Publications by authors named "A Jimmy Ytterberg"

52 Publications

Citrullination Controls Dendritic Cell Transdifferentiation into Osteoclasts.

J Immunol 2019 06 24;202(11):3143-3150. Epub 2019 Apr 24.

Rheumatology Unit, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, S-171 76 Stockholm, Sweden.

An increased repertoire of potential osteoclast (OC) precursors could accelerate the development of bone-erosive OCs and the consequent bone damage in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Immature dendritic cells (DCs) can develop into OCs, however, the mechanisms underlying this differentiation switch are poorly understood. We investigated whether protein citrullination and RA-specific anti-citrullinated protein Abs (ACPAs) could regulate human blood-derived DC-OC transdifferentiation. We show that plasticity toward the OC lineage correlated with peptidyl arginine deiminase (PAD) activity and protein citrullination in DCs. Citrullinated actin and vimentin were present in DCs and DC-derived OCs, and both proteins were deposited on the cell surface, colocalizing with ACPAs binding to the cells. ACPAs enhanced OC differentiation from monocyte-derived or circulating CD1c DCs by increasing the release of IL-8. Blocking IL-8 binding or the PAD enzymes completely abolished the stimulatory effect of ACPAs, whereas PAD inhibition reduced steady-state OC development, as well, suggesting an essential role for protein citrullination in DC-OC transdifferentiation. Protein citrullination and ACPA binding to immature DCs might thus promote differentiation plasticity toward the OC lineage, which can facilitate bone erosion in ACPA-positive RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1800534DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6526390PMC
June 2019

Posttranslational Targeting of a Recombinant Protein Promotes Its Efficient Secretion into the Escherichia coli Periplasm.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2019 07 17;85(13). Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Division of Glycoscience, Department of Chemistry, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, AlbaNova University Centre, Stockholm, Sweden

Many recombinant proteins that are produced in have to be targeted to the periplasm to be functional. N-terminal signal peptides can be used to direct recombinant proteins to the membrane-embedded Sec translocon, a multiprotein complex that translocates proteins across the membrane into the periplasm. We have recently shown that the cotranslational targeting of the single-chain variable antibody fragment BL1 saturates the capacity of the Sec translocon leading to impaired translocation of secretory proteins and protein misfolding/aggregation in the cytoplasm. In turn, protein production yields and biomass formation were low. Here, we study the consequences of targeting BL1 posttranslationally to the Sec translocon. Notably, the posttranslational targeting of BL1 does not saturate the Sec translocon capacity, and both biomass formation and protein production yields are increased. Analyzing the proteome of cells producing the posttranslationally targeted BL1 indicates that the decreased synthesis of endogenous secretory and membrane proteins prevents a saturation of the Sec translocon capacity. Furthermore, in these cells, highly abundant chaperones and proteases can clear misfolded/aggregated proteins from the cytoplasm, thereby improving the fitness of these cells. Thus, the posttranslational targeting of BL1 enables its efficient production in the periplasm due to a favorable adaptation of the proteome. We envisage that our observations can be used to engineer for the improved production of recombinant secretory proteins. The bacterium is widely used to produce recombinant proteins. To fold properly, many recombinant proteins have to be targeted to the periplasm, but so far the impact of the targeting pathway of a recombinant protein to the periplasm has not been extensively investigated. Here, we show that the targeting pathway of a recombinant antibody fragment has a tremendous impact on cell physiology, ultimately affecting protein production yields in the periplasm and biomass formation. This indicates that studying the targeting and secretion of proteins into the periplasm could be used to design strategies to improve recombinant protein production yields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00671-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6581171PMC
July 2019

Optimizing Recombinant Protein Production in the Escherichia coli Periplasm Alleviates Stress.

Appl Environ Microbiol 2018 06 31;84(12). Epub 2018 May 31.

Center for Biomembrane Research, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

In , many recombinant proteins are produced in the periplasm. To direct these proteins to this compartment, they are equipped with an N-terminal signal sequence so that they can traverse the cytoplasmic membrane via the protein-conducting Sec translocon. Recently, using the single-chain variable antibody fragment BL1, we have shown that harmonizing the target gene expression intensity with the Sec translocon capacity can be used to improve the production yields of a recombinant protein in the periplasm. Here, we have studied the consequences of improving the production of BL1 in the periplasm by using a proteomics approach. When the target gene expression intensity is not harmonized with the Sec translocon capacity, the impaired translocation of secretory proteins, protein misfolding/aggregation in the cytoplasm, and an inefficient energy metabolism result in poor growth and low protein production yields. The harmonization of the target gene expression intensity with the Sec translocon capacity results in normal growth, enhanced protein production yields, and, surprisingly, a composition of the proteome that is-besides the produced target-the same as that of cells with an empty expression vector. Thus, the single-chain variable antibody fragment BL1 can be efficiently produced in the periplasm without causing any notable detrimental effects to the production host. Finally, we show that under the optimized conditions, a small fraction of the target protein is released into the extracellular milieu via outer membrane vesicles. We envisage that our observations can be used to design strategies to further improve the production of secretory recombinant proteins in The bacterium is widely used to produce recombinant proteins. Usually, trial-and-error-based screening approaches are used to identify conditions that lead to high recombinant protein production yields. Here, for the production of an antibody fragment in the periplasm of , we show that an optimization of its production is accompanied by the alleviation of stress. This indicates that the monitoring of stress responses could be used to facilitate enhanced recombinant protein production yields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AEM.00270-18DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5981079PMC
June 2018

The SysteMHC Atlas project.

Nucleic Acids Res 2018 01;46(D1):D1237-D1247

Department of Biology, Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Zurich 8093, Switzerland.

Mass spectrometry (MS)-based immunopeptidomics investigates the repertoire of peptides presented at the cell surface by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. The broad clinical relevance of MHC-associated peptides, e.g. in precision medicine, provides a strong rationale for the large-scale generation of immunopeptidomic datasets and recent developments in MS-based peptide analysis technologies now support the generation of the required data. Importantly, the availability of diverse immunopeptidomic datasets has resulted in an increasing need to standardize, store and exchange this type of data to enable better collaborations among researchers, to advance the field more efficiently and to establish quality measures required for the meaningful comparison of datasets. Here we present the SysteMHC Atlas (https://systemhcatlas.org), a public database that aims at collecting, organizing, sharing, visualizing and exploring immunopeptidomic data generated by MS. The Atlas includes raw mass spectrometer output files collected from several laboratories around the globe, a catalog of context-specific datasets of MHC class I and class II peptides, standardized MHC allele-specific peptide spectral libraries consisting of consensus spectra calculated from repeat measurements of the same peptide sequence, and links to other proteomics and immunology databases. The SysteMHC Atlas project was created and will be further expanded using a uniform and open computational pipeline that controls the quality of peptide identifications and peptide annotations. Thus, the SysteMHC Atlas disseminates quality controlled immunopeptidomic information to the public domain and serves as a community resource toward the generation of a high-quality comprehensive map of the human immunopeptidome and the support of consistent measurement of immunopeptidomic sample cohorts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/nar/gkx664DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5753376PMC
January 2018

IgG Fc galactosylation predicts response to methotrexate in early rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis Res Ther 2017 08 9;19(1):182. Epub 2017 Aug 9.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: Methotrexate (MTX) is the standard first-line therapy in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) with variable clinical efficacy that is difficult to predict. The glycosylation status of immunoglobulin G (IgG) is altered in RA and influenced by MTX treatment. We aimed to further investigate if IgG glycosylation in untreated early RA can predict therapeutic response to MTX.

Methods: We used a shotgun proteomic approach to screen for the Fc glycopeptides in the serum of 12 control subjects and 59 untreated patients with early RA prior to and following MTX initiation. MTX treatment response was defined according to the European League Against Rheumatism at a median of 14 weeks (range 13-15) after treatment initiation. Seropositive patients were defined as those testing positive for anticitrullinated protein antibodies and/or rheumatoid factor at baseline (n = 44). Data analysis was performed using uni- and multivariate statistics.

Results: We could confirm a low abundance of galactosylated glycans in untreated patients with early RA compared with control subjects that was partially restored by MTX treatment. This was more evident among future nonresponders than among responders to MTX treatment. Results were further validated and confirmed by multivariate statistical analysis of the baseline Fc glycan, proteomic, and clinical data. We found that the ratio between the main agalactosylated (FA2) and main mono- and di-galactosylated Fc glycans (FA2G1 and FA2G2) of IgG1 ranked as the most prominent factor distinguishing responders from nonresponders. A low baseline ratio of FA2/[FA2G1 + FA2G2]-IgG1 was associated with nonresponse (OR 5.3 [1.6-17.0]) and was able to discriminate future nonresponders from responders to MTX therapy with a sensitivity of 70% (95% CI 46-88%) and a specificity of 69% (95% CI 52-83%). For seropositive patients (n = 44), this trend was improved with a sensitivity of 73% (95% CI 45-92%) for nonresponse and a specificity of 79% (95% CI 60-92%).

Conclusions: We show that the FA2/[FA2G1 + FA2G2] of IgG1 is a biomarker candidate that is significantly associated with nonresponding patients and has potential value for prediction of MTX clinical response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-017-1389-7DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5549282PMC
August 2017

Autoreactivity to malondialdehyde-modifications in rheumatoid arthritis is linked to disease activity and synovial pathogenesis.

J Autoimmun 2017 Nov 21;84:29-45. Epub 2017 Jun 21.

Division of Rheumatology, Department of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA.

Oxidation-associated malondialdehyde (MDA) modification of proteins can generate immunogenic neo-epitopes that are recognized by autoantibodies. In health, IgM antibodies to MDA-adducts are part of the natural antibody pool, while elevated levels of IgG anti-MDA antibodies are associated with inflammatory and autoimmune conditions. Yet, in human autoimmune disease IgG anti-MDA responses have not been well characterized and their potential contribution to disease pathogenesis is not known. Here, we investigate MDA-modifications and anti-MDA-modified protein autoreactivity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). While RA is primarily associated with autoreactivity to citrullinated antigens, we also observed increases in serum IgG anti-MDA in RA patients compared to controls. IgG anti-MDA levels significantly correlated with disease activity by DAS28-ESR and serum TNF-alpha, IL-6, and CRP. Mass spectrometry analysis of RA synovial tissue identified MDA-modified proteins and revealed shared peptides between MDA-modified and citrullinated actin and vimentin. Furthermore, anti-MDA autoreactivity among synovial B cells was discovered when investigating recombinant monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) cloned from single B cells, and 3.5% of memory B cells and 2.3% of plasma cells were found to be anti-MDA positive. Several clones were highly specific for MDA-modification with no cross-reactivity to other antigen modifications such as citrullination, carbamylation or 4-HNE-carbonylation. The mAbs recognized MDA-adducts in a variety of proteins including albumin, histone 2B, fibrinogen and vimentin. Interestingly, the most reactive clone, originated from an IgG1-bearing memory B cell, was encoded by near germline variable genes, and showed similarity to previously reported natural IgM. Other anti-MDA clones display somatic hypermutations and lower reactivity. Importantly, these anti-MDA antibodies had significant in vitro functional properties and induced enhanced osteoclastogenesis, while the natural antibody related high-reactivity clone did not. We postulate that these may represent distinctly different facets of anti-MDA autoreactive responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaut.2017.06.004DOI Listing
November 2017

Reducing VEGF-B Signaling Ameliorates Renal Lipotoxicity and Protects against Diabetic Kidney Disease.

Cell Metab 2017 03 9;25(3):713-726. Epub 2017 Feb 9.

Division of Vascular Biology, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, 171 77 Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:

Diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is the most common cause of severe renal disease, and few treatment options are available today that prevent the progressive loss of renal function. DKD is characterized by altered glomerular filtration and proteinuria. A common observation in DKD is the presence of renal steatosis, but the mechanism(s) underlying this observation and to what extent they contribute to disease progression are unknown. Vascular endothelial growth factor B (VEGF-B) controls muscle lipid accumulation through regulation of endothelial fatty acid transport. Here, we demonstrate in experimental mouse models of DKD that renal VEGF-B expression correlates with the severity of disease. Inhibiting VEGF-B signaling in DKD mouse models reduces renal lipotoxicity, re-sensitizes podocytes to insulin signaling, inhibits the development of DKD-associated pathologies, and prevents renal dysfunction. Further, we show that elevated VEGF-B levels are found in patients with DKD, suggesting that VEGF-B antagonism represents a novel approach to treat DKD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cmet.2017.01.004DOI Listing
March 2017

Cytotoxic and Proinflammatory Effects of Metal-Based Nanoparticles on THP-1 Monocytes Characterized by Combined Proteomics Approaches.

J Proteome Res 2017 02 28;16(2):689-697. Epub 2016 Dec 28.

PlasmaChem GmbH, Rudower Chaussee 29, D-12489 Berlin, Germany.

Thorough characterization of toxic effects of nanoparticles (NP) is desirable due to the increasing risk of potential environmental contamination by NP. In the current study, we combined three recently developed proteomics approaches to assess the effects of Au, CuO, and CdTe NP on the innate immune system. The human monocyte cell line THP-1 was employed as a model. The anticancer drugs camptothecin and doxorubicin were used as positive controls for cell death, and lipopolysaccharide was chosen as a positive control for proinflammatory activation. Despite equivalent overall toxicity effect (50 ± 10% dead cells), the three NP induced distinctly different proteomics signatures, with the strongest effect being induced by CdTe NP, followed by CuO and gold NP. The CdTe toxicity mechanism involves down-regulation of topoisomerases. The effect of CuO NP is most reminiscent of oxidative stress and involves up-regulation of proteins involved in heat response. The gold NP induced up-regulation of the inflammatory mediator, NF-κB, and its inhibitor TIPE2 was identified as a direct target of gold NP. Furthermore, gold NP triggered activation of NF-κB as evidenced by phosphorylation of the p65 subunit. Overall, the combined proteomics approach described here can be used to characterize the effects of NP on immune cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.6b00747DOI Listing
February 2017

Functional and Structural Characterization of a Novel HLA-DRB1*04:01-Restricted α-Enolase T Cell Epitope in Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Front Immunol 2016 14;7:494. Epub 2016 Nov 14.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine Solna, Center for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Karolinska University Hospital , Stockholm , Sweden.

Antibodies to citrullinated proteins, common in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, are strongly associated to a specific set of HLA-DR alleles including HLA-DRB1*04:01, *04:04, and *01:01. Here, we first demonstrate that autoantibody levels toward the dominant citrullinated B cell epitope from α-enolase are significantly elevated in HLA-DRB1*04:01-positive RA patients. Furthermore, we identified α-enolase-derived T cell epitopes and demonstrated that native and citrullinated versions of several peptides bind with different affinities to HLA-DRB1*04:01, *04:04, and *01:01. The citrulline residues in the eight identified peptides are distributed throughout the entire length of the presented epitopes and more specifically, localized at peptide positions p-2, p2, p4, p6, p7, p10, and p11. Importantly, in contrast to its native version peptide 26 (TSKGLFAAVPSGAS), the HLA-DRB1*04:01-restricted citrullinated peptide Cit26 (TSKGLFAAVPSGAS) elicited significant functional T cell responses in primary cells from RA patients. Comparative analysis of the crystal structures of HLA-DRB1*04:01 in complex with peptide 26 or Cit26 demonstrated that the posttranslational modification did not alter the conformation of the peptide. And since citrullination is the only structural difference between the two complexes, this indicates that the neo-antigen Cit26 is recognized by T cells with high specificity to the citrulline residue.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2016.00494DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5108039PMC
November 2016

Approach for Identifying Human Leukocyte Antigen (HLA)-DR Bound Peptides from Scarce Clinical Samples.

Mol Cell Proteomics 2016 09 24;15(9):3017-29. Epub 2016 Jul 24.

§Division of Physiological Chemistry I, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; ‖Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Solna, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Immune-mediated diseases strongly associating with human leukocyte antigen (HLA) alleles are likely linked to specific antigens. These antigens are presented to T cells in the form of peptides bound to HLA molecules on antigen presenting cells, e.g. dendritic cells, macrophages or B cells. The identification of HLA-DR-bound peptides presents a valuable tool to investigate the human immunopeptidome. The lung is likely a key player in the activation of potentially auto-aggressive T cells prior to entering target tissues and inducing autoimmune disease. This makes the lung of exceptional interest and presents an ideal paradigm to study the human immunopeptidome and to identify antigenic peptides.Our previous investigation of HLA-DR peptide presentation in the lung required high numbers of cells (800 × 10(6) bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells). Because BAL from healthy nonsmokers typically contains 10-15 × 10(6) cells, there is a need for a highly sensitive approach to study immunopeptides in the lungs of individual patients and controls.In this work, we analyzed the HLA-DR immunopeptidome in the lung by an optimized methodology to identify HLA-DR-bound peptides from low cell numbers. We used an Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) immortalized B cell line and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) cells obtained from patients with sarcoidosis, an inflammatory T cell driven disease mainly occurring in the lung. Specifically, membrane complexes were isolated prior to immunoprecipitation, eluted peptides were identified by nanoLC-MS/MS and processed using the in-house developed ClusterMHCII software. With the optimized procedure we were able to identify peptides from 10 × 10(6) cells, which on average correspond to 10.9 peptides/million cells in EBV-B cells and 9.4 peptides/million cells in BAL cells. This work presents an optimized approach designed to identify HLA-DR-bound peptides from low numbers of cells, enabling the investigation of the BAL immunopeptidome from individual patients and healthy controls in order to identify disease-associated peptides.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/mcp.M116.060764DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5013314PMC
September 2016

Phosphorylation of Leukotriene C4 Synthase at Serine 36 Impairs Catalytic Activity.

J Biol Chem 2016 08 30;291(35):18410-8. Epub 2016 Jun 30.

From the Divisions of Chemistry II,

Leukotriene C4 synthase (LTC4S) catalyzes the formation of the proinflammatory lipid mediator leukotriene C4 (LTC4). LTC4 is the parent molecule of the cysteinyl leukotrienes, which are recognized for their pathogenic role in asthma and allergic diseases. Cellular LTC4S activity is suppressed by PKC-mediated phosphorylation, and recently a downstream p70S6k was shown to play an important role in this process. Here, we identified Ser(36) as the major p70S6k phosphorylation site, along with a low frequency site at Thr(40), using an in vitro phosphorylation assay combined with mass spectrometry. The functional consequences of p70S6k phosphorylation were tested with the phosphomimetic mutant S36E, which displayed only about 20% (20 μmol/min/mg) of the activity of WT enzyme (95 μmol/min/mg), whereas the enzyme activity of T40E was not significantly affected. The enzyme activity of S36E increased linearly with increasing LTA4 concentrations during the steady-state kinetics analysis, indicating poor lipid substrate binding. The Ser(36) is located in a loop region close to the entrance of the proposed substrate binding pocket. Comparative molecular dynamics indicated that Ser(36) upon phosphorylation will pull the first luminal loop of LTC4S toward the neighboring subunit of the functional homotrimer, thereby forming hydrogen bonds with Arg(104) in the adjacent subunit. Because Arg(104) is a key catalytic residue responsible for stabilization of the glutathione thiolate anion, this phosphorylation-induced interaction leads to a reduction of the catalytic activity. In addition, the positional shift of the loop and its interaction with the neighboring subunit affect active site access. Thus, our mutational and kinetic data, together with molecular simulations, suggest that phosphorylation of Ser(36) inhibits the catalytic function of LTC4S by interference with the catalytic machinery.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M116.735647DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5000086PMC
August 2016

Establishing a Proteomics-Based Monocyte Assay To Assess Differential Innate Immune Activation Responses.

J Proteome Res 2016 07 3;15(7):2337-45. Epub 2016 Jun 3.

Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Centre for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Hospital, Karolinska Institutet , SE 17176 Stockholm, Sweden.

Innate immune cells are complex systems that can be simultaneously activated in a variety of ways. Common methods currently used to estimate the response of innate immune cells to stimuli are usually biased toward a single mode of activation. The aim of this study was to assess the possibility of designing an assay based on unbiased proteome analysis that would be capable of predicting the complex response of the innate immune system to various challenges. Monocytes were used as representative cells of the innate immune system. The underlying hypothesis was that their proteome response to different activating molecules would reflect the immunogenicity of these molecules. To identify the main modes of response, we treated the human monocytic THP-1 cell line with nine different stimuli. Differentiation and activation were determined to be the two major modes of monocyte response, with PMA causing the strongest differentiation and Pam3CSK4 causing the strongest proinflammatory activation. The established assay was applied to characterize the monocyte response to epidermal growth factor peptide containing isoaspartate, which induced differentiation but not proinflammatory activation. Because of its versatility, robustness, and specificity, this new assay is likely to find a niche among the more established immunological methods.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.6b00422DOI Listing
July 2016

Antibodies to carbamylated α-enolase epitopes in rheumatoid arthritis also bind citrullinated epitopes and are largely indistinct from anti-citrullinated protein antibodies.

Arthritis Res Ther 2016 05 4;18(1):96. Epub 2016 May 4.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Background: In addition to anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs), antibodies targeting carbamylated (i.e., homocitrullinated) proteins (anti-CarP antibodies) have been described in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, the extent to which anti-CarP antibodies are truly distinct from ACPA remains unclear, and few studies have focused on specific autoantigens. Here, we examine cross-reactivity between ACPA and anti-CarP antibodies, in the context of the candidate autoantigen α-enolase.

Methods: Cross-reactivity was examined by immunoblotting of citrullinated and carbamylated proteins using purified ACPA; and by peptide absorption experiments, using the citrullinated α-enolase peptide CEP-1 and a homocitrulline-containing version (carb-CEP-1) in ELISA. The population-based case-control cohort EIRA (n = 2836 RA; 373 controls) was screened for reactivity with CEP-1 and carb-CEP-1, using the ISAC multiplex array. Associations between anti-CarP antibodies, smoking and genetic risk factors were analysed using unconditional logistic regression models. Differences in antibody levels were investigated using the Mann-Whitney U test.

Results: Affinity-purified ACPA was found to bind carbamylated proteins and homocitrulline-containing peptides, demonstrating definitive cross-reactivity between ACPA and anti-CarP antibodies. Anti-carb-CEP-1 reactivity in EIRA was almost exclusively confined to the CEP-1-positive subset, and this group of RA patients (21 %) displayed a particularly strong ACPA response with marked epitope spreading. The small RA subset (3 %) with homocitrulline reactivity in the absence of citrulline reactivity did not associate with smoking or risk genes, and importantly had significantly lower anti-carb-CEP-1 antibody levels.

Conclusion: Our data presented herein cast doubt on the specificity of anti-CarP antibodies in RA, which we posit may be a subset of cross-reactive ACPA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13075-016-1001-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4855497PMC
May 2016

Identification of a novel chemokine-dependent molecular mechanism underlying rheumatoid arthritis-associated autoantibody-mediated bone loss.

Ann Rheum Dis 2016 Apr 26;75(4):721-9. Epub 2015 Nov 26.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Objectives: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-specific anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPAs) appear before disease onset and are associated with bone destruction. We aimed to dissect the role of ACPAs in osteoclast (OC) activation and to identify key cellular mediators in this process.

Methods: Polyclonal ACPA were isolated from the synovial fluid (SF) and peripheral blood of patients with RA. Monoclonal ACPAs were isolated from single SF B-cells of patients with RA. OCs were developed from blood cell precursors with or without ACPAs. We analysed expression of citrullinated targets and peptidylarginine deiminases (PAD) enzymes by immunohistochemistry and cell supernatants by cytometric bead array. The effect of an anti-interleukin (IL)-8 neutralising antibody and a pan-PAD inhibitor was tested in the OC cultures. Monoclonal ACPAs were injected into mice and bone structure was analysed by micro-CT before and after CXCR1/2 blocking with reparixin.

Results: Protein citrullination by PADs is essential for OC differentiation. Polyclonal ACPAs enhance OC differentiation through a PAD-dependent IL-8-mediated autocrine loop that is completely abolished by IL-8 neutralisation. Some, but not all, human monoclonal ACPAs derived from single SF B-cells of patients with RA and exhibiting distinct epitope specificities promote OC differentiation in cell cultures. Transfer of the monoclonal ACPAs into mice induced bone loss that was completely reversed by the IL-8 antagonist reparixin.

Conclusions: We provide novel insights into the key role of citrullination and PAD enzymes during OC differentiation and ACPA-induced OC activation. Our findings suggest that IL8-dependent OC activation may constitute an early event in the initiation of the joint specific inflammation in ACPA-positive RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2015-208093DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4819614PMC
April 2016

Development of autoantibodies against muscle-specific FHL1 in severe inflammatory myopathies.

J Clin Invest 2015 Dec 9;125(12):4612-24. Epub 2015 Nov 9.

Mutations of the gene encoding four-and-a-half LIM domain 1 (FHL1) are the causative factor of several X-linked hereditary myopathies that are collectively termed FHL1-related myopathies. These disorders are characterized by severe muscle dysfunction and damage. Here, we have shown that patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs) develop autoimmunity to FHL1, which is a muscle-specific protein. Anti-FHL1 autoantibodies were detected in 25% of IIM patients, while patients with other autoimmune diseases or muscular dystrophies were largely anti-FHL1 negative. Anti-FHL1 reactivity was predictive for muscle atrophy, dysphagia, pronounced muscle fiber damage, and vasculitis. FHL1 showed an altered expression pattern, with focal accumulation in the muscle fibers of autoantibody-positive patients compared with a homogeneous expression in anti-FHL1-negative patients and healthy controls. We determined that FHL1 is a target of the cytotoxic protease granzyme B, indicating that the generation of FHL1 fragments may initiate FHL1 autoimmunity. Moreover, immunization of myositis-prone mice with FHL1 aggravated muscle weakness and increased mortality, suggesting a direct link between anti-FHL1 responses and muscle damage. Together, our findings provide evidence that FHL1 may be involved in the pathogenesis not only of genetic FHL1-related myopathies but also of autoimmune IIM. Importantly, these results indicate that anti-FHL1 autoantibodies in peripheral blood have promising potential as a biomarker to identify a subset of severe IIM.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI81031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4665781PMC
December 2015

Release of Active Peptidyl Arginine Deiminases by Neutrophils Can Explain Production of Extracellular Citrullinated Autoantigens in Rheumatoid Arthritis Synovial Fluid.

Arthritis Rheumatol 2015 Dec;67(12):3135-45

Arthritis Research UK Centre of Excellence for Rheumatoid Arthritis Pathogenesis and University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK.

Objective: In the majority of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), antibodies specifically recognize citrullinated autoantigens that are generated by peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs). Neutrophils express high levels of PAD and accumulate in the synovial fluid (SF) of RA patients during disease flares. This study was undertaken to test the hypothesis that neutrophil cell death, induced by either NETosis (extrusion of genomic DNA-protein complexes known as neutrophil extracellular traps [NETs]) or necrosis, can contribute to production of autoantigens in the inflamed joint.

Methods: Extracellular DNA was quantified in the SF of patients with RA, patients with osteoarthritis (OA), and patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA). Release of PAD from neutrophils was investigated by Western blotting, mass spectrometry, immunofluorescence staining, and PAD activity assays. PAD2 and PAD4 protein expression, as well as PAD enzymatic activity, were assessed in the SF of patients with RA and those with OA.

Results: Extracellular DNA was detected at significantly higher levels in RA SF than in OA SF (P < 0.001) or PsA SF (P < 0.05), and its expression levels correlated with neutrophil concentrations and PAD activity in RA SF. Necrotic neutrophils released less soluble extracellular DNA compared to NETotic cells in vitro (P < 0.05). Higher PAD activity was detected in RA SF than in OA SF (P < 0.05). The citrullinated proteins PAD2 and PAD4 were found attached to NETs and also freely diffused in the supernatant. PAD enzymatic activity was detected in supernatants of neutrophils undergoing either NETosis or necrosis.

Conclusion: Release of active PAD isoforms into the SF by neutrophil cell death is a plausible explanation for the generation of extracellular autoantigens in RA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/art.39313DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4832324PMC
December 2015

Proteomics Reveals a Role for Attachment in Monocyte Differentiation into Efficient Proinflammatory Macrophages.

J Proteome Res 2015 Sep 11;14(9):3940-7. Epub 2015 Aug 11.

Centre for Molecular Medicine, Karolinska Hospital , SE 17176 Stockholm, Sweden.

Monocytes are blood-borne cells of the innate immune system. They can be differentiated and activated into proinflammatory macrophages that might be employed in tumor immune therapy. Monocyte exposure to lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a standard method to induce a proinflammatory macrophage state, with the resultant population comprising both adherent and nonadherent cells. In the current study, we aimed to identify the differences in proteomes of these monocyte subpopulations, which addresses a more general question about the role of attachment in monocyte differentiation. Label-free proteomics of a model of human monocytes (THP-1 cell line) revealed that the cells remaining in suspension upon LPS treatment were activated by cytokines and primed for rapid responsiveness to pathogens. In terms of proteome change, the adhesion process was orthogonal to activation. Adherent cells exhibited signs of differentiation and enhanced innate immune responsivity, being closer to macrophages. These findings indicate that adherent, LPS-treated cells would be more appropriate for use in tumor therapeutic applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jproteome.5b00659DOI Listing
September 2015

Effect of host plant and immune challenge on the levels of chemosensory and odorant-binding proteins in caterpillar salivary glands.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2015 Jun 29;61:34-45. Epub 2015 Apr 29.

Karolinska Institute, Division of Physiological Chemistry I, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Scheeles väg 2, S-171 77, Stockholm, Sweden; Science for Life Laboratory, Stockholm, Sweden. Electronic address:

More than half of the proteome from mandibular glands in caterpillars is represented by chemosensory proteins. Based on sequence similarity, these proteins are putative transporters of ligands to gustatory receptors in sensory organs of insects. We sought to determine whether these proteins are inducible by comparing, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the salivary (mandibular and labial) proteomes from caterpillars (Vanessa cardui) reared on different plants and artificial diet containing either bacteria or bacterial cell-walls. We included a treatment where the caterpillars were switched from feeding on artificial diet to plant material at some point in their development. Additionally, we evaluated the degree of overlap between the proteomes in the hemolymph-filled coelom and salivary glands of caterpillars reared on plant material. We found that the quality and quantity of the identified proteins differed clearly between hemolymph-filled coelome, labial and mandibular glands. Our results indicated that even after molting and two-day feeding on a new diet, protein production is affected by the previous food source used by the caterpillar. Candidate proteins involved in chemosensory perception by insects were detected: three chemosensory (CSPs) and two odorant-binding proteins (OBPs). Using the relative amounts of these proteins across tissues and treatments as criteria for their classification, we detected hemolymph- and mandibular gland-specific CSPs and observed that their levels were affected by caterpillar diet. Moreover, we could compare the protein and transcript levels across tissues and treatment for at least one CSP and one OBP. Therefore, we have identified specific isoforms for testing the role of CSPs and OBPs in plant and pathogen recognition. We detected catalase, immune-related protein and serine proteases and their inhibitors in high relative levels in the mandibular glands in comparison to the labial glands. These findings suggest that the mandibular glands of caterpillars may play an important role protecting the caterpillar from oxidative stress, pathogens and aiding in digestion. Contamination with hemolymph proteins during dissection of salivary glands from caterpillars may occur but it is not substantial since the proteomes from hemolymph, mandibular and labial glands were easily discriminated from each other by principal component analysis of proteomic data.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2015.04.006DOI Listing
June 2015

Mining proteomic data to expose protein modifications in Methanosarcina mazei strain Gö1.

Front Microbiol 2015 5;6:149. Epub 2015 Mar 5.

Department of Biological Chemistry, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA, USA ; UCLA-DOE Institute for Genomics and Proteomics, University of California, Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA, USA.

Proteomic tools identify constituents of complex mixtures, often delivering long lists of identified proteins. The high-throughput methods excel at matching tandem mass spectrometry data to spectra predicted from sequence databases. Unassigned mass spectra are ignored, but could, in principle, provide valuable information on unanticipated modifications and improve protein annotations while consuming limited quantities of material. Strategies to "mine" information from these discards are presented, along with discussion of features that, when present, provide strong support for modifications. In this study we mined LC-MS/MS datasets of proteolytically-digested concanavalin A pull down fractions from Methanosarcina mazei Gö1 cell lysates. Analyses identified 154 proteins. Many of the observed proteins displayed post-translationally modified forms, including O-formylated and methyl-esterified segments that appear biologically relevant (i.e., not artifacts of sample handling). Interesting cleavages and modifications (e.g., S-cyanylation and trimethylation) were observed near catalytic sites of methanogenesis enzymes. Of 31 Methanosarcina protein N-termini recovered by concanavalin A binding or from a previous study, only M. mazei S-layer protein MM1976 and its M. acetivorans C2A orthologue, MA0829, underwent signal peptide excision. Experimental results contrast with predictions from algorithms SignalP 3.0 and Exprot, which were found to over-predict the presence of signal peptides. Proteins MM0002, MM0716, MM1364, and MM1976 were found to be glycosylated, and employing chromatography tailored specifically for glycopeptides will likely reveal more. This study supplements limited, existing experimental datasets of mature archaeal N-termini, including presence or absence of signal peptides, translation initiation sites, and other processing. Methanosarcina surface and membrane proteins are richly modified.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2015.00149DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4350412PMC
March 2015

IgG antibodies to cyclic citrullinated peptides exhibit profiles specific in terms of IgG subclasses, Fc-glycans and a fab-Peptide sequence.

PLoS One 2014 26;9(11):e113924. Epub 2014 Nov 26.

Division of Physiological Chemistry I, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Fc-glycan profile of IgG1 anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA) in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients has recently been reported to be different from non-ACPA IgG1, a phenomenon which likely plays a role in RA pathogenesis. Herein we investigate the Fc-glycosylation pattern of all ACPA-IgG isotypes and simultaneously investigate in detail the IgG protein-chain sequence repertoire. IgG from serum or plasma (S/P, n = 14) and synovial fluid (SF, n = 4) from 18 ACPA-positive RA-patients was enriched using Protein G columns followed by ACPA-purification on cyclic citrullinated peptide-2 (CCP2)-coupled columns. Paired ACPA (anti-CCP2 eluted IgG) and IgG flow through (FT) fractions were analyzed by LC-MS/MS-proteomics. IgG peptides, isotypes and corresponding Fc-glycopeptides were quantified and interrogated using uni- and multivariate statistics. The Fc-glycans from the IgG4 peptide EEQFNSTYR was validated using protein A column purification. Relative to FT-IgG4, the ACPA-IgG4 Fc-glycan-profile contained lower amounts (p = 0.002) of the agalacto and asialylated core-fucosylated biantennary form (FA2) and higher content (p = 0.001) of sialylated glycans. Novel differences in the Fc-glycan-profile of ACPA-IgG1 compared to FT-IgG1 were observed in the distribution of bisected forms (n = 5, p = 0.0001, decrease) and mono-antennnary forms (n = 3, p = 0.02, increase). Our study also confirmed higher abundance of FA2 (p = 0.002) and lower abundance of afucosylated forms (n = 4, p = 0.001) in ACPA-IgG1 relative to FT-IgG1 as well as lower content of IgG2 (p = 0.0000001) and elevated content of IgG4 (p = 0.004) in ACPA compared to FT. One λ-variable peptide sequence was significantly increased in ACPA (p = 0.0001). In conclusion, the Fc-glycan profile of both ACPA-IgG1 and ACPA-IgG4 are distinct. Given that IgG1 and IgG4 have different Fc-receptor and complement binding affinities, this phenomenon likely affects ACPA effector- and immune-regulatory functions in an IgG isotype-specific manner. These findings further highlight the importance of antibody characterization in relation to functional in vivo and in vitro studies.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0113924PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4245247PMC
December 2015

Lungs, joints and immunity against citrullinated proteins in rheumatoid arthritis.

Nat Rev Rheumatol 2014 Nov 29;10(11):645-53. Epub 2014 Jul 29.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm S-17176, Sweden.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a prototype for a criterion-defined inflammatory disease, for which the aetiology and initial molecular pathogenesis has been elusive for a long time. We describe in this Review how studies on the interplay between specific immunity, alongside genetic and environmental predisposing factors, provide new tools to understand the molecular basis of distinct subsets of the disease. A particular emphasis is on the possibility that pathogenic immune reactions might be initiated at other sites than the joints, and that the lungs could harbour such sites. New data strengthen this concept, showing that local immunity towards citrullinated proteins and accompanying inflammation might be present in the lungs early during disease development. This progress makes RA an interesting case for the future development of therapies that might be directed against disease-inducing immunity even before inflammation and destruction of joints has begun.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrrheum.2014.115DOI Listing
November 2014

Shared immunological targets in the lungs and joints of patients with rheumatoid arthritis: identification and validation.

Ann Rheum Dis 2015 Sep 9;74(9):1772-7. Epub 2014 May 9.

Rheumatology Unit, Department of Medicine, Karolinska University Hospital and Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Objectives: Immunological events in the lungs might trigger production of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies during early rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We investigated the presence of shared immunological citrullinated targets in joints and lungs of patients with RA.

Patients And Methods: Proteins extracted from bronchial (n=6) and synovial (n=7) biopsy specimens from patients with RA were investigated by mass spectrometry-based proteomics. One candidate peptide was synthesised and used to investigate by ELISA the presence of antibodies in patients with RA (n=393), healthy controls (n=152) and disease controls (n=236). HLA-DRB1 shared epitope (SE) alleles were detected in patients with RA.

Results: Ten citrullinated peptides belonging to seven proteins were identified, with two peptides shared between the synovial and bronchial biopsy samples. Further analysis, using accurate mass and retention time, enabled detection of eight citrullinated peptides in synovial and seven in bronchial biopsy specimens, with five peptides shared between the synovial and bronchial biopsy specimens. Two citrullinated vimentin (cit-vim) peptides were detected in the majority of synovial and lung tissues. Antibodies to a synthesised cit-vim peptide candidate (covering both cit-vim peptides identified in vivo) were present in 1.8% of healthy controls, 15% of patients with RA, and 3.4% of disease controls. Antibodies to cit-vim peptide were associated with the presence of the SE alleles in RA.

Conclusions: Identical citrullinated peptides are present in bronchial and synovial tissues, which may be used as immunological targets for antibodies of patients with RA. The data provide further support for a link between lungs and joints in RA and identify potential targets for immunity that may mediate this link.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204912DOI Listing
September 2015

Natural polymorphisms in Tap2 influence negative selection and CD4∶CD8 lineage commitment in the rat.

PLoS Genet 2014 Feb 20;10(2):e1004151. Epub 2014 Feb 20.

Section for Medical Inflammation Research, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

Genetic variation in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) affects CD4∶CD8 lineage commitment and MHC expression. However, the contribution of specific genes in this gene-dense region has not yet been resolved. Nor has it been established whether the same genes regulate MHC expression and T cell selection. Here, we assessed the impact of natural genetic variation on MHC expression and CD4∶CD8 lineage commitment using two genetic models in the rat. First, we mapped Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) associated with variation in MHC class I and II protein expression and the CD4∶CD8 T cell ratio in outbred Heterogeneous Stock rats. We identified 10 QTLs across the genome and found that QTLs for the individual traits colocalized within a region spanning the MHC. To identify the genes underlying these overlapping QTLs, we generated a large panel of MHC-recombinant congenic strains, and refined the QTLs to two adjacent intervals of ∼0.25 Mb in the MHC-I and II regions, respectively. An interaction between these intervals affected MHC class I expression as well as negative selection and lineage commitment of CD8 single-positive (SP) thymocytes. We mapped this effect to the transporter associated with antigen processing 2 (Tap2) in the MHC-II region and the classical MHC class I gene(s) (RT1-A) in the MHC-I region. This interaction was revealed by a recombination between RT1-A and Tap2, which occurred in 0.2% of the rats. Variants of Tap2 have previously been shown to influence the antigenicity of MHC class I molecules by altering the MHC class I ligandome. Our results show that a restricted peptide repertoire on MHC class I molecules leads to reduced negative selection of CD8SP cells. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing how a recombination between natural alleles of genes in the MHC influences lineage commitment of T cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pgen.1004151DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3930506PMC
February 2014

Optimizing heterologous protein production in the periplasm of E. coli by regulating gene expression levels.

Microb Cell Fact 2013 Mar 12;12:24. Epub 2013 Mar 12.

Center for Biomembrane Research, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Stockholm University, Stockholm SE-106 91, Sweden.

Background: In Escherichia coli many heterologous proteins are produced in the periplasm. To direct these proteins to the periplasm, they are equipped with an N-terminal signal sequence so that they can traverse the cytoplasmic membrane via the protein-conducting Sec-translocon. For poorly understood reasons, the production of heterologous secretory proteins is often toxic to the cell thereby limiting yields. To gain insight into the mechanism(s) that underlie this toxicity we produced two secretory heterologous proteins, super folder green fluorescent protein and a single-chain variable antibody fragment, in the Lemo21(DE3) strain. In this strain, the expression intensity of the gene encoding the target protein can be precisely controlled.

Results: Both SFGFP and the single-chain variable antibody fragment were equipped with a DsbA-derived signal sequence. Producing these proteins following different gene expression levels in Lemo21(DE3) allowed us to identify the optimal expression level for each target gene. Too high gene expression levels resulted in saturation of the Sec-translocon capacity as shown by hampered translocation of endogenous secretory proteins and a protein misfolding/aggregation problem in the cytoplasm. At the optimal gene expression levels, the negative effects of the production of the heterologous secretory proteins were minimized and yields in the periplasm were optimized.

Conclusions: Saturating the Sec-translocon capacity can be a major bottleneck hampering heterologous protein production in the periplasm. This bottleneck can be alleviated by harmonizing expression levels of the genes encoding the heterologous secretory proteins with the Sec-translocon capacity. Mechanistic insight into the production of proteins in the periplasm is key to optimizing yields in this compartment.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2859-12-24DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3605120PMC
March 2013

Heightened immune response to autocitrullinated Porphyromonas gingivalis peptidylarginine deiminase: a potential mechanism for breaching immunologic tolerance in rheumatoid arthritis.

Ann Rheum Dis 2014 Jan 5;73(1):263-9. Epub 2013 Mar 5.

Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, , London, UK.

Background: Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is characterised by autoimmunity to citrullinated proteins, and there is increasing epidemiologic evidence linking Porphyromonas gingivalis to RA. P gingivalis is apparently unique among periodontal pathogens in possessing a citrullinating enzyme, peptidylarginine deiminase (PPAD) with the potential to generate antigens driving the autoimmune response.

Objectives: To examine the immune response to PPAD in patients with RA, individuals with periodontitis (PD) and controls (without arthritis), confirm PPAD autocitrullination and identify the modified arginine residues.

Methods: PPAD and an inactivated mutant (C351A) were cloned and expressed and autocitrullination of both examined by immunoblotting and mass spectrometry. ELISAs using PPAD, C351A and another P gingivalis protein arginine gingipain (RgpB) were developed and antibody reactivities examined in patients with RA (n=80), individuals with PD (n=44) and controls (n=82).

Results: Recombinant PPAD was a potent citrullinating enzyme. Antibodies to PPAD, but not to Rgp, were elevated in the RA sera (median 122 U/ml) compared with controls (median 70 U/ml; p<0.05) and PD (median 60 U/ml; p<0.01). Specificity of the anti-peptidyl citrullinated PPAD response was confirmed by the reaction of RA sera with multiple epitopes tested with synthetic citrullinated peptides spanning the PPAD molecule. The elevated antibody response to PPAD was abolished in RA sera if the C351A mutant was used on ELISA.

Conclusions: The peptidyl citrulline-specific immune response to PPAD supports the hypothesis that, as a bacterial protein, it might break tolerance in RA, and could be a target for therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-202726DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3888615PMC
January 2014

Ways forward to identify new ACPA targets in RA.

Arthritis Res Ther 2012 Sep 24;14(5):124. Epub 2012 Sep 24.

Anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) of the IgG subtype have become a critical hallmark of HLA-associated rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and point to important contributions from the adaptive immune system. To dissect the contributing autoimmune reactions, investigators must not only identify the protein targets of ACPA but also define the precise peptides recognized by the immune system. Several possible approaches could be used to achieve this goal, and sensitive mass spectrometry of relevant tissue is a promising way forward in advancing our detailed understanding of autoimmune immune reactions involved in RA pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/ar4031DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3580505PMC
September 2012

Chemosensory proteins, major salivary factors in caterpillar mandibular glands.

Insect Biochem Mol Biol 2012 Oct 4;42(10):796-805. Epub 2012 Aug 4.

Stockholm University, Department of Zoology, Svante Arrheniusväg 18 B, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden.

Research in the field of insect-host plant interactions has indicated that constituents of insect saliva play an important role in digestion and affect host chemical defense responses. However, most efforts have focused on studying the composition and function of regurgitant or saliva produced in the labial glands. Acknowledging the need for understanding the role of the mandibular glands in herbivory, we sought to make a qualitative and semi-quantitative comparison of soluble luminal protein fractions between mandibular and labial glands of Vanessa gonerilla butterfly larvae. Amylase and lysozyme were inspected as possible major enzymatic activities in the mandibular glands aiding in pre-digestion and antimicrobial defense. Although detected, neither of these enzymatic activities was prominent in the luminal protein preparation of a particular type of gland. Proteins isolated from the glands were identified by mass spectrometry and by searching an EST-library database generated for four other nymphalid butterfly species, in addition to the public NCBI database. The identified proteins were also quantified from the data using "Quanty", an in-house program. The proteomic analysis detected chemosensory proteins as the most abundant luminal proteins in the mandibular glands. In comparison to these proteins, the relative amounts of amylase and lysozyme were much lower in both gland types. Therefore, we speculate that the primary role of the mandibular glands in Lepidopteran larvae is chemoreception which may include the detection of microorganisms on plant surfaces, host plant recognition and communication with conspecifics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibmb.2012.07.008DOI Listing
October 2012

Heme binding in gas-phase holo-myoglobin cations: distal becomes proximal?

J Am Soc Mass Spectrom 2011 Oct 19;22(10):1763-70. Epub 2011 Jul 19.

Division of Physiological Chemistry I, Department of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet, Scheelesväg 2, SE-17 177 Stockholm, Sweden.

His64 and His93 are the two well-known sites of heme binding in water-dissolved holo-myoglobin, with His93 being a proximal, strongly binding partner, while the distal His64 weakly coordinates to the heme through a small-molecule ligand, e.g., water or O(2). The heme bonding scheme in a water-free environment is as yet unclear. Here we employed electron transfer dissociation tandem mass spectrometry to study the preferential attachment site of the ferri-heme (Fe(3+)) in electrospray-produced 12+, 14+, and 16+ holo-myoglobin ions. Contrary to expectations, in lower-charge complexes that should have a structure resembling that in solution, the heme seems to be preferentially attached to the "distal" histidine. In contrast, in the highest studied charge state, the "proximal" histidine is the site of preferential attachment; the 14+ charge state is an intermediate case. This surprising finding raises a question of heme coordination in proteins transferred to water-free environment, as well as the effect of the protonation sites on heme bonding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s13361-011-0182-0DOI Listing
October 2011

Characterization of morphine-glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase conjugates by mass spectrometry.

Bioconjug Chem 2011 Aug 7;22(8):1595-604. Epub 2011 Jul 7.

Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095-1592, United States.

A key characteristic of the analyte-reporter enzyme conjugate used in the enzyme-multiplied immunoassay technique (EMIT) is the inhibition of the conjugate enzyme upon anti-analyte antibody binding. To improve our understanding of the antibody-induced inhibition mechanism, we characterized morphine-glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PDH) conjugates as model EMIT analyte-reporter enzyme conjugates. Morphine-G6PDH conjugates were prepared by acylating predominantly the primary amines on G6PDH with morphine 3-glucuronide NHS ester molecules. In this study, morphine-G6PDH conjugates were characterized using a combination of methods, including tryptic digestion, immunoprecipitation, matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization mass spectrometry, and electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Twenty-six conjugation sites were identified. The identified sites all were found to be primary amines. The degree of conjugation was determined to be less than the number of conjugation sites, suggesting heterogeneity within the morphine-G6PDH conjugate population. Two catalytically important residues in the active site (K22 and K183) were among the identified conjugation sites, explaining at least partially the cause of loss of activity due to the coupling reaction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/bc2001352DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3157545PMC
August 2011