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In JoVE (1)

Other Publications (18)

Articles by Mira Barda-Saad in JoVE

 JoVE Immunology and Infection

Real-time Live Imaging of T-cell Signaling Complex Formation

1The Mina and Everard Goodman Faculty of Life Sciences, Bar-Ilan University


JoVE 50076

We describe a live-cell imaging method that provides insight into protein dynamics during the T-cell activation process. We demonstrate the combined usage of the T-cell spreading assay, confocal microscopy and imaging analysis to yield quantitative results to follow signaling complex formation throughout T-cell activation.

Other articles by Mira Barda-Saad on PubMed

The Mesenchyme Expresses T Cell Receptor MRNAs: Relevance to Cell Growth Control

The mesenchyme plays a crucial regulatory role in organ formation and maintenance. However, comprehensive molecular characterization of these cells is lacking. We found unexpectedly that primary mesenchyme, as well as mesenchymal cell clones, express T cell receptor (TCR)alphabeta mRNAs, lacking the variable region. Immunological and genetic evidence support the expression of a corresponding TCRbeta protein. Additionally, mRNAs encoding TCR complex components including CD3 and zeta chain are present. A relatively higher expression of the mesenchymal TCRbeta mRNA by cultured mesenchymal cell clones correlates with fast growth, whereas poorly expressing cells are slow growers and are contact inhibited. The clones that express relatively higher amount of the TCR mRNA exhibit an increased capacity to form tumors in nude mice. However, the expression of this mRNA in the mesenchyme is not per se leading to tumorigenesis, as demonstrated by primary mesenchyme that does not form tumors in mice while expressing moderate amounts of the TCR transcripts. The expression of mesencymal TCRbeta was confined to the G2/M phases of the cell cycle in the MBA-13 mesenchymal cell line. This cell cycle dependent expression, considered together with the correlation between growth properties and the level of TCR expression by cell clones, implies association of mesenchymal TCR with cell growth control.

The Mesenchymal Stroma Negatively Regulates B Cell Lymphopoiesis Through the Expression of Activin A

The negative control of B cell generation is only partially resolved. We assessed the role of activin A in regulation of B lymphopoiesis in view of its specific inhibitory effects on tumor B lineage cells. Activin A is constitutively expressed in mouse hemopoietic organs and in cultured mesenchymal cell lines. We observed an inverse relationship between activin A titer and B lineage cell production. In the spleen, the red pulp exhibited a relatively higher abundance of the protein as compared with the lymphoid follicles, wherein B cell accumulation occurs. Furthermore, a specific shut off in activin A expression was observed in bone marrow and spleen following in vivo induction of B lymphocyte polyclonal activation. We further substantiated these in vivo observations by in vitro studies of primary bone marrow cultures, in which the expression of functional activin A was found to be diminished prior to the onset of B lymphopoiesis. The reduction in functional activin A is shown to concomitantly occur with spontaneous induction of the expression of activin A specific inhibitors. We therefore propose that the mesenchymal organ stroma expresses activin A that negatively controls B cell lymphopoiesis.

Dynamic Molecular Interactions Linking the T Cell Antigen Receptor to the Actin Cytoskeleton

T cell receptor (TCR) engagement leads to actin polymerization at the site of T cell contact with antigen-presenting cells. Here we have studied the dynamic activity of proteins involved in regulating actin polymerization in live T cells after activation. Two such adaptor proteins, Nck and the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp), were recruited to the TCR during initial T cell activation, where they colocalized with the tyrosine kinase Zap70. The recruitment of Nck and WASp depended on TCR-induced tyrosine phosphorylation and the LAT and SLP-76 adaptors. Nck and WASp migrated peripherally and accumulated at an actin-rich circumferential ring. Thus, actin polymerization regulated by the TCR begins at the TCR. Molecules recruited to the TCR regulate actin polymerization and this process drives plasma membrane movement and cellular spreading.

Early Phosphorylation Kinetics of Proteins Involved in Proximal TCR-mediated Signaling Pathways

Activation of T cells via the stimulation of the TCR plays a central role in the adaptive immunological response. Although much is known about TCR-stimulated signaling pathways, there are still gaps in our knowledge about the kinetics and sequence of events during early activation and about the in vivo specificity of kinases involved in these proximal signaling pathways. This information is important not only for understanding the activation of signaling pathways important for T cell function but also for the development of drug targets and computer-based molecular models. In this study, phospho-specific Abs directed toward individual sites on signaling proteins were used to investigate the early phosphorylation kinetics of proteins involved in proximal TCR-induced pathways. These studies indicate that linker for activation of T cells' tyrosines have substantially different phosphorylation kinetics and that Src homology 2 domain-containing leukocyte protein of 76 kDa has rapid, transient phosphorylation kinetics compared to other proteins. In additions, we provide evidence that ZAP-70 is the primary in vivo kinase for LAT tyrosine 191 and that Itk plays a role in the phosphorylation of tyrosine 783 on phospholipase C-gamma1. In total, these studies give new insight into the sequence, kinetics and specificity of early TCR-mediated signaling events that are vital for T cell activation.

Examining Multiprotein Signaling Complexes from All Angles

Dynamic protein-protein interactions are involved in most physiological processes and, in particular, for the formation of multiprotein signaling complexes at transmembrane receptors, adapter proteins and effector molecules. Because the unregulated induction of signaling complexes has substantial clinical relevance, the investigation of these complexes is an active area of research. These studies strive to answer questions about the composition and function of multiprotein signaling complexes, along with the molecular mechanisms of their formation. In this review, the adapter protein, linker for activation of T cells (LAT), will be employed as a model to exemplify how signaling complexes are characterized using a range of techniques. The intensive investigation of LAT highlights how the systematic use of complementary techniques leads to an integrated understanding of the formation, composition and function of multiprotein signaling complexes that occur at receptors, adapter proteins and effector molecules.

Recruitment and Activation of PLCgamma1 in T Cells: a New Insight into Old Domains

Engagement of the T-cell antigen receptor leads to recruitment of phospholipase Cgamma1 (PLCgamma1) to the LAT-nucleated signaling complex and to PLCgamma1 activation in a tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent manner. The mechanism of PLCgamma1 recruitment and the role of PLCgamma1 Src homology (SH) domains in this process remain incompletely understood. Using a combination of biochemical methods and real-time fluorescent imaging, we show here that the N-terminal SH2 domain of PLCgamma1 is necessary but not sufficient for its recruitment. Either the SH3 or C-terminal SH2 domain of PLCgamma1, with the participation of Vav1, c-Cbl and Slp76, are required to stabilize PLCgamma1 recruitment. All three PLCgamma1 SH domains are required for phosphorylation of PLCgamma1 Y783, which is critical for enzyme activation. These novel findings entailed revision of the currently accepted model of PLCgamma1 recruitment and activation in T lymphocytes.

Oligomerization of Signaling Complexes by the Multipoint Binding of GRB2 to Both LAT and SOS1

Receptor oligomerization is vital for activating intracellular signaling, in part by initiating events that recruit effector and adaptor proteins to sites of active signaling. Whether these distal molecules themselves oligomerize is not well appreciated. In this study, we examined the molecular interactions of the adaptor protein GRB2. In T cells, the SH2 domain of GRB2 binds phosphorylated tyrosines on the adaptor protein LAT and the GRB2 SH3 domains associate with the proline-rich regions of SOS1 and CBL. Using biochemical and biophysical techniques in conjunction with confocal microscopy, we observed that the simultaneous association of GRB2, via its SH2 and SH3 domains, with multivalent ligands led to the oligomerization of these ligands, which affected signaling. These data suggest that multipoint binding of distal adaptor proteins mediates the formation of oligomeric signaling clusters vital for intracellular signaling.

T-cell Antigen Receptor-induced Signaling Complexes: Internalization Via a Cholesterol-dependent Endocytic Pathway

T-cell antigen receptor engagement causes the rapid assembly of signaling complexes. The adapter protein SLP-76, detected as SLP-yellow fluorescent protein, initially clustered with the TCR and other proteins, then translocated medially on microtubules. As shown by total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and the inhibition of SLP-76 movement at 16 degrees C, this movement required endocytosis. Immunoelectron microscopy showed SLP-76 staining of smooth pits and tubules. Cholesterol depletion decreased the movement of SLP-76 clusters, as did coexpression of the ubiquitin-interacting motif domain from eps15. These data are consistent with the internalization of SLP-76 via a lipid raft-dependent pathway that requires interaction of the endocytic machinery with ubiquitinylated proteins. The endocytosed SLP-76 clusters contained phosphorylated SLP-76 and phosphorylated LAT. The raft-associated, transmembrane protein LAT likely targets SLP-76 to endocytic vesicles. The endocytosis of active SLP-76 and LAT complexes suggests a possible mechanism for downregulation of signaling complexes induced by TCR activation.

C-Cbl-mediated Regulation of LAT-nucleated Signaling Complexes

The engagement of the T-cell receptor (TCR) causes the rapid recruitment of multiple signaling molecules into clusters with the TCR. Upon receptor activation, the adapters LAT and SLP-76, visualized as chimeric proteins tagged with yellow fluorescent protein, transiently associate with and then rapidly dissociate from the TCR. Previously, we demonstrated that after recruitment into signaling clusters, SLP-76 is endocytosed in vesicles via a lipid raft-dependent pathway that requires the interaction of the endocytic machinery with ubiquitylated proteins. In this study, we focus on LAT and demonstrate that signaling clusters containing this adapter are internalized into distinct intracellular compartments and dissipate rapidly upon TCR activation. The internalization of LAT was inhibited in cells expressing versions of the ubiquitin ligase c-Cbl mutated in the RING domain and in T cells from mice lacking c-Cbl. Moreover, c-Cbl RING mutant forms suppressed LAT ubiquitylation and caused an increase in cellular LAT levels, as well as basal and TCR-induced levels of phosphorylated LAT. Collectively, these data indicate that following the rapid formation of signaling complexes upon TCR stimulation, c-Cbl activity is involved in the internalization and possible downregulation of a subset of activated signaling molecules.

Bam32: a Novel Mediator of Erk Activation in T Cells

Bam32 (B lymphocyte adapter molecule of 32 kDa) is an adapter protein expressed in some hematopoietic cells including B and T lymphocytes. It was previously shown that Bam32-deficient mice have defects in various aspects of B cell activation including B cell receptor (BCR)-induced Erk activation, BCR-induced proliferation and T-independent antibody responses. In this study, we have examined the role of Bam32 in T cell activation using Bam32-deficient mice. By comparing CD4(+) T cells from lymph nodes of wild-type and Bam32-deficient mice, we found that Bam32 was required for optimal TCR-induced Erk activation, cytokine production, proliferation and actin-mediated spreading of CD4(+) T cells. These results indicate a novel pathway to Erk activation in T cells involving the adapter protein Bam32.

Incomplete T-cell Receptor-beta Peptides Target the Mitochondrion and Induce Apoptosis

The default pathway of cell-surface T-cell receptor (TCR) complex formation, and the subsequent transport to the membrane, is thought to entail endoplasmic reticulum (ER) localization followed by proteasome degradation of the unassembled chains. We show herein an alternative pathway: short, incomplete peptide versions of TCRbeta naturally occur in the thymus. Such peptides, which have minimally lost the leader sequence or have been massively truncated, leaving only the very C terminus intact, are sorted preferentially to the mitochondrion. As a consequence of the mitochondrial localization, apoptotic cell death is induced. Structure function analysis showed that both the specific localization and induction of apoptosis depend on the transmembrane domain (TMD) and associated residues at the COOH-terminus of TCR. Truncated forms of TCR, such as the short peptides that we detected in the thymus, may be products of protein degradation within thymocytes. Alternatively, they may occur through the translation of truncated mRNAs resulting from unfruitful rearrangement or from germline transcription. It is proposed that mitochondria serve as a subcellular sequestration site for incomplete TCR molecules.

Cooperative Interactions at the SLP-76 Complex Are Critical for Actin Polymerization

T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) engagement induces formation of multi-protein signalling complexes essential for regulating T-cell functions. Generation of a complex of SLP-76, Nck and VAV1 is crucial for regulation of the actin machinery. We define the composition, stoichiometry and specificity of interactions in the SLP-76, Nck and VAV1 complex. Our data reveal that this complex can contain one SLP-76 molecule, two Nck and two VAV1 molecules. A direct interaction between Nck and VAV1 is mediated by binding between the C-terminal SH3 domain of Nck and the VAV1 N-terminal SH3 domain. Disruption of the VAV1:Nck interaction deleteriously affected actin polymerization. These novel findings shed new light on the mechanism of actin polymerization after T-cell activation.

Multiple Pathways Leading from the T-cell Antigen Receptor to the Actin Cytoskeleton Network

Dynamic rearrangements of the actin cytoskeleton, following T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) engagement, provide the structural matrix and flexibility to enable intracellular signal transduction, cellular and subcellular remodeling, and driving effector functions. Recently developed cutting-edge imaging technologies have facilitated the study of TCR signaling and its role in actin-dependent processes. In this review, we describe how TCR signaling cascades induce the activation of actin regulatory proteins and the formation of actin networks, and how actin dynamics is important for T-cell homeostasis, activation, migration, and other effector functions.

Functional Cooperation Between the Proteins Nck and ADAP is Fundamental for Actin Reorganization

T cell antigen receptor (TCR) activation triggers profound changes in the actin cytoskeleton. In addition to controlling cellular shape and polarity, this process regulates vital T cell responses, such as T cell adhesion, motility, and proliferation. These depend on the recruitment of the signaling proteins Nck and Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) to the site of TCR activation and on the functional properties of the adapter proteins linker for activation of T cells (LAT) and SH2-domain-containing leukocyte protein of 76 kDa (SLP76). We now demonstrate that Nck is necessary but insufficient for the recruitment of WASp. We show that two pathways lead to SLP76-dependent actin rearrangement. One requires the SLP76 acidic domain, crucial to association with the Nck SH2 domain, and another requires the SLP76 SH2 domain, essential for interaction with the adhesion- and degranulation-promoting adapter protein ADAP. Functional cooperation between Nck and ADAP mediates SLP76-WASp interactions and actin rearrangement. We also reveal the molecular mechanism linking ADAP to actin reorganization.

Studies of Novel Interactions Between Nck and VAV SH3 Domains

Following T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) engagement, a multi-molecular complex consisting of SLP-76, Nck and VAV1 is formed and recruited to the T-cell antigen-presenting-cell (APC) interaction site. This complex is crucial for the regulation of the actin machinery. The molecules Nck (an adaptor) and VAV1 (a GEF for small G-proteins) were previously shown to bind SLP-76. Using high-resolution imaging techniques, together with gene silencing and biochemical analysis, we studied the dynamics of this signaling complex formation. We recently showed that VAV1 and Nck can bind each other independently of SLP-76. This direct interaction is mediated by the binding of the Nck C-terminal SH3 domain and the VAV1 N-terminal SH3 domain. This interaction contributes to the cooperative nature of the complex formation. This observation was confirmed in functional studies: disruption of the Nck-VAV1 interaction strongly inhibited actin polymerization. Here, we show that Nck-VAV1 interaction is not required for Ca(2+) mobilization, since a point mutation in the VAV1 N-terminal SH3 domain, which prevents the direct interaction between Nck and VAV1, has no effect on Ca(2+) flux and minimal effects on ZAP-70, LAT or PLCγ1 phosphorylation.

Studying the Dynamics of SLP-76, Nck, and Vav1 Multimolecular Complex Formation in Live Human Cells with Triple-color FRET

Protein-protein interactions regulate and control many cellular functions. A multimolecular complex consisting of the adaptor proteins SLP-76 (Src homology 2 domain-containing leukocyte protein of 76 kD), Nck, and the guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav1 is recruited to the T cell side of the interface with an antigen-presenting cell during initial T cell activation. This complex is crucial for regulation of the actin machinery, antigen recognition, and signaling in T cells. We studied the interactions between these proteins as well as the dynamics of their recruitment into a complex that governs cytoskeletal reorganization. We developed a triple-color Förster resonance energy transfer (3FRET) system to observe the dynamics of the formation of this trimolecular signaling complex in live human T cells and to follow the three molecular interactions in parallel. Using the 3FRET system, we demonstrated that dimers of Nck and Vav1 were constitutively formed independently of both T cell activation and the association between SLP-76 and Nck. After T cell receptor stimulation, SLP-76 was phosphorylated, which enabled the binding of Nck. A point mutation in the proline-rich site of Vav1, which abolishes its binding to Nck, impaired actin rearrangement, suggesting that Nck-Vav1 dimers play a critical role in regulation of the actin machinery. We suggest that these findings revise the accepted model of the formation of a complex of SLP-76, Nck, and Vav1 and demonstrate the use of 3FRET as a tool to study signal transduction in live cells.

Ubiquitylation-dependent Negative Regulation of WASp is Essential for Actin Cytoskeleton Dynamics

The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) is a key regulator of actin dynamics during cell motility and adhesion, and mutations in its gene are responsible for Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS). Here, we demonstrate that WASp is ubiquitylated following T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) activation. WASp phosphorylation at tyrosine 291 results in recruitment of the E3 ligase Cbl-b, which, together with c-Cbl, carries out WASp ubiquitylation. Lysine residues 76 and 81, located at the WASp WH1 domain, which contains the vast majority of WASp gene mutations, serve as the ubiquitylation sites. Disruption of WASp ubiquitylation causes WASp accumulation and alters actin dynamics and the formation of actin-dependent structures. Our data suggest that regulated degradation of activated WASp might be an efficient strategy by which the duration and localization of actin rearrangement and the intensity of T-cell activation are controlled.

WIP Remodeling Actin Behind the Scenes: How WIP Reshapes Immune and Other Functions

Actin polymerization is a fundamental cellular process regulating immune cell functions and the immune response. The Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) is an actin nucleation promoting factor, which is exclusively expressed in hematopoietic cells, where it plays a key regulatory role in cytoskeletal dynamics. WASp interacting protein (WIP) was first discovered as the binding partner of WASp, through the use of the yeast two hybrid system. WIP was later identified as a chaperone of WASp, necessary for its stability. Mutations occurring at the WASp homology 1 domain (WH1), which serves as the WIP binding site, were found to cause the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) and X-linked thrombocytopenia (XLT). WAS manifests as an immune deficiency characterized by eczema, thrombocytopenia, recurrent infections, and hematopoietic malignancies, demonstrating the importance of WIP for WASp complex formation and for a proper immune response. WIP deficiency was found to lead to different abnormalities in the activity of various lymphocytes, suggesting differential cell-dependent roles for WIP. Additionally, WIP deficiency causes cellular abnormalities not found in WASp-deficient cells, indicating that WIP fulfills roles beyond stabilizing WASp. Indeed, WIP was shown to interact with various binding partners, including the signaling proteins Nck, CrkL and cortactin. Recent studies have demonstrated that WIP also takes part in non immune cellular processes such as cancer invasion and metastasis, in addition to cell subversion by intracellular pathogens. Understanding of numerous functions of WIP can enhance our current understanding of activation and function of immune and other cell types.

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