Publications by authors named "Anna M Gram"

9 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Flagellin Activates NAIP/NLRC4 and Canonical NLRP3 Inflammasomes in Human Macrophages.

J Immunol 2021 Feb 30;206(3):631-640. Epub 2020 Dec 30.

Immunology Catalyst Programme, GlaxoSmithKline, Stevenage SG1 2NY, United Kingdom;

Infection of human macrophages with serovar Typhimurium ( Typhimurium) leads to inflammasome activation. Inflammasomes are multiprotein complexes facilitating caspase-1 activation and subsequent gasdermin D-mediated cell death and IL-1β and IL-18 cytokine release. The NAIP/NLRC4 inflammasome is activated by multiple bacterial protein ligands, including flagellin from the flagellum and the needle protein PrgI from the Typhimurium type III secretion system. In this study, we show that transfected ultrapure flagellin from Typhimurium induced cell death and cytokine secretion in THP-1 cells and primary human monocyte-derived macrophages. In THP-1 cells, NAIP/NLRC4 and NLRP3 played redundant roles in inflammasome activation during infection with Typhimurium. Knockout of or in THP-1 cells revealed that flagellin, but not PrgI, now activated the NLRP3 inflammasome through a reactive oxygen species- and/or cathepsin-dependent mechanism that was independent of caspase-4/5 activity. In conclusion, our data suggest that NLRP3 can be activated by flagellin to act as a "safety net" to maintain inflammasome activation under conditions of suboptimal NAIP/NLRC4 activation, as observed in THP-1 cells, possibly explaining the redundant role of NLRP3 and NAIP/NLRC4 during Typhimurium infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.2000382DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7812056PMC
February 2021

Chopping GSDMD: caspase-8 has joined the team of pyroptosis-mediating caspases.

EMBO J 2019 05 15;38(10). Epub 2019 Apr 15.

Immunology Catalyst Programme, GSK, Cambridge, UK.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.15252/embj.2019102065DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6517822PMC
May 2019

Human B cells fail to secrete type I interferons upon cytoplasmic DNA exposure.

Mol Immunol 2017 11 30;91:225-237. Epub 2017 Sep 30.

Department Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Most cells are believed to be capable of producing type I interferons (IFN I) as part of an innate immune response against, for instance, viral infections. In macrophages, IFN I is potently induced upon cytoplasmic exposure to foreign nucleic acids. Infection of these cells with herpesviruses leads to triggering of the DNA sensors interferon-inducible protein 16 (IFI16) and cyclic GMP-AMP (cGAMP) synthase (cGAS). Thereby, the stimulator of interferon genes (STING) and the downstream molecules TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) are sequentially activated culminating in IFN I secretion. Human gamma-herpesviruses, such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), exploit B cells as a reservoir for persistent infection. In this study, we investigated whether human B cells, similar to macrophages, engage the cytoplasmic DNA sensing pathway to induce an innate immune response. We found that the B cells fail to secrete IFN I upon cytoplasmic DNA exposure, although they express the DNA sensors cGAS and IFI16 and the signaling components TBK1 and IRF3. In primary human B lymphocytes and EBV-negative B cell lines, this deficiency is explained by a lack of detectable levels of the central adaptor protein STING. In contrast, EBV-transformed B cell lines did express STING, yet both these lines as well as STING-reconstituted EBV-negative B cells did not produce IFN I upon dsDNA or cGAMP stimulation. Our combined data show that the cytoplasmic DNA sensing pathway is dysfunctional in human B cells. This exemplifies that certain cell types cannot induce IFN I in response to cytoplasmic DNA exposure providing a potential niche for viral persistence.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2017.08.025DOI Listing
November 2017

The Epstein-Barr Virus Glycoprotein gp150 Forms an Immune-Evasive Glycan Shield at the Surface of Infected Cells.

PLoS Pathog 2016 Apr 14;12(4):e1005550. Epub 2016 Apr 14.

Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Cell-mediated immunity plays a key role in host control of viral infection. This is exemplified by life-threatening reactivations of e.g. herpesviruses in individuals with impaired T-cell and/or iNKT cell responses. To allow lifelong persistence and virus production in the face of primed immunity, herpesviruses exploit immune evasion strategies. These include a reduction in viral antigen expression during latency and a number of escape mechanisms that target antigen presentation pathways. Given the plethora of foreign antigens expressed in virus-producing cells, herpesviruses are conceivably most vulnerable to elimination by cell-mediated immunity during the replicative phase of infection. Here, we show that a prototypic herpesvirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), encodes a novel, broadly acting immunoevasin, gp150, that is expressed during the late phase of viral replication. In particular, EBV gp150 inhibits antigen presentation by HLA class I, HLA class II, and the non-classical, lipid-presenting CD1d molecules. The mechanism of gp150-mediated T-cell escape does not depend on degradation of the antigen-presenting molecules nor does it require gp150's cytoplasmic tail. Through its abundant glycosylation, gp150 creates a shield that impedes surface presentation of antigen. This is an unprecedented immune evasion mechanism for herpesviruses. In view of its likely broader target range, gp150 could additionally have an impact beyond escape of T cell activation. Importantly, B cells infected with a gp150-null mutant EBV displayed rescued levels of surface antigen presentation by HLA class I, HLA class II, and CD1d, supporting an important role for iNKT cells next to classical T cells in fighting EBV infection. At the same time, our results indicate that EBV gp150 prolongs the timespan for producing viral offspring at the most vulnerable stage of the viral life cycle.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1005550DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4831753PMC
April 2016

Immune Evasion by Epstein-Barr Virus.

Curr Top Microbiol Immunol 2015 ;391:355-81

Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Epstein-Bar virus (EBV) is widespread within the human population with over 90% of adults being infected. In response to primary EBV infection, the host mounts an antiviral immune response comprising both innate and adaptive effector functions. Although the immune system can control EBV infection to a large extent, the virus is not cleared. Instead, EBV establishes a latent infection in B lymphocytes characterized by limited viral gene expression. For the production of new viral progeny, EBV reactivates from these latently infected cells. During the productive phase of infection, a repertoire of over 80 EBV gene products is expressed, presenting a vast number of viral antigens to the primed immune system. In particular the EBV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ memory T lymphocytes can respond within hours, potentially destroying the virus-producing cells before viral replication is completed and viral particles have been released. Preceding the adaptive immune response, potent innate immune mechanisms provide a first line of defense during primary and recurrent infections. In spite of this broad range of antiviral immune effector mechanisms, EBV persists for life and continues to replicate. Studies performed over the past decades have revealed a wide array of viral gene products interfering with both innate and adaptive immunity. These include EBV-encoded proteins as well as small noncoding RNAs with immune-evasive properties. The current review presents an overview of the evasion strategies that are employed by EBV to facilitate immune escape during latency and productive infection. These evasion mechanisms may also compromise the elimination of EBV-transformed cells, and thus contribute to malignancies associated with EBV infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-22834-1_12DOI Listing
December 2015

Silencing the shutoff protein of Epstein-Barr virus in productively infected B cells points to (innate) targets for immune evasion.

J Gen Virol 2015 Apr 12;96(Pt 4):858-865. Epub 2014 Dec 12.

Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands.

During productive infection with Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a dramatic suppression of cellular protein expression is caused by the viral alkaline exonuclease BGLF5. Among the proteins downregulated by BGLF5 are multiple immune components. Here, we show that shutoff reduces expression of the innate EBV-sensing Toll-like receptor-2 and the lipid antigen-presenting CD1d molecule, thereby identifying these proteins as novel targets of BGLF5. To silence BGLF5 expression in B cells undergoing productive EBV infection, we employed an shRNA approach. Viral replication still occurred in these cells, albeit with reduced late gene expression. Surface levels of a group of proteins, including immunologically relevant molecules such as CD1d and HLA class I and class II, were only partly rescued by depletion of BGLF5, suggesting that additional viral gene products interfere with their expression. Our combined approach thus provides a means to unmask novel EBV (innate) immune evasion strategies that may operate in productively infected B cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/jgv.0.000021DOI Listing
April 2015

EBV BILF1 evolved to downregulate cell surface display of a wide range of HLA class I molecules through their cytoplasmic tail.

J Immunol 2013 Feb 11;190(4):1672-84. Epub 2013 Jan 11.

Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Coevolution of herpesviruses and their hosts has driven the development of both host antiviral mechanisms to detect and eliminate infected cells and viral ploys to escape immune surveillance. Among the immune-evasion strategies used by the lymphocryptovirus (γ(1)-herpesvirus) EBV is the downregulation of surface HLA class I expression by the virally encoded G protein-coupled receptor BILF1, thereby impeding presentation of viral Ags and cytotoxic T cell recognition of the infected cell. In this study, we show EBV BILF1 to be expressed early in the viral lytic cycle. BILF1 targets a broad range of HLA class I molecules, including multiple HLA-A and -B types and HLA-E. In contrast, HLA-C was only marginally affected. We advance the mechanistic understanding of the process by showing that the cytoplasmic C-terminal tail of EBV BILF1 is required for reducing surface HLA class I expression. Susceptibility to BILF1-mediated downregulation, in turn, is conferred by specific residues in the intracellular tail of the HLA class I H chain. Finally, we explore the evolution of BILF1 within the lymphocryptovirus genus. Although the homolog of BILF1 encoded by the lymphocryptovirus infecting Old World rhesus primates shares the ability of EBV to downregulate cell surface HLA class I expression, this function is not possessed by New World marmoset lymphocryptovirus BILF1. Therefore, this study furthers our knowledge of the evolution of immunoevasive functions by the lymphocryptovirus genus of herpesviruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1102462DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3565383PMC
February 2013

Hiding lipid presentation: viral interference with CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cell activation.

Viruses 2012 Oct 23;4(10):2379-99. Epub 2012 Oct 23.

Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, 3584 CX Utrecht, The Netherlands.

The immune system plays a major role in protecting the host against viral infection. Rapid initial protection is conveyed by innate immune cells, while adaptive immunity (including T lymphocytes) requires several days to develop, yet provides high specificity and long-lasting memory. Invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells are an unusual subset of T lymphocytes, expressing a semi-invariant T cell receptor together with markers of the innate NK cell lineage. Activated iNKT cells can exert direct cytolysis and can rapidly release a variety of immune-polarizing cytokines, thereby regulating the ensuing adaptive immune response. iNKT cells recognize lipids in the context of the antigen-presenting molecule CD1d. Intriguingly, CD1d-restricted iNKT cells appear to play a critical role in anti-viral defense: increased susceptibility to disseminated viral infections is observed both in patients with iNKT cell deficiency as well as in CD1d- and iNKT cell-deficient mice. Moreover, viruses have recently been found to use sophisticated strategies to withstand iNKT cell-mediated elimination. This review focuses on CD1d-restricted lipid presentation and the strategies viruses deploy to subvert this pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/v4102379DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3497057PMC
October 2012

Inflammasomes and viruses: cellular defence versus viral offence.

J Gen Virol 2012 Oct 27;93(Pt 10):2063-2075. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

Department of Medical Microbiology, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Pro-inflammatory cytokines are important mediators in immune responses against invading pathogens, including viruses. Precursors of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1β and IL-18 are processed by caspase-1. Caspase-1 is activated through autocleavage, but how this is regulated remained elusive for a long time. In 2002, an intracellular multimeric complex was discovered that facilitated caspase-1 cleavage and was termed 'inflammasome'. To date, different inflammasomes have been described, which recognize a variety of ligands and pathogens. In this review, we discuss the role of inflammasomes in sensing viral infection as well as the evasion strategies that viruses developed to circumvent inflammasome-dependent effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1099/vir.0.042978-0DOI Listing
October 2012