Perforin-2 (MPEG1) is an effector of the innate immune system that limits the proliferation and spread of medically relevant Gram-negative, -positive, and acid fast bacteria. We show here that a cullin-RING E3 ubiquitin ligase (CRL) complex containing cullin-1 and βTrCP monoubiquitylates Perforin-2 in response to pathogen associated molecular patterns such as LPS. Ubiquitylation triggers a rapid redistribution of Perforin-2 and is essential for its bactericidal activity. Enteric pathogens such as Yersinia pseudotuberculosis and enteropathogenic Escherichia coli disarm host cells by injecting cell cycle inhibiting factors (Cifs) into mammalian cells to deamidate the ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8. Because CRL activity is dependent upon NEDD8, Cif blocks ubiquitin dependent trafficking of Perforin-2 and thus, its bactericidal activity. Collectively, these studies further underscore the biological significance of Perforin-2 and elucidate critical molecular events that culminate in Perforin-2-dependent killing of both intracellular and extracellular, cell-adherent bacteria.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Research Council as stipulated by the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (#13-233 and #12-257) of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.
- Pascale Cossart, Institut Pasteur, France
© 2015, McCormack et al.
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Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are indispensable for maintaining self-tolerance by suppressing conventional T cells. On the other hand, Tregs promote tumor growth by inhibiting anti-cancer immunity. In this study, we identified that Tregs increase the quorum of self-reactive CD8+ T cells required for the induction of experimental autoimmune diabetes in mice. Their major suppression mechanism is limiting available IL-2, an essential T-cell cytokine. Specifically, Tregs inhibit the formation of a previously uncharacterized subset of antigen-stimulated KLRK1+ IL7R+ (KILR) CD8+ effector T cells, which are distinct from conventional effector CD8+ T cells. KILR CD8+ T cells show a superior cell killing abilities in vivo. The administration of agonistic IL-2 immunocomplexes phenocopies the absence of Tregs, i.e., it induces KILR CD8+ T cells, promotes autoimmunity, and enhances anti-tumor responses in mice. Counterparts of KILR CD8+ T cells were found in the human blood, revealing them as a potential target for immunotherapy.
Bacteria of the genus Shigella cause shigellosis, a severe gastrointestinal disease driven by bacterial colonization of colonic intestinal epithelial cells. Vertebrates have evolved programmed cell death pathways that sense invasive enteric pathogens and eliminate their intracellular niche. Previously we reported that genetic removal of one such pathway, the NAIP–NLRC4 inflammasome, is sufficient to convert mice from resistant to susceptible to oral Shigella flexneri challenge (Mitchell et al., 2020). Here, we investigate the protective role of additional cell death pathways during oral mouse Shigella infection. We find that the Caspase-11 inflammasome, which senses Shigella LPS, restricts Shigella colonization of the intestinal epithelium in the absence of NAIP–NLRC4. However, this protection is limited when Shigella expresses OspC3, an effector that antagonizes Caspase-11 activity. TNFα, a cytokine that activates Caspase-8-dependent apoptosis, also provides potent protection from Shigella colonization of the intestinal epithelium when mice lack both NAIP–NLRC4 and Caspase-11. The combined genetic removal of Caspases-1, -11, and -8 renders mice hyper-susceptible to oral Shigella infection. Our findings uncover a layered hierarchy of cell death pathways that limit the ability of an invasive gastrointestinal pathogen to cause disease.