Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is a prototypic tissue-specific autoantibody-mediated disease, in which anti-desmoglein 3 (Dsg3) IgG autoantibodies cause life-threatening blistering. We characterized the autoimmune B-cell response over 14 patient years in two patients with active and relapsing disease, then in one of these patients after long-term remission induced by multiple courses of rituximab (anti-CD20 antibody). Characterization of the anti-Dsg3 IgG(+) repertoire by antibody phage display (APD) and PCR indicated that six clonal lines persisted in patient 1 (PV3) over 5.5 years, with only one new clone detected. Six clonal lines persisted in patient 2 (PV1) for 4 years, of which five persisted for another 4.5 years without any new clones detected. However, after long-term clinical and serologic remission, ?11 years after initial characterization, we could no longer detect any anti-Dsg3 clones in PV1 by APD. Similarly, in another PV patient, ?4.5 years after a course of rituximab that induced long-term remission, anti-Dsg3 B-cell clones were undetectable. These data suggest that in PV a given set of non-tolerant B-cell lineages causes autoimmune diseases and that new sets do not frequently or continually escape tolerance. Therapy such as rituximab, aimed at eliminating these aberrant sets of lineages, may be effective for disease because new ones are unlikely to develop.Journal of Investigative Dermatology advance online publication, 21 August 2014; doi:10.1038/jid.2014.291.
Monoclonal antibody F77 was previously raised against human prostate cancer cells and has been shown to recognize a carbohydrate antigen, but the carbohydrate sequence of the antigen was elusive. Here, we make multifaceted approaches to characterize F77 antigen, including binding analyses with the glycolipid extract of the prostate cancer cell line PC3, microarrays with sequence-defined glycan probes, and designer arrays from the O-glycome of an antigen-positive mucin, in conjunction with mass spectrometry. Our results reveal F77 antigen to be expressed on blood group H on a 6-linked branch of a poly-N-acetyllactosamine backbone. We show that mAb F77 can also bind to blood group A and B analogs but with lower intensities. We propose that the close association of F77 antigen with prostate cancers is a consequence of increased blood group H expression together with up-regulated branching enzymes. This is in contrast to other epithelial cancers that have up-regulated branching enzymes but diminished expression of H antigen. With knowledge of the structure and prevalence of F77 antigen in prostate cancer, the way is open to explore rationally its application as a biomarker to detect F77-positive circulating prostate cancer-derived glycoproteins and tumor cells.
We determined the feasibility of using an anti-desmoglein (Dsg) mAb, Px44, to deliver a biologically active protein to keratinocytes. Recombinantly produced Px44-green fluorescent protein (GFP) injected into mice and skin organ culture delivered GFP to the cell surface of keratinocytes. We replaced GFP with tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) to produce Px44-TRAIL. We chose TRAIL as a biological model because it inhibits activated lymphocytes and causes apoptosis of hyperproliferative keratinocytes, features of various skin diseases. Px44-TRAIL formed a trimer, the biologically active form of TRAIL. Standard assays of TRAIL activity showed that Px44-TRAIL caused apoptosis of Jurkat cells and inhibited IFN-? production by activated CD4+ T cells. Enzyme-linked immunoassay with Px44-TRAIL showed delivery of TRAIL to Dsg. Immunofluorescence with Px44-TRAIL incubated on skin sections and cultured keratinocytes or injected into mouse skin, human organ culture, or human xenografts detected TRAIL on keratinocytes. Px44-TRAIL caused apoptosis of the hyperproliferative, but not differentiating, cultured keratinocytes through binding to Dsg3. Foldon, a small trimerization domain, cloned into Px44-TRAIL maintained its stability and biological activity at 37°?C for at least 48 hours. These data suggest that such targeted therapy is feasible and may be useful for hyperproliferative and inflamed skin diseases.
Vectors based on the primate-derived adeno-associated virus serotype 8 (AAV8) are being evaluated in preclinical and clinical models. Natural infections with related AAVs activate memory B cells that produce antibodies capable of modulating the efficacy and safety of the vector. We have evaluated the biology of AAV8 gene transfer in macaque liver, with a focus on assessing the impact of pre-existing humoral immunity. Twenty-one macaques with various levels of AAV neutralizing antibody (NAb) were injected intravenously with AAV8 vector expressing green fluorescent protein. Pre-existing antibody titers in excess of 1:10 substantially diminished hepatocyte transduction that, in the absence of NAbs, was highly efficient. Vector-specific NAb diminished liver deposition of genomes and unexpectedly increased genome distribution to the spleen. The majority of animals showed high-level and stable sequestration of vector capsid protein by follicular dendritic cells of splenic germinal centers. These studies illustrate how natural immunity to a virus that is related to a vector can impact the efficacy and potential safety of in vivo gene therapy. We propose to use the in vitro transduction inhibition assay to evaluate research subjects before gene therapy and to preclude from systemic AAV8 trials those that have titers in excess of 1:10.
Tumor-infiltrating macrophages respond to microenvironmental signals by developing a tumor-associated phenotype characterized by high expression of mannose receptor (MR, CD206). Antibody cross-linking of CD206 triggers anergy in dendritic cells and CD206 engagement by tumoral mucins activates an immune suppressive phenotype in tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). Many tumor antigens are heavily glycosylated, such as tumoral mucins, and/or attached to tumor cells by mannose residue-containing glycolipids (GPI anchors), as for example mesothelin and the family of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA). However, the binding to mannose receptor of soluble tumor antigen GPI anchors via mannose residues has not been systematically studied. To address this question, we analyzed the binding of tumor-released mesothelin to ascites-infiltrating macrophages from ovarian cancer patients. We also modeled functional interactions between macrophages and soluble mesothelin using an in vitro system of co-culture in transwells of healthy donor macrophages with human ovarian cancer cell lines. We found that soluble mesothelin bound to human macrophages and that the binding depended on the presence of GPI anchor and of mannose receptor. We next challenged the system with antibodies directed against the mannose receptor domain 4 (CDR4-MR). We isolated three novel anti-CDR4-MR human recombinant antibodies (scFv) using a yeast-display library of human scFv. Anti-CDR4-MR scFv #G11 could block mesothelin binding to macrophages and prevent tumor-induced phenotype polarization of CD206(low) macrophages towards TAMs. Our findings indicate that tumor-released mesothelin is linked to GPI anchor, engages macrophage mannose receptor, and contributes to macrophage polarization towards TAMs. We propose that compounds able to block tumor antigen GPI anchor/CD206 interactions, such as our novel anti-CRD4-MR scFv, could prevent tumor-induced TAM polarization and have therapeutic potential against ovarian cancer, through polarization control of tumor-infiltrating innate immune cells.
Pemphigus is a life-threatening autoimmune disease in which antibodies specific for desmogleins (Dsgs) cause loss of keratinocyte cell adhesion and blisters. In order to understand how antibodies cause pathogenicity and whether there are commonalities among antibodies in different patients that could ultimately be used to target specific therapy against these antibodies, we characterized Dsg-specific mAbs cloned by phage display from 3 patients with pemphigus vulgaris and 2 with pemphigus foliaceus. Variable heavy chain gene usage was restricted, but similar genes were used for both pathogenic and nonpathogenic mAbs. However, the heavy chain complementarity-determining region 3 (H-CDR3) of most pathogenic, but not nonpathogenic, mAbs shared an amino acid consensus sequence. Randomization of the H-CDR3 and site-directed mutagenesis indicated that changes in this sequence could block pathogenicity but not necessarily binding. In addition, for 2 antibodies with longer H-CDR3s, a tryptophan was critical for pathogenicity but not binding, a result that is consistent with blocking the tryptophan acceptor site that is thought to be necessary for Dsg-mediated adhesion. These studies indicate that H-CDR3 is critical for pathogenicity of a human autoantibody, that a small region (even 1 amino acid) can mediate pathogenicity, and that pathogenicity can be uncoupled from binding in these antibodies.
Single chain variable region fragments (scFvs) are composed of an immunoglobulin (Ig) variable heavy (VH) and variable light (VL) chain joined by a flexible serine-glycine linker. They represent the smallest antibody fragments that maintain antigen specificity and they hold significant potential for therapeutic antigen targeting in vivo. Here we report on the design and validation of a series of degenerate primers that amplify the recombined variable regions of canine Ig heavy and light chain genes from lymphocyte cDNA. We show that these VH and VL amplicons can be randomly combined by a flexible linker using splicing by overlap extension PCR to form scFv constructs that can be expressed on the surface of M13 bacteriophage. To demonstrate that scFvs with specificity for previously encountered antigens are contained within these scFv phage display libraries we used simple panning procedures to isolate canine parvovirus (CPV) specific scFvs from a library made from the splenocytes of a dog immunized against CPV. These studies reveal the feasibility of this approach for generating diverse canine scFv libraries and pave the way toward future studies to isolate canine antigen-specific scFv of interest that may be tested as targeting agents for the treatment of infectious, inflammatory and neoplastic diseases in the dog.
Elevated Lipoprotein (a) (Lp(a)) levels are associated with atherosclerosis and are independent risk factors for coronary artery disease and stroke [Ariyo et al., N Engl J Med 2003;349:2108–2115; Price et al., Atherosclerosis 2001;157:241–249]. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)-apheresis is the most effective therapy for reducing Lp(a) levels [Parker, Chem Phys Lipids 1994;67–68:331–338; Stefanutti et al., Transfus Apher Sci 2010;42:21–26]. Dextran sulfate-cellulose adsorption (Liposorber®) removes both LDL and Lp(a) particles with minimal effect on high-density lipoprotein levels. During the procedure, high levels of bradykinin are generated as the kallikrein-kinin system is activated by contact with the negatively charged dextran-sulfate cellulose [Krieter et al., Artif Organs 2005;29:47–52]. Bradykinin is a potent vasodilator and a substrate of the angiotension converting enzyme (ACE). ACE inhibitors are contraindicated for apheresis procedures because these drugs prevent bradykinin degradation, which causes anaphylatoid reactions characterized by hypotension, bradycardia, dyspnea, and flushing [Owen and Brecher, Transfusion 1994;34:891–894]. Turmeric is a yellow spice that is used as an herbal remedy to treat a myriad of conditions ranging from abdominal pain to pulmonary infections. Scientific investigations of the ethnomedicinal properties of curcumin, the major derivative of turmeric, suggest that this compound has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antineoplastic properties [Lobo et al., J Pharm Pharmacol 2009;61:13–21]. We report a case of a patient undergoing Liposorber® therapy for treatment of hyperLp(a)lipidemia who had three episodes of anaphylactoid-like reactions after starting therapy with the spice turmeric.
Endosialin/TEM1 is predominantly expressed on neovasculature, thus ideally suited for diagnostic, targeted imaging and therapy of cancer. To isolate TEM1-specific affinity reagents, we thought to screen a recombinant antibody (scFv) library derived from the repertoire of a patient with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), as autoimmune disorders may produce self-reactive specificities. The yeast-display scFv library was constructed by homologous recombination of the TTP patient repertoire originally expressed on M13 bacteriophage in the novel vector pAGA2 for yeast-display expression. The TTP yeast-display library (10? members) was screened by magnetic and flow sorting with human TEM1 recombinant protein. A pool of yeast-display scFv able to detect 2nM of TEM1 was obtained and transformed into yeast-secreted scFv by homologous recombination using the novel p416 BCCP vector for yeast secretion of biotinylated scFv. Anti-TEM1 yeast-secreted scFv were independently validated in vitro by flow cytometry analysis and ELISA assays, then in vivo biotinylated in N-termini to produce biobodies. Biobody-78 bound specifically to Endosialin/TEM1-expressing ovarian tumor in vivo, with functional stability over 48 h. Our results suggest that our novel paired display-secretory yeast libraries can serve as an ideal platform for the rapid isolation of high-affinity reagents, and that anti-TEM1 biobody-78 can be used for in vitro assays including flow cytometry analysis, as well as in vivo for targeted imaging and therapy of cancer.
In pemphigus foliaceus (PF), autoantibodies against desmoglein 1 (Dsg1) cause blisters. Using Ab phage display, we have cloned mAbs from a PF patient. These mAbs, like those from a previous patient, were directed against mature Dsg1 (matDsg1) on the cell surface of keratinocytes and precursor Dsg1 (preDsg1) in the cytoplasm. To determine whether individuals without pemphigus have B cell tolerance to Dsg1, we cloned mAbs from two patients with thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura and a healthy person. We found mAbs against preDsg1, but not matDsg1. All but 1 of the 23 anti-preDsg1 mAbs from PF patients and those without PF used the VH3-09 (or closely related VH3-20) H chain gene, whereas no PF anti-matDsg1 used these genes. V(H) cDNA encoding anti-preDsg1 had significantly fewer somatic mutations than did anti-matDsg1 cDNA, consistent with chronic Ag-driven hypermutation of the latter compared with the former. These data indicate that individuals without PF do not have B cell tolerance to preDsg1 and that loss of tolerance to matDsg1 is not due to epitope shifting of anti-preDsg1 B cells (because of different V(H) gene usage). However, presentation of peptides from Dsg1 by preDsg1-specific B cells may be one step in developing autoimmunity in PF.
Autoantibodies in pemphigus foliaceus (PF) and vulgaris (PV) bind to desmoglein (Dsg) 1 and 3, respectively, and cause loss of keratinocyte adhesion. To characterize the pathogenicity and genetics of such antibodies we have used phage display to isolate monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) from patients. PCR is used to clone the heavy and light chain variable region of the peripheral B cells into a vector that creates a phage particle with the antibody expressed on its surface and the cDNA encoding that antibody inside. The library of phage produced from a PF or PV patient are then panned on a plate containing Dsg1 or Dsg3 to isolate clones. The cDNA of each clone is sequenced to characterize the genetics of the expressed mAb. The mAb from each unique clone is tested for pathogenicity either by injecting into normal human skin organ culture or into neonatal mice. Pathogenic antibodies cause typical pemphigus blisters. In both PV and PF patients the heavy chain (VH) genes used for Dsg-binding antibodies are severely restricted. PV and PF patients have both pathogenic and non-pathogenic mAbs. The immunochemical characteristics of the antibodies (including pathogenicity) sort with the VH, not the VL, gene. These monoclonal pathogenic antibodies can be used to screen peptide libraries to find short peptides that block antibody binding. In summary, the antibody response is restricted and, therefore, it may be feasible to target the specific pathogenic antibodies for therapy.
The receptor for advanced glycation end products (RAGE) is a multiligand pattern recognition receptor implicated in multiple disease states. Although RAGE is expressed on systemic vascular endothelium, the expression and function of RAGE on lung endothelium has not been studied. Utilizing in vitro (human) and in vivo (mouse) models, we established the presence of RAGE on lung endothelium. Because RAGE ligands can induce the expression of RAGE and stored red blood cells express the RAGE ligand N(?)-carboxymethyl lysine, we investigated whether red blood cell (RBC) transfusion would augment RAGE expression on endothelium utilizing a syngeneic model of RBC transfusion. RBC transfusion not only increased lung endothelial RAGE expression but enhanced lung inflammation and endothelial activation, since lung high mobility group box 1 and vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 expression was elevated following transfusion. These effects were mediated by RAGE, since endothelial activation was absent in RBC-transfused RAGE knockout mice. Thus, RAGE is inducibly expressed on lung endothelium, and one functional consequence of RBC transfusion is increased RAGE expression and endothelial activation.
Prevailing approaches to manage autoimmune thrombotic disorders, such as heparin-induced thrombocytopenia, antiphospholipid syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, include immunosuppression and systemic anticoagulation, though neither provides optimal outcome for many patients. A different approach is suggested by the concurrence of autoantibodies and their antigenic targets in the absence of clinical disease, such as platelet factor 4 in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia and ?(2)-glycoprotein-I (?(2)GPI) in antiphospholipid syndrome. The presence of autoantibodies in the absence of disease suggests that conformational changes or other alterations in endogenous protein autoantigens are required for recognition by pathogenic autoantibodies. In thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, the clinical impact of ADAMTS13 deficiency caused by autoantibodies likely depends on the balance between residual antigen, that is, enzyme activity, and demand imposed by local genesis of ultralarge multimers of von Willebrand factor. A corollary of these concepts is that disrupting platelet factor 4 and ?(2)GPI conformation (or ultralarge multimer of von Willebrand factor oligomerization or function) might provide a disease-targeted approach to prevent thrombosis without systemic anticoagulation or immunosuppression. Validation of this approach requires a deeper understanding of how seemingly normal host proteins become antigenic or undergo changes that increase antibody avidity, and how they can be altered to retain adaptive functions while shedding epitopes prone to elicit harmful autoimmunity.
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