Cytokines activate signaling via assembly of cell surface receptors, but it is unclear whether modulation of cytokine-receptor binding parameters can modify biological outcomes. We have engineered IL-6 variants with different affinities to gp130 to investigate how cytokine receptor binding dwell-times influence functional selectivity. Engineered IL-6 variants showed a range of signaling amplitudes and induced biased signaling, with changes in receptor binding dwell-times affecting more profoundly STAT1 than STAT3 phosphorylation. We show that this differential signaling arises from defective translocation of ligand-gp130 complexes to the endosomal compartment and competitive STAT1/STAT3 binding to phospho-tyrosines in gp130, and results in unique patterns of STAT3 binding to chromatin. This leads to a graded gene expression response and differences in ex vivo differentiation of Th17, Th1 and Treg cells. These results provide a molecular understanding of signaling biased by cytokine receptors, and demonstrate that manipulation of signaling thresholds is a useful strategy to decouple cytokine functional pleiotropy.
Sequencing data have been deposited in GEO under accession number code: GSE130810
Kinetics of cytokine receptor trafficking determine signaling and functional selectivityNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE130810.
- Ignacio Moraga Gonzalez
- Jonathan Martinez-Fabregas
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Philippe IH Bastiaens, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Germany
© 2019, Martinez-Fabregas et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
T cells use kinetic proofreading to discriminate antigens by converting small changes in antigen-binding lifetime into large differences in cell activation, but where in the signaling cascade this computation is performed is unknown. Previously, we developed a light-gated immune receptor to probe the role of ligand kinetics in T cell antigen signaling. We found significant kinetic proofreading at the level of the signaling lipid diacylglycerol (DAG) but lacked the ability to determine where the multiple signaling steps required for kinetic discrimination originate in the upstream signaling cascade (Tiseher and Weiner, 2019). Here, we uncover where kinetic proofreading is executed by adapting our optogenetic system for robust activation of early signaling events. We find the strength of kinetic proofreading progressively increases from Zap70 recruitment to LAT clustering to downstream DAG generation. Leveraging the ability of our system to rapidly disengage ligand binding, we also measure slower reset rates for downstream signaling events. These data suggest a distributed kinetic proofreading mechanism, with proofreading steps both at the receptor and at slower resetting downstream signaling complexes that could help balance antigen sensitivity and discrimination.
The blood-brain barrier (BBB) limits the entry of leukocytes and potentially harmful substances from the circulation into the central nervous system (CNS). While BBB defects are a hallmark of many neurological disorders, the cellular heterogeneity at the neurovascular interface and the mechanisms governing neuroinflammation are not fully understood. Through single cell RNA sequencing of non-neuronal cell populations of the murine cerebral cortex during development, adulthood, ageing and neuroinflammation, we identify reactive endothelial venules (REVs), a compartment of specialised post-capillary endothelial cells (ECs) that are characterized by consistent expression of cell adhesion molecules, preferential leukocyte transmigration, association with perivascular macrophage populations, and endothelial activation initiating CNS immune responses. Our results provide novel insights into the heterogeneity of the cerebral vasculature and a useful resource for the molecular alterations associated with neuroinflammation and ageing.