In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (4)

Articles by Ali Rashidfarrokhi in JoVE

Other articles by Ali Rashidfarrokhi on PubMed

Disruption of Sphingolipid Biosynthesis Blocks Phagocytosis of Candida Albicans

PLoS Pathogens. Oct, 2015  |  Pubmed ID: 26431038

The ability of phagocytes to clear pathogens is an essential attribute of the innate immune response. The role of signaling lipid molecules such as phosphoinositides is well established, but the role of membrane sphingolipids in phagocytosis is largely unknown. Using a genetic approach and small molecule inhibitors, we show that phagocytosis of Candida albicans requires an intact sphingolipid biosynthetic pathway. Blockade of serine-palmitoyltransferase (SPT) and ceramide synthase-enzymes involved in sphingolipid biosynthesis- by myriocin and fumonisin B1, respectively, impaired phagocytosis by phagocytes. We used CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome editing to generate Sptlc2-deficient DC2.4 dendritic cells, which lack serine palmitoyl transferase activity. Sptlc2-/- DC2.4 cells exhibited a stark defect in phagocytosis, were unable to bind fungal particles and failed to form a normal phagocytic cup to engulf C. albicans. Supplementing the growth media with GM1, the major ganglioside present at the cell surface, restored phagocytic activity of Sptlc2-/- DC2.4 cells. While overall membrane trafficking and endocytic pathways remained functional, Sptlc2-/- DC2.4 cells express reduced levels of the pattern recognition receptors Dectin-1 and TLR2 at the cell surface. Consistent with the in vitro data, compromised sphingolipid biosynthesis in mice sensitizes the animal to C. albicans infection. Sphingolipid biosynthesis is therefore critical for phagocytosis and in vivo clearance of C. albicans.

Digestion of Chromatin in Apoptotic Cell Microparticles Prevents Autoimmunity

Cell. Jun, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27293190

Antibodies to DNA and chromatin drive autoimmunity in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Null mutations and hypomorphic variants of the secreted deoxyribonuclease DNASE1L3 are linked to familial and sporadic SLE, respectively. We report that DNASE1L3-deficient mice rapidly develop autoantibodies to DNA and chromatin, followed by an SLE-like disease. Circulating DNASE1L3 is produced by dendritic cells and macrophages, and its levels inversely correlate with anti-DNA antibody response. DNASE1L3 is uniquely capable of digesting chromatin in microparticles released from apoptotic cells. Accordingly, DNASE1L3-deficient mice and human patients have elevated DNA levels in plasma, particularly in circulating microparticles. Murine and human autoantibody clones and serum antibodies from human SLE patients bind to DNASE1L3-sensitive chromatin on the surface of microparticles. Thus, extracellular microparticle-associated chromatin is a potential self-antigen normally digested by circulating DNASE1L3. The loss of this tolerance mechanism can contribute to SLE, and its restoration may represent a therapeutic opportunity in the disease.

Quantitative Single-Cell Analysis of Signaling Pathways Activated Immediately Downstream of Histamine Receptor Subtypes

Molecular Pharmacology. Sep, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27358232

Genetically encoded biosensors based on Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) can visualize responses of individual cells in real time. Here, we evaluated whether FRET-based biosensors provide sufficient contrast and specificity to measure activity of G-protein-coupled receptors. The four histamine receptor subtypes (H1R, H2R, H3R, and H4R) respond to the ligand histamine by activating three canonical heterotrimeric G-protein-mediated signaling pathways with a reported high degree of specificity. Using FRET-based biosensors, we demonstrate that H1R activates Gαq. We also observed that H1R activates Gαi, albeit at a 10-fold lower potency. In addition to increasing cAMP levels, most likely via Gαs, we found that the H2R induces Gαq-mediated calcium release. The H3R and H4R activated Gαi with high specificity and a high potency. We demonstrate that a number of FRET sensors provide sufficient contrast to: 1) analyze the specificity of the histamine receptor subtypes for different heterotrimeric G-protein families with single-cell resolution, 2) probe for antagonist specificity, and 3) allow the measurement of single-cell concentration-response curves.

Generation of Immunity Against Pathogens Via Single-Domain Antibody-Antigen Constructs

Journal of Immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). Dec, 2016  |  Pubmed ID: 27821668

mAbs specific for surface proteins on APCs can serve as Ag-delivery vehicles that enhance immunogenicity. The practical use of such constructs is limited by the challenge of expressing and modifying full-sized mAbs. We generated single-domain Ab fragments (VHHs) specific for class II MHC (MHCII), CD11b, and CD36. VHH sequences were modified by inclusion of a C-terminal sortase motif to allow site-specific conjugation with various Ag payloads. We tested T cell activation using VHHs that target distinct APC populations; anti-MHCII adducts elicited strong activation of CD4(+) T cells, whereas anti-CD11b showed CD8(+) T cell activation superior to targeting via MHCII and CD36. Differences in Ag presentation among constructs were unrelated to dendritic cell subtype or routing to acidic compartments. When coupled to antigenic payloads, anti-MHCII VHH primed Ab responses against GFP, ubiquitin, an OVA peptide, and the α-helix of influenza hemagglutinin's stem; the last afforded protection against influenza infection. The versatility of the VHH scaffold and sortase-mediated covalent attachment of Ags suggests their broader application to generate desirable immune responses.

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