Publications by authors named "Heather L Howie"

31 Publications

Antibodies to Low-Copy Number RBC Alloantigen Convert a Tolerogenic Stimulus to an Immunogenic Stimulus in Mice.

Front Immunol 2021 12;12:629608. Epub 2021 Mar 12.

Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY, United States.

Red blood cells expressing alloantigens are well known to be capable of inducing robust humoral alloantibody responses both in transfusion and pregnancy. However, the majority of transfusion recipients and pregnant women never make alloantibodies, even after repeat exposure to foreign RBCs. More recently, RBCs have been used as a cellular therapeutic-very much like transfusion, engineered RBCs are highly immunogenic in some cases but not others. In animal models of both transfusion and RBC based therapeutics, RBCs that do not induce an immune response also cause tolerance. Despite a robust phenomenology, the mechanisms of what regulates immunity vs. tolerance to RBCs remains unclear. However, it has been reported that copy number of alloantigens on the RBCs is a critical factor, with a very low copy number causing non-responsiveness (in both humans and mice) and also leading to tolerance in mice. Recently, we reported that an IgG2c specific for an RBC antigen can substantially enhance the humoral immune response upon transfusion of RBCs expressing that antigen. Herein, we report that an IgG2c converts RBCs with low antigen copy number from a tolerogenic to an immunogenic stimulus. These findings report the first known stimulus that induces humoral alloimmunization to a low copy number RBC alloantigen and identify a previously undescribed molecular switch that has the ability to affect responder vs. non-responder phenotypes of transfusion recipients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2021.629608DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7994621PMC
March 2021

In utero exposure to alloantigens primes alloimmunization to platelet transfusion in mice.

Transfusion 2021 Mar 18;61(3):687-691. Epub 2020 Dec 18.

University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Background: Platelet transfusions remain a mainstay of treatment for many patients with thrombocytopenia, but can lead to alloantibodies to Human Leukocyte Antigens (anti-HLA) resulting in inadequate responses to subsequent platelet transfusions (refractoriness), as well as complicate transplantation. Despite substantial decreases in alloimmunization with the implementation of leukoreduction, a significant percentage of patients still become alloimmunized following platelet transfusions. It remains unclear why some patients make anti-HLA antibodies, but others do not make anti-HLA antibodies even with chronic transfusion. Antecedent pregnancy correlates with risk of alloimmunization due to platelet transfusion in humans - however, isolation of pregnancy as a single variable is not possible in human populations.

Study Design And Methods: A tractable murine model of pregnancy and transfusion was engineered by breeding C57BL/6 (H-2 ) dames with BALB/c (H-2 ) sires. After pregnancy, female mice were transfused with leukoreduced platelets from F1 (H-2 ) donors that expressed the same paternal major histocompatibility complex (MHC) H-2 alloantigens as the sires. Control groups allowed isolation of pregnancy or transfusion alone as independent variables. Alloimmunization was determined by testing serum for antibodies to H-2 MHC alloantigens.

Results: No alloantibodies were detected after pregnancy alone, or in response to transfusion of platelets alone; however, significant levels of alloantibodies were detected when pregnancy was followed by transfusion.

Conclusions: These findings isolate antecedent pregnancy as a causal contribution to increased frequencies of alloimmunization by subsequent platelet transfusion in mice and provide a platform for ongoing mechanistic investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.16224DOI Listing
March 2021

Cross-reactivity of mouse IgG subclasses to human Fc gamma receptors: Antibody deglycosylation only eliminates IgG2b binding.

Mol Immunol 2020 11 15;127:79-86. Epub 2020 Sep 15.

Department of Experimental Immunohematology, Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Amsterdam University Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address:

Immunoglobulin G (IgG) antibodies are important for protection against pathogens and exert effector functions through binding to IgG-Fc receptors (FcγRs) on myeloid and natural killer cells, resulting in destruction of opsonized target cells. Despite interspecies differences, IgG subclasses and FcγRs show substantial similarities and functional conservation between mammals. Accordingly, binding of human IgG (hIgG) to mouse FcγRs (mFcγRs) has been utilized to study effector functions of hIgG in mice. In other applications, such as immunostaining with mouse IgG monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), these cross-reactivities are undesired and prone to misinterpretation. Despite this drawback, the binding of mouse IgG (mIgG) subclasses to human FcγR (hFcγR) classes has never been fully documented. Here, we report detailed and quantifiable characterization of binding affinities for all mIgG subclasses to hFcγRs, including functional polymorphic variants. mIgG subclasses show the strongest binding to hFcγRIa, with relative affinities mIgG2a = mIgG2c > mIgG3 > mIgG2b, and no binding by mIgG1. hFcγRIIa/b showed general low reactivities to all mIgG (mIgG1> mIgG2a/c > mIgG2b), with no reactivity to mIgG3. A particularly high affinity was observed for mIgG1 to the hFcγRIIa-R131 polymorphic variant. hFcγRIIIa showed lower binding (mIgG2a/c > mIgG3), slightly favouring binding to the hFcγRIIIa-V158 over the F158 polymorphic variant. No binding was observed of mIgG to hFcγRIIIb. Deglycosylation of mIgG1 did not abrogate binding to hFcγRIIa-R131, nor did deglycosylation of mIgG2a/c and mIgG3 prevent hFcγRIa binding. Importantly, deglycosylation of the least cross-reactive mIgG subclass, mIgG2b, abrogated reactivity to all hFcγRs. Together, these data document for the first time the full spectrum of cross-reactivities of mouse IgG to human FcγRs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molimm.2020.08.015DOI Listing
November 2020

IgG Subclass Determines Suppression Versus Enhancement of Humoral Alloimmunity to Kell RBC Antigens in Mice.

Front Immunol 2020 16;11:1516. Epub 2020 Jul 16.

Bloodworks Northwest Research Institute, Seattle, WA, United States.

It has long been appreciated that immunoglobulins are not just the effector endpoint of humoral immunity, but rather have a complex role in regulating antibody responses themselves. Donor derived anti-RhD IgG has been used for over 50 years as an immunoprophylactic to prevent maternal alloimmunization to RhD. Although anti-RhD has dramatically decreased rates of hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn (for the RhD alloantigen), anti-RhD also fails in some cases, and can even paradoxically enhance immune responses in some circumstances. Attempts to generate a monoclonal anti-RhD have largely failed, with some monoclonals suppressing less than donor derived anti-RhD and others enhancing immunity. These difficulties likely result, in part, because the mechanism of anti-RhD remains unclear. However, substantial evidence exists to reject the common explanations of simple clearance of RhD + RBCs or masking of antigen. Donor derived anti-RhD is a mixture of 4 different IgG subtypes. To the best of our knowledge an analysis of the role different IgG subtypes play in immunoregulation has not been carried out; and, only IgG1 and IgG3 have been tested as monoclonals. Multiple attempts to elicit alloimmune responses to human RhD epitopes in mice have failed. To circumvent this limitation, we utilize a tractable animal model of RBC alloimmunization using the human Kell glycoprotein as an antigen to test the effect of IgG subtype on immunoregulation by antibodies to RBC alloantigens. We report that the ability of an anti-RBC IgG to enhance, suppress (at the level of IgM responses), or have no effect is a function of the IgG subclass in this model system.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2020.01516DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7378678PMC
July 2020

Complement activation on endothelium initiates antibody-mediated acute lung injury.

J Clin Invest 2020 11;130(11):5909-5923

Department of Medicine, UCSF, San Francisco, California, USA.

Antibodies targeting human leukocyte antigen (HLA)/major histocompatibility complex (MHC) proteins limit successful transplantation and transfusion, and their presence in blood products can cause lethal transfusion-related acute lung injury (TRALI). It is unclear which cell types are bound by these anti-leukocyte antibodies to initiate an immunologic cascade resulting in lung injury. We therefore conditionally removed MHC class I (MHC I) from likely cellular targets in antibody-mediated lung injury. Only the removal of endothelial MHC I reduced lung injury and mortality, related mechanistically to absent endothelial complement fixation and lung platelet retention. Restoration of endothelial MHC I rendered MHC I-deficient mice susceptible to lung injury. Neutrophil responses, including neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) release, were intact in endothelial MHC I-deficient mice, whereas complement depletion reduced both lung injury and NETs. Human pulmonary endothelial cells showed high HLA class I expression, and posttransfusion complement activation was increased in clinical TRALI. These results indicate that the critical source of antigen for anti-leukocyte antibodies is in fact the endothelium, which reframes our understanding of TRALI as a rapid-onset vasculitis. Inhibition of complement activation may have multiple beneficial effects of reducing endothelial injury, platelet retention, and NET release in conditions where antibodies trigger these pathogenic responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/JCI138136DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7598054PMC
November 2020

Characterization and refinement of monoclonal anti-human globulins that lack reactivity with human IgG4.

Transfusion 2020 05 5;60(5):1060-1068. Epub 2020 May 5.

University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, USA.

Background: Anti-red blood cell (RBC) alloantibodies consisting of only the immunoglobulin G (IgG) 4 subtype are typically considered clinically insignificant. A US Food and Drug Administration-approved monoclonal anti-human globulin (16H8) is nonreactive with IgG4, which has been considered a benefit to avoid testing interference from IgG4. However, 16H8 also does not recognize two natural IgG3 variants (IgG3-03 and IgG3-13). Thus, 16H8 may miss clinically significant alloantibodies in some settings.

Study Design And Methods: Novel mouse anti-human IgG hybridomas were generated and screened for reactivity with 32 human variants of anti-KEL1 across different IgG subtypes, as well as mutants to allow epitope mapping. Anti-IgG reactivity was determined using KEL1+ RBCs bound by each IgG variant as targets. Binding of anti-IgG was determined by flow cytometry.

Results: 16H8 recognized an epitope involving amino acid 419, which is glutamate in IgG4, IgG3-03, and IgG3-13, explaining the lack of 16H8 reactivity with these subtypes/isoallotypes. A new monoclonal antibody (PUMA8) was isolated that, like 16H8, was nonreactive with IgG4 but without blind spots for known variants of IgG1, IgG2, or IgG3. PUMA8 recognized an epitope containing arginine at position 355, which is glutamine in IgG4. However, a recently described new IgG4 variant with an arginine at position 355 results in PUMA8 reactivity.

Conclusion: PUMA8 represents an alternative to 16H8 that avoids IgG4 but without blind spots for IgG3 variants. However, PUMA8 reacts with one recently described IgG4 variant. In addition to relevance to immunohematology, these studies highlight the importance of patient variation with regards to assay performance in an era of personalized medicine.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.15796DOI Listing
May 2020

Passively transferred IgG enhances humoral immunity to a red blood cell alloantigen in mice.

Blood Adv 2020 04;4(7):1526-1537

Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY.

Antibodies are typically thought of as the endpoint of humoral immunity that occur as the result of an adaptive immune response. However, affinity-matured antibodies can be present at the initiation of a new immune response, most commonly because of passive administration as a medical therapy. The current paradigm is that immunoglobulin M (IgM), IgA, and IgE enhance subsequent humoral immunity. In contrast, IgG has a "dual effect" in which it enhances responses to soluble antigens but suppresses responses to antigens on red blood cells (RBCs) (eg, immunoprophylaxis with anti-RhD). Here, we report a system in which passive antibody to an RBC antigen promotes a robust cellular immune response leading to endogenous CD4+ T-cell activation, germinal center formation, antibody secretion, and immunological memory. The mechanism requires ligation of Fcγ receptors on a specific subset of dendritic cells that results in CD4+ T-cell activation and expansion. Moreover, antibodies cross-enhance responses to a third-party antigen, but only if it is expressed on the same RBC as the antigen recognized by the antibody. Importantly, these observations were IgG subtype specific. Thus, these findings demonstrate that antibodies to RBC alloantigens can enhance humoral immunity in an IgG subtype-specific fashion and provide mechanistic elucidation of the enhancing effects.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019001299DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7160277PMC
April 2020

IgG3 anti-Kell allotypic variation results in differential antigen binding and phagocytosis.

Transfusion 2020 04 13;60(4):688-693. Epub 2020 Jan 13.

Center for Innovation, Canadian Blood Services, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Background: Human immunoglobulin G (hIgG) includes four different subtypes (IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4). Due to genetic variations, each IgG subtype contains different isoallotypes. It was previously shown that a Food and Drug Administration-approved monoclonal anti-IgG failed to recognize 2 of 15 recombinant, human IgG3 anti-Kell (K1) isoallotypes (rIgG3-03 and rIgG3-13) by indirect antiglobulin test (IAT).

Study Design And Methods: We expressed and purified 15 recombinant human rIgG3 anti-K1 isoallotypes and investigated their antigen binding and ability to induce phagocytosis using homozygous (KK) and heterozygous (Kk) K1-positive red blood cells (RBCs) by gel IAT, flow cytometry, and a monocyte monolayer assay (MMA) with peripheral blood monocytes and cultured inflammatory (M1) and anti-inflammatory (M2) macrophages.

Results: MMA results showed that differences in the Fc region of rIgG3 anti-K1 led to distinctive phagocytic activity with both monocytes and M1 macrophages. rIgG3-18 and rIgG3-19 showed an enhanced ability to induce phagocytosis. Differences in Fc regions also led to variations in the number of antibodies bound to KK RBCs. Despite the differences in phagocytic activity, all 15 rIgG3 clones are predicted to induce clinically significant hemolysis if K1-positive blood was transfused into patients.

Conclusion: These results argue that antiglobulin reagents that fail to detect isoallotype rIgG3-03 or rIgG3-13 could present a transfusion risk or lack of detection of a potentially clinically significant anti-K1 in hemolytic disease of the fetus and newborn.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.15663DOI Listing
April 2020

Differences in Steap3 expression are a mechanism of genetic variation of RBC storage and oxidative damage in mice.

Blood Adv 2019 08;3(15):2272-2285

Bloodworks NW Research Institute, Seattle, WA.

Red blood cells (RBCs) are the most numerous cell type in the body and serve a vital purpose of delivering oxygen to essentially all tissues. In addition to the central role of RBCs in health and disease, RBC storage is a requirement for the >90 million units of RBC transfusions given to millions of recipients each year, worldwide. It is well known that there is genetic donor-to-donor variability in how human RBCs store, rendering blood a nonstandardized therapeutic with a wide range of biological properties from unit to unit, by the time it is transfused. As with humans, genetic variation exists in how murine RBCs, from different strains of mice, store and perform after transfusion. The genetic mechanisms for variation, in humans and mice, both remain obscure. Combining advanced metabolomics, genetics, and molecular and cellular biology approaches, we identify genetic variation in six-transmembrane epithelial antigen of prostate 3 (Steap3) expression as a critical and previously unrecognized mechanism of oxidative damage of RBCs during storage. Increased levels of Steap3 result in degradation of cellular membrane through lipid peroxidation, leading to failure of RBC homeostasis and hemolysis/clearance of RBCs. This article is the first report of a role of Steap3 in mature RBCs; it defines a new mechanism of redox biology in RBCs with a substantial effect upon RBC function and provides a novel mechanistic determinant of genetic variation of RBC storage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1182/bloodadvances.2019000605DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6693009PMC
August 2019

Murine models of autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

Curr Opin Hematol 2018 11;25(6):473-481

BloodworksNW Research Institute.

Purpose Of Review: Pathogenic autoantibodies directed against red blood cells (RBCs) may lead to autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA), a severe and sometimes fatal disease. Much of what is known about the etiology and pathogenesis of AIHA has been learned from observations made in human patients and murine models, but many questions remain; importantly, it is still unclear why some people generate RBC-specific autoantibodies. The combination of technological advancements applied to existing models and the development of new AIHA murine models will continue to provide considerable insight into the initiation of AIHA and provide a platform for the design of more effective therapies.

Recent Findings: Advancements in well described murine models of AIHA show that reticulocytes are preferentially targeted by anti-RBC autoantibodies and an increase in oxidative stress may trigger autoantibody production. Additionally, a new murine model of erythrocyte autoreactivity demonstrates that T cell tolerance is the stopgap for autoimmunity. Moreover, unlike many self-antigens, data suggest that RBC self-antigens are not presented in the thymus thereby escaping the scrutiny of T cell central tolerance mechanisms and placing emphasis on peripheral tolerance instead. Information gained from this new model provide novel insight into how the immune system responds to RBC autoantigens and provides a tractable platform to discover new therapies for AIHA.

Summary: Murine models of AIHA have provided significant understanding into the risk factors for AIHA. The application of new technologies and models of erythrocyte autoreactivity is a pathway with the potential to elucidate how tolerance to RBC autoantigens is established, maintained, and broken down.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/MOH.0000000000000459DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6200381PMC
November 2018

Identification of IgG3-specific epitope that remedies problem in diagnostic IgG subclass determination due to human genetic variation.

J Clin Pathol 2018 Jun 17;71(6):559-561. Epub 2018 Mar 17.

Bloodworks NW Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA.

There are four subtypes of human IgG with different effector functions. Quantifying the relative amount of each IgG subtype is important for laboratory diagnosis in multiple settings. However, in an evolving landscape of the appreciation of human variability and the need for precision/personalised laboratory diagnosis, it has also been shown that there are numerous natural variants of IgG subtypes, with at least 29 having been described. It has recently been reported that commercially available polyclonal antisera to IgG3 cross react with variants of other IgG subtypes, while available monoclonal anti-IgG3 have a blind-spot for the IgG3-04 variant. Herein, we report that IgG3-04 contains an epitope in common with all known IgG3 variants and absent in other subtypes. A novel monoclonal anti-IgG3 is described that is specific to IgG3 but without any blind-spots for known IgG3 variants, providing a remedy to the problem of genetic variability of IgG3.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205001DOI Listing
June 2018

Common murine immunoglobulin detection reagents have diminished reactivity with IgG3 - A vulnerability to misinterpretation.

J Immunol Methods 2018 04 31;455:10-13. Epub 2018 Jan 31.

BloodworksNW Research Institute, Seattle, WA, 98102, United States; University of Washington School of Medicine, Department of Laboratory Medicine and Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, United States. Electronic address:

Methods designed to monitor humoral immune responses, in a variety of settings, typically use a broadly reactive detection reagent (e.g. polyclonal anti-Ig (immunoglobulin)) in order to characterize antibody responses. In the context of murine models of immunity, which are widely used, this would typically be antisera to mouse Ig or mouse IgG. However, there are 4 different subtypes of mouse IgG; thus, the validity of the above approach, as a general screen for humoral immune responses, depends upon the assumption that the antisera recognize all IgG subtypes. This seems like a reasonable assumption, since polyclonal antisera recognize multiple epitopes; however, herein we report that two commercial sources of goat anti-mouse Ig are hyporeactive with IgG3. Given that relative IgG3 levels are different in distinct types of immune response, these findings demonstrate a potential for misinterpretation, and suggest a need to modify immunological methods in this context.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jim.2018.01.011DOI Listing
April 2018

Innate B-1 B Cells Are Not Enriched in Red Blood Cell Autoimmune Mice: Importance of B Cell Receptor Transgenic Selection.

Front Immunol 2017 3;8:1366. Epub 2017 Nov 3.

Bloodworks Northwest Research Institute, Seattle, WA, United States.

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) results from breakdown of humoral tolerance to RBC antigens. Past analyses of B-cell receptor transgenic (BCR-Tg) mice that recognize RBC autoantigens led to a paradigm in which autoreactive conventional B-2 B cells are deleted whereas extramedullary B-1 B cells escape deletion due to lack of exposure to RBCs. However, BCR-Tg mice utilized to shape the current paradigm were unable to undergo receptor editing or class-switching. Given the importance of receptor editing as mechanism to tolerize autoreactive B cells during central tolerance, we hypothesized that expansion of autoreactive B-1 B cells is a consequence of the inability of the autoreactive BCR to receptor edit. To test this hypothesis, we crossed two separate strains of BCR-Tg mice with transgenic mice expressing the BCR target on RBCs. Both BCR-Tg mice express the same immunoglobulin and, thus, secrete antibodies with identical specificity, but one strain (SwHEL) has normal receptor editing, whereas the other (IgHEL) does not. Similar to other AIHA models, the autoreactive IgHEL strain showed decreased B-2 B cells, an enrichment of B-1 B cells, and detectable anti-RBC autoantibodies and decreased RBC hematocrit and hemoglobin values. However, autoreactive SwHEL mice had induction of tolerance in both B-2 and B-1 B cells with anti-RBC autoantibody production without anemia. These data generate new understanding and challenge the existing paradigm of B cell tolerance to RBC autoantigens. Furthermore, these findings demonstrate that immune responses vary when BCR-Tg do not retain BCR editing and class-switching functions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.01366DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5675845PMC
November 2017

Murine red blood cells from genetically distinct donors cross-regulate when stored together.

Transfusion 2017 11 16;57(11):2657-2664. Epub 2017 Sep 16.

BloodworksNW Research Institute, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, Washington.

Background: Donor variability of red blood cell (RBC) storage has been observed in both humans and animal models. We utilized a strain of mice with RBCs known to store well (B6) and a strain known to store poorly (FVB) to test the hypothesis that RBCs affected the storage of other RBCs.

Study Design And Methods: Five strains of mice were used: 1) transgenic B6 mice expressing green fluorescent protein (GFP) in their RBCs (GFP.B6), 2) wild-type B6 mice, 3) wild-type FVB mice, 4) F1 crosses between GFP.B6 and FVB mice (GFP.F1), and 5) the analogous wild-type (B6xFVB) F1 cross. GFP.B6 or GFP.F1 RBCs were mixed with wild-type (non-GFP) RBCs from B6 or FVB strains before storage. Twenty-four-hour RBC recoveries were determined for stored RBCs by enumerating circulating GFP+ RBCs by flow cytometry.

Results: Twenty-four-hour recoveries of GFP.F1 RBCs was increased by co-storage with B6 RBCs but decreased by co-storage with FVB RBCs. This effect was dose dependent when tested with GFP.B6 RBCs; the more FVB blood added, the worse the 24-hour recoveries became. RBC cross-regulation did not occur when B6 and FVB RBCs were separated by a semipermeable membrane with a 0.4-µm size cutoff.

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate that RBCs affect the storage of other RBCs, in both positive and negative directions, indicating not only that RBC storage is intrinsic to the RBC but that RBC-RBC communication occurs. Additional studies will be required to determine the nature of this effect and if these findings translate into human RBC storage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.14313DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7025899PMC
November 2017

Errors in data interpretation from genetic variation of human analytes.

JCI Insight 2017 Jul 6;2(13). Epub 2017 Jul 6.

BloodworksNW Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA.

In recent years, the extent of our vulnerability to misinterpretation due to poorly characterized reagents has become an issue of great concern. Antibody reagents have been identified as a major source of error, contributing to the "reproducibility crisis." In the current report, we define an additional dimension of the crisis; in particular, we define variation of the targets being analyzed. We report that natural variation in the immunoglobulin "constant" region alters the reactivity with commonly used subtype-specific anti-IgG reagents, resulting in cross-reactivity of polyclonal regents with inappropriate targets and blind spots of monoclonal reagents for desired targets. This raises the practical concern that numerous studies characterizing IgG subtypes in human disease may contain errors due to such previously unappreciated defects. These studies also focus attention on the broader concern that genetic variation may affect the performance of any laboratory or research test that uses antibodies for detection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1172/jci.insight.94532DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5499359PMC
July 2017

Affinity of human IgG subclasses to mouse Fc gamma receptors.

MAbs 2017 07 2;9(5):767-773. Epub 2017 May 2.

a Department of Experimental Immunohematology , Sanquin Research and Landsteiner Laboratory, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam , The Netherlands.

Human IgG is the main antibody class used in antibody therapies because of its efficacy and longer half-life, which are completely or partly due to FcγR-mediated functions of the molecules. Preclinical testing in mouse models are frequently performed using human IgG, but no detailed information on binding of human IgG to mouse FcγRs is available. The orthologous mouse and human FcγRs share roughly 60-70% identity, suggesting some incompatibility. Here, we report binding affinities of all mouse and human IgG subclasses to mouse FcγR. Human IgGs bound to mouse FcγR with remarkably similar binding strengths as we know from binding to human ortholog receptors, with relative affinities IgG3>IgG1>IgG4>IgG2 and FcγRI>FcγRIV>FcγRIII>FcγRIIb. This suggests human IgG subclasses to have similar relative FcγR-mediated biological activities in mice.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/19420862.2017.1323159DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5524164PMC
July 2017

Regulatory T Cells Are Dispensable for Tolerance to RBC Antigens.

Front Immunol 2016 19;7:348. Epub 2016 Sep 19.

Bloodworks Northwest Research Institute , Seattle, WA , USA.

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AIHA) occurs when pathogenic autoantibodies against red blood cell (RBC) antigens are generated. While the basic disease pathology of AIHA is well studied, the underlying mechanism(s) behind the failure in tolerance to RBC autoantigens are poorly understood. Thus, to investigate the tolerance mechanisms required for the establishment and maintenance of tolerance to RBC antigens, we developed a novel murine model. With this model, we evaluated the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in tolerance to RBC-specific antigens. Herein, we show that neither sustained depletion of Tregs nor immunization with RBC-specific proteins in conjunction with Treg depletion led to RBC-specific autoantibody generation. Thus, these studies demonstrate that Tregs are not required to prevent autoantibodies to RBCs and suggest that other tolerance mechanisms are likely involved.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2016.00348DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5027202PMC
September 2016

Serological blind spots for variants of human IgG3 and IgG4 by a commonly used anti-immunoglobulin reagent.

Transfusion 2016 12 16;56(12):2953-2962. Epub 2016 Sep 16.

BloodworksNW Research Institute.

Background: Human immunoglobulin G (IgG) includes four different subtypes (IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4), and it is also now appreciated that there are genetic variations within IgG subtypes (called isoallotypes). Twenty-nine different isoallotypes have been described, with 7, 4, 15, and 3 isoallotypes described for IgG1, IgG2, IgG3, and IgG4, respectively. The reactivity of anti-IgG with different isoallotypes has not been characterized.

Study Design And Methods: A novel monoclonal anti-K antibody (PugetSound Monoclonal Antibody 1 [PUMA1]) was isolated and sequenced, and a panel of PUMA1 variants was expressed, consisting of the 29 known IgG isoallotypes. The resulting panel of antibodies was preincubated with K-positive red blood cells (RBCs) and then subjected to testing with currently approved anti-IgG by flow cytometry, solid phase systems, gel cards, and tube testing.

Results: A US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved monoclonal anti-IgG (gamma-clone) failed to recognize 2 of 15 IgG3 isoallotypes (IgG3-03 and IgG3-13) and 3 of 3 IgG4 isoallotypes (IgG4-01, IgG4-02, and IgG4-03). In contrast, an FDA-approved rabbit polyclonal anti-IgG recognized each of the known human IgG isoallotypes.

Conclusion: These findings demonstrate "blind spots" in isoalloantibody detection by a monoclonal anti-IgG. If a patient has anti-RBC antibodies predominantly of an IgG3 subtype (the IgG3-03 and/or IgG3-13 variety), then it is possible that a clinically significant alloantibody would be missed. IgG-03 and IgG-13 have an estimated frequency of 1% to 3% in Caucasian populations and 20% to 30% in certain African populations. Nonreactivity with IgG4 is a known characteristic of this monoclonal anti-IgG, but IgG4 isoallotypes have not been previously reported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/trf.13812DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5444903PMC
December 2016

Metabolic pathways that correlate with post-transfusion circulation of stored murine red blood cells.

Haematologica 2016 05 26;101(5):578-86. Epub 2016 Feb 26.

Bloodworks NW Research Institute, Seattle, WA, USA University of Washington Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, Seattle, WA, USA University of Washington Department of Laboratory Medicine and Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Hematology, Seattle, WA, USA

Transfusion of red blood cells is a very common inpatient procedure, with more than 1 in 70 people in the USA receiving a red blood cell transfusion annually. However, stored red blood cells are a non-uniform product, based upon donor-to-donor variation in red blood cell storage biology. While thousands of biological parameters change in red blood cells over storage, it has remained unclear which changes correlate with function of the red blood cells, as opposed to being co-incidental changes. In the current report, a murine model of red blood cell storage/transfusion is applied across 13 genetically distinct mouse strains and combined with high resolution metabolomics to identify metabolic changes that correlated with red blood cell circulation post storage. Oxidation in general, and peroxidation of lipids in particular, emerged as changes that correlated with extreme statistical significance, including generation of dicarboxylic acids and monohydroxy fatty acids. In addition, differences in anti-oxidant pathways known to regulate oxidative stress on lipid membranes were identified. Finally, metabolites were identified that differed at the time the blood was harvested, and predict how the red blood cells perform after storage, allowing the potential to screen donors at time of collection. Together, these findings map out a new landscape in understanding metabolic changes during red blood cell storage as they relate to red blood cell circulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3324/haematol.2015.139139DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5004382PMC
May 2016

β-HPV 5 and 8 E6 disrupt homology dependent double strand break repair by attenuating BRCA1 and BRCA2 expression and foci formation.

PLoS Pathog 2015 Mar 24;11(3):e1004687. Epub 2015 Mar 24.

Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

Recent work has explored a putative role for the E6 protein from some β-human papillomavirus genus (β-HPVs) in the development of non-melanoma skin cancers, specifically β-HPV 5 and 8 E6. Because these viruses are not required for tumor maintenance, they are hypothesized to act as co-factors that enhance the mutagenic capacity of UV-exposure by disrupting the repair of the resulting DNA damage. Supporting this proposal, we have previously demonstrated that UV damage signaling is hindered by β-HPV 5 and 8 E6 resulting in an increase in both thymine dimers and UV-induced double strand breaks (DSBs). Here we show that β-HPV 5 and 8 E6 further disrupt the repair of these DSBs and provide a mechanism for this attenuation. By binding and destabilizing a histone acetyltransferase, p300, β-HPV 5 and 8 E6 reduce the enrichment of the transcription factor at the promoter of two genes critical to the homology dependent repair of DSBs (BRCA1 and BRCA2). The resulting diminished BRCA1/2 transcription not only leads to lower protein levels but also curtails the ability of these proteins to form repair foci at DSBs. Using a GFP-based reporter, we confirm that this reduced foci formation leads to significantly diminished homology dependent repair of DSBs. By deleting the p300 binding domain of β-HPV 8 E6, we demonstrate that the loss of robust repair is dependent on viral-mediated degradation of p300 and confirm this observation using a combination of p300 mutants that are β-HPV 8 E6 destabilization resistant and p300 knock-out cells. In conclusion, this work establishes an expanded ability of β-HPV 5 and 8 E6 to attenuate UV damage repair, thus adding further support to the hypothesis that β-HPV infections play a role in skin cancer development by increasing the oncogenic potential of UV exposure.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1004687DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4372404PMC
March 2015

HPV 5 and 8 E6 expression reduces ATM protein levels and attenuates LINE-1 retrotransposition.

Virology 2013 Aug 23;443(1):69-79. Epub 2013 May 23.

Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA, United States.

The expression of the E6 protein from certain members of the HPV genus β (β HPV 5 and 8 E6) can disrupt p53 signaling by diminishing the steady state levels of two p53 modifying enzymes, ATR and p300. Here, we show that β-HPV 5 and 8 E6 are also capable of reducing the steady state levels of another p53 modifying enzyme, ATM, and as a result restrict LINE-1 retrotransposition. Furthermore, we show that the reduction of both ATM and LINE-1 retrotransposition is dependent upon the ability of β-HPV 8 E6 to bind and degrade p300. We use inhibitors and dominant negative mutants to confirm that ATM is needed for efficient LINE-1 retrotransposition. Furthermore, neither sensitivity to LINE-1 expression nor LINE-1 induced DSB formation is altered in an ATM deficient background. Together, these data illustrate the broad impact some β-HPVs have on DNA damage signaling by promoting p300 degradation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2013.04.022DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3873879PMC
August 2013

HPV 5 and 8 E6 abrogate ATR activity resulting in increased persistence of UVB induced DNA damage.

PLoS Pathog 2012 12;8(7):e1002807. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

The role of the E6 oncoprotein from high-risk members of the α human papillomavirus genus in anogenital cancer has been well established. However, far less is known about the E6 protein from the β human papillomavirus genus (β-HPVs). Some β-HPVs potentially play a role in non-melanoma skin cancer development, although they are not required for tumor maintenance. Instead, they may act as a co-factor that enhances the carcinogenic potential of UV damage. Indeed, the E6 protein from certain β-HPVs (HPV 5 and 8) promotes the degradation of p300, a histone acetyl transferase involved in UV damage repair. Here, we show that the expression of HPV 5 and 8 E6 increases thymine dimer persistence as well as the likelihood of a UVB induced double strand break (DSB). Importantly, we provide a mechanism for the increased DNA damage by showing that both extended thymine dimer persistence as well as elevated DSB levels are dependent on the ability of HPV 8 E6 to promote p300 degradation. We further demonstrate that HPV 5 and 8 E6 expression reduces the mRNA and protein levels of ATR, a PI3 kinase family member that plays a key role in UV damage signaling, but that these levels remain unperturbed in cells expressing a mutated HPV 8 E6 incapable of promoting p300 degradation. We confirm that the degradation of p300 leads to a reduction in ATR protein levels, by showing that ATR levels rebound when a p300 mutant resistant to HPV 8 mediated degradation and HPV 8 E6 are co-transfected. Conversely, we show that ATR protein levels are reduced when p300 is targeted for degradation by siRNA. Moreover, we show the reduced ATR levels in HPV 5 and 8 E6 expressing cells results in delayed ATR activation and an attenuated ability of cells to phosphorylate, and as a result accumulate, p53 in response to UVB exposure, leading to significantly reduced cell cycle arrest. In conclusion, these data demonstrate that β-HPV E6 expression can enhance the carcinogenic potential of UVB exposure by promoting p300 degradation, resulting in a reduction in ATR levels, which leads to increased thymine dimer persistence and increased UVB induced DSBs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1002807DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3395675PMC
January 2013

Functional genomics identifies therapeutic targets for MYC-driven cancer.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2012 Jun 23;109(24):9545-50. Epub 2012 May 23.

Department of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.

MYC oncogene family members are broadly implicated in human cancers, yet are considered "undruggable" as they encode transcription factors. MYC also carries out essential functions in proliferative tissues, suggesting that its inhibition could cause severe side effects. We elected to identify synthetic lethal interactions with c-MYC overexpression (MYC-SL) in a collection of ~3,300 druggable genes, using high-throughput siRNA screening. Of 49 genes selected for follow-up, 48 were confirmed by independent retesting and approximately one-third selectively induced accumulation of DNA damage, consistent with enrichment in DNA-repair genes by functional annotation. In addition, genes involved in histone acetylation and transcriptional elongation, such as TRRAP and BRD4, were identified, indicating that the screen revealed known MYC-associated pathways. For in vivo validation we selected CSNK1e, a kinase whose expression correlated with MYCN amplification in neuroblastoma (an established MYC-driven cancer). Using RNAi and available small-molecule inhibitors, we confirmed that inhibition of CSNK1e halted growth of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma xenografts. CSNK1e had previously been implicated in the regulation of developmental pathways and circadian rhythms, whereas our data provide a previously unknown link with oncogenic MYC. Furthermore, expression of CSNK1e correlated with c-MYC and its transcriptional signature in other human cancers, indicating potential broad therapeutic implications of targeting CSNK1e function. In summary, through a functional genomics approach, pathways essential in the context of oncogenic MYC but not to normal cells were identified, thus revealing a rich therapeutic space linked to a previously "undruggable" oncogene.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1121119109DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3386069PMC
June 2012

MYC-driven tumorigenesis is inhibited by WRN syndrome gene deficiency.

Mol Cancer Res 2012 Apr 1;10(4):535-45. Epub 2012 Feb 1.

Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.

MYC-induced DNA damage is exacerbated in WRN-deficient cells, leading to replication stress and accelerated cellular senescence. To determine whether WRN deficiency impairs MYC-driven tumor development, we used both xenograft and autochthonous tumor models. Conditional silencing of WRN expression in c-MYC overexpressing non-small cell lung cancer xenografts impaired both tumor establishment and tumor growth. This inhibitory effect of WRN knockdown was accompanied by increased DNA damage, decreased proliferation, and tumor necrosis. In the Eμ-Myc mouse model of B-cell lymphoma, a germline mutation in the helicase domain of Wrn (Wrn(Δhel/Δhel)) resulted in a significant delay in emergence of lethal lymphomas, extending tumor-free survival by more than 30%. Analysis of preneoplastic B cells from Eμ-Myc Wrn mutant mice revealed increased DNA damage, elevation of senescence markers, and decreased proliferation in comparison with cells from age-matched Eμ-Myc mice. Immunohistochemical and global gene expression analysis of overt Eμ-Myc Wrn(Δhel/Δhel) lymphomas showed a marked increase in expression of the CDK inhibitor, p16(Ink4a), as well as elevation of TAp63, a known mediator of senescence. Collectively, these studies show that in the context of Myc-associated tumorigenesis, loss of Wrn amplifies the DNA damage response, both in preneoplastic and neoplastic tissue, engaging activation of tumor suppressor pathways. This leads to inhibition of tumor growth and prolonged tumor-free survival. Targeting WRN or its enzymatic function could prove to be an effective strategy in the treatment of MYC-associated cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1158/1541-7786.MCR-11-0508DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3707802PMC
April 2012

Beta-HPV 5 and 8 E6 promote p300 degradation by blocking AKT/p300 association.

PLoS Pathog 2011 Aug 25;7(8):e1002211. Epub 2011 Aug 25.

Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

The E6 oncoprotein from high-risk genus alpha human papillomaviruses (α-HPVs), such as HPV 16, has been well characterized with respect to the host-cell proteins it interacts with and corresponding signaling pathways that are disrupted due to these interactions. Less is known regarding the interacting partners of E6 from the genus beta papillomaviruses (β-HPVs); however, it is generally thought that β-HPV E6 proteins do not interact with many of the proteins known to bind to α-HPV E6. Here we identify p300 as a protein that interacts directly with E6 from both α- and β-HPV types. Importantly, this association appears much stronger with β-HPV types 5 and 8-E6 than with α-HPV type 16-E6 or β-HPV type 38-E6. We demonstrate that the enhanced association between 5/8-E6 and p300 leads to p300 degradation in a proteasomal-dependent but E6AP-independent manner. Rather, 5/8-E6 inhibit the association of AKT with p300, an event necessary to ensure p300 stability within the cell. Finally, we demonstrate that the decreased p300 protein levels concomitantly affect downstream signaling events, such as the expression of differentiation markers K1, K10 and Involucrin. Together, these results demonstrate a unique way in which β-HPV E6 proteins are able to affect host-cell signaling in a manner distinct from that of the α-HPVs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1002211DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3161984PMC
August 2011

Papillomavirus E6 proteins.

Virology 2009 Feb 10;384(2):324-34. Epub 2008 Dec 10.

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.

The papillomaviruses are small DNA viruses that encode approximately eight genes, and require the host cell DNA replication machinery for their viral DNA replication. Thus papillomaviruses have evolved strategies to induce host cell DNA synthesis balanced with strategies to protect the cell from unscheduled replication. While the papillomavirus E1 and E2 genes are directly involved in viral replication by binding to and unwinding the origin of replication, the E6 and E7 proteins have auxillary functions that promote proliferation. As a consequence of disrupting the normal checkpoints that regulate cell cycle entry and progression, the E6 and E7 proteins play a key role in the oncogenic properties of human papillomaviruses with a high risk of causing anogenital cancers (HR HPVs). As a consequence, E6 and E7 of HR HPVs are invariably expressed in cervical cancers. This article will focus on the E6 protein and its numerous activities including inactivating p53, blocking apoptosis, activating telomerase, disrupting cell adhesion, polarity and epithelial differentiation, altering transcription and reducing immune recognition.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2008.11.017DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2674106PMC
February 2009

E6 proteins from multiple human betapapillomavirus types degrade Bak and protect keratinocytes from apoptosis after UVB irradiation.

J Virol 2008 Nov 20;82(21):10408-17. Epub 2008 Aug 20.

Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.

Human papillomavirus (HPV) types from the beta genus (beta-HPVs) have been implicated in the development of skin cancer. A potentially important aspect of their carcinogenic role is the ability of the E6 protein to degrade the proapoptotic family member Bak, which gives cells the ability to survive UV damage. However, it is unknown if the ability to degrade Bak is limited to certain beta-HPV types or whether E6 expression in keratinocytes affects other proteins important for apoptosis signaling. We tested the abilities of E6 proteins from several representative members of the beta-HPVs to degrade Bak and protect UV-treated keratinocytes from apoptosis. The E6 proteins of the beta-HPV type 5 (HPV5), -8, -20, -22, -38, -76, -92, and -96, as well as the alpha genus HPV HPV16, all degraded Bak or prevented its accumulation following UV treatment but did not degrade Bak constitutively. In addition, when tested using HPV16 E6 (16E6) and 8E6 as representative E6 proteins from the alpha and beta genera, respectively, Bak degradation was dependent on the E3 ubiquitin ligase, E6AP. Other important regulators of apoptotic signaling were examined and found to be unperturbed by the expression of the beta-HPV E6 proteins. Importantly, the expression of beta-HPV E6 proteins protected keratinocytes from apoptosis to the same extent as 16E6-expressing cells. In conclusion, several of the beta-HPV types possess the ability to protect UV-treated keratinocytes from apoptosis by reducing levels of Bak in those cells, thus blocking the intrinsic apoptotic pathway.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.00902-08DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2573196PMC
November 2008

Extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation by Neisseria gonorrhoeae downregulates epithelial cell proapoptotic proteins Bad and Bim.

Infect Immun 2008 Jun 7;76(6):2715-21. Epub 2008 Apr 7.

Department of Molecular Microbiology & Immunology, L220, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA.

Neisseria gonorrhoeae expressing type IV pili (Tfp) activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and induces a cytoprotective state in the epithelial cell in a manner that is enhanced by pilT. As the ERK signaling pathway is well-known for its role in cytoprotection and cell survival, we tested the hypothesis that ERK is involved in producing this cytoprotective effect. Inhibiting ERK activation prior to infection attenuated the ability of these bacteria to induce cytoprotection. Activated ERK specifically targeted two proapoptotic Bcl-2 homology domain 3 (BH3)-only proteins, Bim and Bad, for downregulation at the protein level. Bim downregulation occurred through the proteasome. ERK, in addition, inactivated Bad by triggering its phosphorylation at Ser112. Finally, reducing the level of either Bad or Bim alone by small interfering RNA was sufficient to protect uninfected cells from staurosporine-induced apoptosis. We conclude that Tfp-induced cytoprotection is due in part to ERK-dependent modification and/or downregulation of proapoptotic proteins Bad and Bim.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/IAI.00153-08DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2423055PMC
June 2008

The E6 oncoproteins from human betapapillomaviruses differentially activate telomerase through an E6AP-dependent mechanism and prolong the lifespan of primary keratinocytes.

J Virol 2008 Apr 6;82(8):3894-902. Epub 2008 Feb 6.

Division of Human Biology, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, 1100 Fairview Avenue North, C1-015, Box 19024, Seattle, WA 98109-1024, USA.

Human papillomaviruses (HPVs) belonging to the Betapapillomavirus genus have recently been implicated in squamous cell carcinomas of the skin, though the mechanisms by which they initiate carcinogenesis are unclear. We show that human foreskin keratinocytes (HFKs) expressing several betapapillomavirus E6 (beta-E6) proteins display life span extension, but not to the extent seen in HFKs expressing HPV type 16 E6 (16E6). Additionally, we demonstrate that beta-E6 proteins can differentially activate telomerase. HFKs expressing 38E6 exhibit significant telomerase activity but to a lesser degree than that observed with 16E6; however, other beta-E6 proteins, including 5E6, 8E6, 20E6, and 22E6, exhibit low or background levels of telomerase activity. Utilizing glutathione S-transferase pull-down and coimmunoprecipitation experiments, the beta-E6 proteins were shown to interact with the cellular proteins E6-associated protein (E6AP) and NFX1-91, two proteins known to be important for telomerase activation by 16E6. Interestingly, the relative strength of the interaction between E6 and E6AP or NFX1-91 was proportionate to the activation of telomerase by each beta-E6 protein. To address the requirement for E6AP in telomerase activation by beta-E6 proteins, we utilized a shRNA to knock down endogenous levels of E6AP. Lysates with decreased levels of E6AP showed a reduced ability to activate telomerase, suggesting that E6AP is a necessary component. These data suggest that complex formation between E6, E6AP, and NFX1-91 is a critical step in mediating telomerase activation, which may be one contributing factor to cellular life span extension during human betapapillomavirus infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JVI.01818-07DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2292992PMC
April 2008

The N. gonorrhoeae type IV pilus stimulates mechanosensitive pathways and cytoprotection through a pilT-dependent mechanism.

PLoS Biol 2005 Apr 22;3(4):e100. Epub 2005 Mar 22.

Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, Oregon, USA.

The Neisseria gonorrhoeae type IV pilus is a retractile appendage that can generate forces near 100 pN. We tested the hypothesis that type IV pilus retraction influences epithelial cell gene expression by exerting tension on the host membrane. Wild-type and retraction-defective bacteria altered the expression of an identical set of epithelial cell genes during attachment. Interestingly, pilus retraction, per se, did not regulate novel gene expression but, rather, enhanced the expression of a subset of the infection-regulated genes. This is accomplished through mitogen-activated protein kinase activation and at least one other undefined stress-activated pathway. These results can be reproduced by applying artificial force on the epithelial membrane, using a magnet and magnetic beads. Importantly, this retraction-mediated signaling increases the ability of the cell to withstand apoptotic signals triggered by infection. We conclude that pilus retraction stimulates mechanosensitive pathways that enhance the expression of stress-responsive genes and activate cytoprotective signaling. A model for the role of pilus retraction in influencing host cell survival is presented.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pbio.0030100DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1065265PMC
April 2005