologics (P inverted question mark= inverted question mark0.025). On the other hand, there is no relationship between melanoma MMP-23 and melanoma Kv1.3 expression (P inverted question mark= inverted question mark0.27).ConclusionsOur data support a role for MMP-23 as a potential immunosuppressive target in melanoma, as well as a possible biomarker for informing melanoma immunotherapies.
PMCID:4272770
PMID: 25491880
ISSN: 1479-5876
CID: 1393652

Cellular and Humoral Immunity to SARS-CoV-2 Infection in Multiple Sclerosis Patients on Ocrelizumab and Other Disease-Modifying Therapies: A Multi-Ethnic Observational Study

Kister, Ilya; Patskovsky, Yury; Curtin, Ryan; Pei, Jinglan; Perdomo, Katherine; Rimler, Zoe; Voloshyna, Iryna; Samanovic, Marie I; Cornelius, Amber R; Velmurugu, Yogambigai; Nyovanie, Samantha; Kim, Joseph J; Tardio, Ethan; Bacon, Tamar E; Zhovtis Ryerson, Lana; Raut, Pranil; Pedotti, Rosetta; Hawker, Kathleen; Raposo, Catarina; Priest, Jessica; Cabatingan, Mark; Winger, Ryan C; Mulligan, Mark J; Krogsgaard, Michelle; Silverman, Gregg J
OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to determine the impact of multiple sclerosis (MS) disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) on the development of cellular and humoral immunity to severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. METHODS:Patients with MS aged 18 to 60 years were evaluated for anti-nucleocapsid and anti-Spike receptor-binding domain (RBD) antibody with electro-chemiluminescence immunoassay; antibody responses to Spike protein, RBD, N-terminal domain with multiepitope bead-based immunoassays (MBI); live virus immunofluorescence-based microneutralization assay; T-cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 Spike using TruCulture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA); and IL-2 and IFNγ ELISpot assays. Assay results were compared by DMT class. Spearman correlation and multivariate analyses were performed to examine associations between immunologic responses and infection severity. RESULTS:Between January 6, 2021, and July 21, 2021, 389 patients with MS were recruited (mean age 40.3 years; 74% women; 62% non-White). Most common DMTs were ocrelizumab (OCR)-40%; natalizumab -17%, Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor (S1P) modulators -12%; and 15% untreated. One hundred seventy-seven patients (46%) had laboratory evidence of SARS-CoV-2 infection; 130 had symptomatic infection, and 47 were asymptomatic. Antibody responses were markedly attenuated in OCR compared with other groups (p ≤0.0001). T-cell responses (IFNγ) were decreased in S1P (p = 0.03), increased in natalizumab (p <0.001), and similar in other DMTs, including OCR. Cellular and humoral responses were moderately correlated in both OCR (r = 0.45, p = 0.0002) and non-OCR (r = 0.64, p <0.0001). Immune responses did not differ by race/ethnicity. Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) clinical course was mostly non-severe and similar across DMTs; 7% (9/130) were hospitalized. INTERPRETATION/CONCLUSIONS:DMTs had differential effects on humoral and cellular immune responses to SARS-CoV-2 infection. Immune responses did not correlate with COVID-19 clinical severity in this relatively young and nondisabled group of patients with MS. ANN NEUROL 2022.
PMID: 35289960
ISSN: 1531-8249
CID: 5191732

Preexisting immune-mediated inflammatory disease is associated with improved survival and increased toxicity in melanoma patients who receive immune checkpoint inhibitors

Gulati, Nicholas; Celen, Arda; Johannet, Paul; Mehnert, Janice M; Weber, Jeffrey; Krogsgaard, Michelle; Osman, Iman; Zhong, Judy
BACKGROUND:Immune-related adverse events (irAEs) are common, clinically significant autoinflammatory toxicities observed with immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI). Preexisting immune-mediated inflammatory disease (pre-IMID) is considered a relative contraindication to ICI due to the risk of inciting flares. Improved understanding of the risks and benefits of treating pre-IMID patients with ICI is needed. METHODS:We studied melanoma patients treated with ICI and enrolled in a prospective clinicopathological database. We compiled a list of 23 immune-mediated inflammatory diseases and evaluated their presence prior to ICI. We tested the associations between pre-IMID and progression-free survival (PFS), overall survival (OS), and irAEs. RESULTS:In total, 483 melanoma patients were included in the study; 74 had pre-IMID and 409 did not. In patients receiving ICI as a standard of care (SoC), pre-IMID was significantly associated with irAEs (p = 0.04) as well as improved PFS (p = 0.024) and OS (p = 0.007). There was no significant association between pre-IMID and irAEs (p = 0.54), PFS (p = 0.197), or OS (p = 0.746) in patients treated through a clinical trial. Pre-IMID was significantly associated with improved OS in females (p = 0.012), but not in males (p = 0.35). CONCLUSIONS:The dichotomy of the impact of pre-IMID on survival and irAEs in SoC versus clinical trial patients may reflect the inherit selection bias in patients accrued in clinical trials. Future mechanistic work is required to better understand the differences in outcomes between female and male pre-IMID patients. Our data challenge the notion that clinicians should avoid ICI in pre-IMID patients, although close monitoring and prospective clinical trials evaluating ICI in this population are warranted.
PMCID:8559502
PMID: 34647433
ISSN: 2045-7634
CID: 5062002