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Preston S.G.,University of Oxford | Majtan J.,Slovak Academy of Sciences | Kouremenou C.,University of Oxford | Rysnik O.,University of Oxford | And 8 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2013

Hard ticks subvert the immune responses of their vertebrate hosts in order to feed for much longer periods than other blood-feeding ectoparasites; this may be one reason why they transmit perhaps the greatest diversity of pathogens of any arthropod vector. Tick-induced immunomodulation is mediated by salivary components, some of which neutralise elements of innate immunity or inhibit the development of adaptive immunity. As dendritic cells (DC) trigger and help to regulate adaptive immunity, they are an ideal target for immunomodulation. However, previously described immunoactive components of tick saliva are either highly promiscuous in their cellular and molecular targets or have limited effects on DC. Here we address the question of whether the largest and globally most important group of ticks (the ixodid metastriates) produce salivary molecules that specifically modulate DC activity. We used chromatography to isolate a salivary gland protein (Japanin) from Rhipicephalus appendiculatus ticks. Japanin was cloned, and recombinant protein was produced in a baculoviral expression system. We found that Japanin specifically reprogrammes DC responses to a wide variety of stimuli in vitro, radically altering their expression of co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory transmembrane molecules (measured by flow cytometry) and their secretion of pro-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory and T cell polarising cytokines (assessed by Luminex multiplex assays); it also inhibits the differentiation of DC from monocytes. Sequence alignments and enzymatic deglycosylation revealed Japanin to be a 17.7 kDa, N-glycosylated lipocalin. Using molecular cloning and database searches, we have identified a group of homologous proteins in R. appendiculatus and related species, three of which we have expressed and shown to possess DC-modulatory activity. All data were obtained using DC generated from at least four human blood donors, with rigorous statistical analysis. Our results suggest a previously unknown mechanism for parasite-induced subversion of adaptive immunity, one which may also facilitate pathogen transmission. © 2013 Preston et al. Source

Metkar S.S.,University of Chicago | Marchioretto M.,Fondazione Bruno Kessler | Marchioretto M.,University of Trento | Antonini V.,Fondazione Bruno Kessler | And 10 more authors.
Cell Death and Differentiation | Year: 2015

Perforin-mediated cytotoxicity is an essential host defense, in which defects contribute to tumor development and pathogenic disorders including autoimmunity and autoinflammation. How perforin (PFN) facilitates intracellular delivery of pro-apoptotic and inflammatory granzymes across the bilayer of targets remains unresolved. Here we show that cellular susceptibility to granzyme B (GzmB) correlates with rapid PFN-induced phosphatidylserine externalization, suggesting that pores are formed at a protein-lipid interface by incomplete membrane oligomers (or arcs). Supporting a role for these oligomers in protease delivery, an anti-PFN antibody (pf-80) suppresses necrosis but increases phosphatidylserine flip-flop and GzmB-induced apoptosis. As shown by atomic force microscopy on planar bilayers and deep-etch electron microscopy on mammalian cells, pf-80 increases the proportion of arcs which correlates with the presence of smaller electrical conductances, while large cylindrical pores decline. PFN appears to form arc structures on target membranes that serve as minimally disrupting conduits for GzmB translocation. The role of these arcs in PFN-mediated pathology warrants evaluation where they may serve as novel therapeutic targets. Source

Belhouchet M.,Institute for Animal Health | Jaafar F.,Institute for Animal Health | Firth A.E.,University of Cambridge | Grimes J.M.,Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine | And 2 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The genus Orbivirus includes both insect and tick-borne viruses. The orbivirus genome, composed of 10 segments of dsRNA, encodes 7 structural proteins (VP1-VP7) and 3 non-structural proteins (NS1-NS3). An open reading frame (ORF) that spans almost the entire length of genome segment-9 (Seg-9) encodes VP6 (the viral helicase). However, bioinformatic analysis recently identified an overlapping ORF (ORFX) in Seg-9. We show that ORFX encodes a new non-structural protein, identified here as NS4. Western blotting and confocal fluorescence microscopy, using antibodies raised against recombinant NS4 from Bluetongue virus (BTV, which is insect-borne), or Great Island virus (GIV, which is tick-borne), demonstrate that these proteins are synthesised in BTV or GIV infected mammalian cells, respectively. BTV NS4 is also expressed in Culicoides insect cells. NS4 forms aggregates throughout the cytoplasm as well as in the nucleus, consistent with identification of nuclear localisation signals within the NS4 sequence. Bioinformatic analyses indicate that NS4 contains coiled-coils, is related to proteins that bind nucleic acids, or are associated with membranes and shows similarities to nucleolar protein UTP20 (a processome subunit). Recombinant NS4 of GIV protects dsRNA from degradation by endoribonucleases of the RNAse III family, indicating that it interacts with dsRNA. However, BTV NS4, which is only half the putative size of the GIV NS4, did not protect dsRNA from RNAse III cleavage. NS4 of both GIV and BTV protect DNA from degradation by DNAse. NS4 was found to associate with lipid droplets in cells infected with BTV or GIV or transfected with a plasmid expressing NS4. © 2011 Belhouchet et al. Source

Metkar S.S.,NorthShore University HealthSystems Research Institute | Wang B.,NorthShore University HealthSystems Research Institute | Catalan E.,University of Zaragoza | Anderluh G.,University of Ljubljana | And 3 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2011

The cytotoxic cell granule secretory pathway is essential for host defense. This pathway is fundamentally a form of intracellular protein delivery where granule proteases (granzymes) from cytotoxic lymphocytes are thought to diffuse through barrel stave pores generated in the plasma membrane of the target cell by the pore forming protein perforin (PFN) and mediate apoptotic as well as additional biological effects. While recent electron microscopy and structural analyses indicate that recombinant PFN oligomerizes to form pores containing 20 monomers (20 nm) when applied to liposomal membranes, these pores are not observed by propidium iodide uptake in target cells. Instead, concentrations of human PFN that encourage granzyme-mediated apoptosis are associated with pore structures that unexpectedly favor phosphatidylserine flip-flop measured by Annexin-V and Lactadherin. Efforts that reduce PFN mediated Ca influx in targets did not reduce Annexin-V reactivity. Antigen specific mouse CD8 cells initiate a similar rapid flip-flop in target cells. A lipid that augments plasma membrane curvature as well as cholesterol depletion in target cells enhance flip-flop. Annexin-V staining highly correlated with apoptosis after Granzyme B (GzmB) treatment. We propose the structures that PFN oligomers form in the membrane bilayer may include arcs previously observed by electron microscopy and that these unusual structures represent an incomplete mixture of plasma membrane lipid and PFN oligomers that may act as a flexible gateway for GzmB to translocate across the bilayer to the cytosolic leaflet of target cells. © 2011 Metkar et al. Source

Fry E.E.,Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine | Tuthill T.J.,University of Leeds | Tuthill T.J.,Institute for Animal Health | Harlos K.,Henry Wellcome Building for Genomic Medicine | And 3 more authors.
Journal of General Virology | Year: 2010

Equine rhinitis A virus (ERAV) shares many features with foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) and both are classified within the genus Aphthovirus of the family Picornaviridae. ERAV is used as a surrogate for FMDV research as it does not require high-level biosecurity. In contrast to FMDV, which uses integrins as cellular receptors, the receptor for ERAV has been reported to involve the sugar moiety sialic acid. This study confirmed the importance of sialic acid for cell entry by ERAV and reports the crystal structure of ERAV particles complexed with the receptor analogue 3′-sialyllactose. The receptor is attached to the rim of a capsid pit adjacent to the major immunogenic site and distinct from the sialic acid binding site used by a related picornavirus, the cardiovirus Theiler's murine encephalitis virus. The structure of the major antigenic determinant of the virus, previously identified from antibody escape mutations, is also described as the EF loop of VP1, which forms a hairpin stretching across the capsid surface close to the icosahedral fivefold axis, neighbouring the receptor-binding site, and spanning two protomeric units. © 2010 SGM. Source

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