A cytomegalovirus glycoprotein re-routes MHC class I complexes to lysosomes for degradation.
Mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) early gene expression interferes with the major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC class I) pathway of antigen presentation. Here we identify a 48 kDa type I transmembrane glycoprotein encoded by the MCMV early gene m06, which tightly binds to properly folded beta2-microglobulin (beta2m)-associated MHC class I molecules in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). This association is mediated by the lumenal/transmembrane part of the protein. gp48-MHC class I complexes are transported out of the ER, pass the Golgi, but instead of being expressed on the cell surface, they are redirected to the endocytic route and rapidly degraded in a Lamp-1(+) compartment. As a result, m06-expressing cells are impaired in presenting antigenic peptides to CD8(+) T cells. The cytoplasmic tail of gp48 contains two di-leucine motifs. Mutation of the membrane-proximal di-leucine motif of gp48 restored surface expression of MHC class I, while mutation of the distal one had no effect. The results establish a novel viral mechanism for downregulation of MHC class I molecules by directly binding surface-destined MHC complexes and exploiting the cellular di-leucine sorting machinery for lysosomal degradation. (+info)
Impaired lysosomal processing of beta2-microglobulin by infiltrating macrophages in dialysis amyloidosis.
BACKGROUND: Macrophages may participate in amyloid fibril formation by processing the protein precursor. Although this theory seems to apply for amyloidosis, in which proteolytic cleavage is a prerequisite for amyloid fibril formation, it has not been demonstrated for beta2-microglobulin (beta2m) amyloidosis. We aimed to establish the role played by macrophages in beta2m amyloidosis. METHODS: We used a double immunogold electron microscopy technique, including mouse antihuman CD68, rabbit antihuman beta2m, amyloid P component, and lysosome-associated membrane protein (LAMP-1) antibodies. Differential density labeling studies of beta2m and amyloid P component were performed extra- and intracellularly to assess protein processing by macrophages. RESULTS: The cells surrounding amyloid fibrils were found to be mostly CD68 positive, suggesting that they were of monocyte-macrophage lineage. Intracellular accumulation of amyloid fibrils was also observed; these fibrils were constantly surrounded by LAMP-1-linked gold particles, demonstrating that intracellular beta2m was almost exclusively lysosomal. The rough-surface endoplasmic reticulum was not labeled by beta2m antibody, suggesting that there was no active synthesis of beta2m by the cells. As a marker of endocytosis, protruded cytoplasmic processes in close relation with the intracellular accumulations of beta2m amyloid fibrils were observed. No difference in density labeling (extracellular vs. intracellular) was observed for beta2m, whereas intracellular P component labeling was significantly decreased. CONCLUSIONS: All of these data are strongly suggestive of phagocytosis and not synthesis of amyloid fibrils by macrophages. Further, they demonstrate an impaired lysosomal processing specific for beta2m, as other compounds of the amyloid fibrils (P component) are significantly cleared. (+info)
Photophysical analysis of class I major histocompatibility complex protein assembly using a xanthene-derivatized beta2-microglobulin.
Spectral changes and a sixfold increase in the emission intensity were observed in the fluorescence of a single xanthene probe (Texas red) attached to beta2m-microglobulin (beta2m) upon assembly of beta2m into a ternary complex with mouse H-2Kd heavy chain and influenza nuclear protein peptide. Dissociation of the labeled beta2m from the ternary complex restored the probe's fluorescence and absorption spectra and reduced the emission intensity. Thus changes in xanthene probe fluorescence upon association/dissociation of the labeled beta2m molecule with/from the ternary complex provide a simple and convenient method for studying the assembly/dissociation mechanism of the class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC-I) encoded molecule. The photophysical changes in the probe can be accounted for by the oligomerization of free labeled beta2m molecules. The fluorescence at 610 nm is due to beta2m dimers, where the probes are significantly separated spatially so that their emission and excitation properties are close to those of xanthene monomers. Fluorescence around 630 nm is due to beta2m oligomers where xanthene probes interact. Minima in the steady-state excitation (550 nm) and emission (630 nm) anisotropy spectra correlate with the maxima of the high-order oligomer excitation and emission spectra, showing that their fluorescence is more depolarized. These photophysical features are explained by splitting of the first singlet excited state of interacting xanthene probes that can be modeled by exciton theory. (+info)
Acute haemodynamic and proteinuric effects of prednisolone in patients with a nephrotic syndrome.
BACKGROUND: Administration of prednisolone causes an abrupt rise in proteinuria in patients with a nephrotic syndrome. METHODS: To clarify the mechanisms responsible for this increase in proteinuria we have performed a placebo controlled study in 26 patients with a nephrotic syndrome. Systemic and renal haemodynamics and urinary protein excretion were measured after prednisolone and after placebo. RESULTS: After i.v. administration of 125-150 mg prednisolone total proteinuria increased from 6.66+/-4.42 to 9.37+/-6.07 mg/min (P<0.001). By analysing the excretion of proteins with different charge and weight (albumin, transferrin, IgG, IgG4 and beta2-microglobulin) it became apparent that the increase of proteinuria was the result of a change in size selectivity rather than a change in glomerular charge selectivity or tubular protein reabsorption. Glomerular filtration rate rose from 83+/-34 ml to 95+/-43 ml/min (P<0.001) after 5 h, whereas effective renal plasma flow and endogenous creatinine clearance remained unchanged. As a result filtration fraction was increased, compatible with an increased glomerular pressure, which probably contributes to the size selectivity changes. Since corticosteroids affect both the renin-angiotensin system and renal prostaglandins, we have evaluated the effects of prednisolone on proteinuria after pretreatment with 3 months of the angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor lisinopril or after 2 weeks of the prostaglandin synthesis inhibitor indomethacin. Neither drug had any effect on prednisolone-induced increases of proteinuria. CONCLUSIONS: Prednisolone increases proteinuria by changing the size selective barrier of the glomerular capillary. Neither the renin-angiotensin axis nor prostaglandins seem to be involved in these effects of prednisolone on proteinuria. (+info)
Stability of plasma levels of cytokines and soluble activation markers in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection.
Cytokine and immune activation marker levels in plasma are valuable measurements of immune status and treatment effects in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and AIDS. Five populations representing various stages of disease were studied: controls, 2 AIDS groups with <50/mm3 CD4 cells, and 2 groups of HIV-positive subjects-1 with stable CD4 T cells (median, 545/mm3) and 1 with >100/mm3 CD4 cell decline in 1 year. Relatively stable levels of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-alpha, soluble TNF receptor (R)II, soluble interleukin-2R, neopterin, and beta2-microglobulin (beta2M) were documented over 5-8 weeks in patients with AIDS and for 1-4 years in the other groups. beta2M was generally the most stable marker. Interferon-gamma levels, however, fluctuated substantially. Individuals, whether normal or HIV-positive, maintain characteristic plasma levels of cytokines and immune activation markers. Thus, documented changes, in excess of the variability observed in this study, are likely to be significant indicators of change in disease status or effects of therapy. (+info)
Cyclooxygenase-2 expression is up-regulated in human pancreatic cancer.
A large body of evidence suggests that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) is important in gastrointestinal cancer. The purpose of this study was to determine whether COX-2 was expressed in adenocarcinoma of the human pancreas. Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry were used to assess the expression of COX-2 in pancreatic tissue. Levels of COX-2 mRNA were increased by >60-fold in pancreatic cancer compared to adjacent nontumorous tissue. COX-2 protein was present in 9 of 10 cases of adenocarcinoma of the pancreas but was undetectable in nontumorous pancreatic tissue. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that COX-2 was expressed in malignant epithelial cells. In cultured human pancreatic cancer cells, levels of COX-2 mRNA and protein were induced by treatment with tumor-promoting phorbol esters. Taken together, these results suggest that COX-2 may be a target for the prevention or treatment of pancreatic cancer. (+info)
Soluble class I MHC with beta2-microglobulin covalently linked peptides: specific binding to a T cell hybridoma.
Soluble forms of the mouse MHC class I molecule, Dd, were produced in which the peptide binding groove was uniformly occupied by peptides attached via a covalent flexible peptide linker to the N terminus of the associated beta2-microglobulin. The MHC heavy chain and beta2-microglobulin were firmly associated, and the molecules displayed an Ab epitope requiring proper occupancy of the peptide binding groove. Soluble Dd containing a covalent version of a well-characterized Dd-binding peptide from HIV stimulated a T cell hybridoma specific for this combination. Furthermore, a tetravalent version of this molecule bound specifically with apparent high avidity to this hybridoma. (+info)
Recognition of the major histocompatibility complex restriction element modulates CD8(+) T cell specificity and compensates for loss of T cell receptor contacts with the specific peptide.
Triggering of a T cell requires interaction between its specific receptor (TCR) and a peptide antigen presented by a self-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule. TCR recognition of self-MHC by itself falls below the threshold of detection in most systems due to low affinity. To study this interaction, we have used a read-out system in which antigen-specific effector T cells are confronted with targets expressing high levels of MHC compared with the selecting and priming environment. More specifically, the system is based on CD8(+) T cells selected in an environment with subnormal levels of MHC class I in the absence of beta2-microglobulin. We observe that the MHC restriction element can trigger viral peptide-specific T cells independently of the peptide ligand, provided there is an increase in self-MHC density. Peptide-independent triggering required at least four times the natural in vivo level of MHC expression. Furthermore, recognition of the restriction element at expression levels below this threshold was still enough to compensate for lack of affinity to peptides carrying alanine substitutions in major TCR contact residues. Thus, the specificity in TCR recognition and T cell activation is fine tuned by the avidity for self-MHC, and TCR avidities for peptide and MHC may substitute for each other. These results demonstrate a functional role for TCR avidity for self-MHC in tuning of T cell specificity, and support a role for cross-reactivity on "self" during T cell selection and activation. (+info)