Dysregulated cytokine expression by T cells plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. However, the identification of the corresponding pathogenic subpopulations is a challenge, since a distinction between physiological variation and a new quality in the expression of protein markers requires combinatorial evaluation. Here, we were able to identify a super-functional follicular helper T cell (Tfh)-like subpopulation in lupus-prone NZBxW mice with our binning approach "pattern recognition of immune cells (PRI)". PRI uncovered a subpopulation of IL-21+ IFN-ghigh PD-1low CD40Lhigh CXCR5- Bcl-6- T cells specifically expanded in diseased mice. In addition, these cells express high levels of TNF-a and IL-2, and provide B cell help for IgG production in an IL-21 and CD40L dependent manner. This super-functional T cell subset might be a superior driver of autoimmune processes due to a polyfunctional and high cytokine expression combined with Tfh-like properties.
- Ria Baumgrass
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: Animal experiments were approved by the local ethics committee LaGeSo (Landesamt für Gesundheit und Soziales) Berlin under animal experiment licenses T0187-01 and G0070/13.
- Bernard Malissen, Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, Aix Marseille Université, France
© 2020, Gryzik et al.
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The nucleus of higher eukaryotes is a highly compartmentalized and dynamic organelle consisting of several biomolecular condensates that regulate gene expression at multiple levels (Banani et al., 2017; Shin and Brangwynne, 2017). First reported more than 100 years ago by Ramón y Cajal, nuclear speckles (NS) are among the most prominent of such condensates (Spector and Lamond, 2011). Despite their prevalence, research on the function of NS is virtually restricted to colocalization analyses, since an organizing core, without which NS cannot form, remains unidentified (Chen and Belmont, 2019; Galganski et al., 2017). The monoclonal antibody SC35, which was raised against a spliceosomal extract, is a frequently used reagent to mark NS since its debut in 1990 (Fu and Maniatis, 1990). Unexpectedly, we found that this antibody has been misidentified and the main target of SC35 mAb is SRRM2, a large (~300 kDa), spliceosome-associated (Jia and Sun, 2018) protein with prominent intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) that sharply localizes to NS (Blencowe et al., 1994). Here we show that, the core of NS is likely formed by SON and SRRM2, since depletion of SON leads only to a partial disassembly of NS as reported previously (Ahn et al., 2011; Fei et al., 2017; Sharma et al., 2010), in contrast, combined depletion of SON together with SRRM2, but not other NS associated factors, or depletion of SON in a cell line where IDRs of SRRM2 are genetically deleted, leads to a near-complete dissolution of NS. This work, therefore, paves the way to study the role of NS under diverse physiological and stress conditions.
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