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Publication
Journal: Nature
February/1/2015
Abstract
T-cell immunoglobulin domain and mucin domain-3 (TIM-3, also known as HAVCR2) is an activation-induced inhibitory molecule involved in tolerance and shown to induce T-cell exhaustion in chronic viral infection and cancers. Under some conditions, TIM-3 expression has also been shown to be stimulatory. Considering that TIM-3, like cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death 1 (PD-1), is being targeted for cancer immunotherapy, it is important to identify the circumstances under which TIM-3 can inhibit and activate T-cell responses. Here we show that TIM-3 is co-expressed and forms a heterodimer with carcinoembryonic antigen cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1), another well-known molecule expressed on activated T cells and involved in T-cell inhibition. Biochemical, biophysical and X-ray crystallography studies show that the membrane-distal immunoglobulin-variable (IgV)-like amino-terminal domain of each is crucial to these interactions. The presence of CEACAM1 endows TIM-3 with inhibitory function. CEACAM1 facilitates the maturation and cell surface expression of TIM-3 by forming a heterodimeric interaction in cis through the highly related membrane-distal N-terminal domains of each molecule. CEACAM1 and TIM-3 also bind in trans through their N-terminal domains. Both cis and trans interactions between CEACAM1 and TIM-3 determine the tolerance-inducing function of TIM-3. In a mouse adoptive transfer colitis model, CEACAM1-deficient T cells are hyper-inflammatory with reduced cell surface expression of TIM-3 and regulatory cytokines, and this is restored by T-cell-specific CEACAM1 expression. During chronic viral infection and in a tumour environment, CEACAM1 and TIM-3 mark exhausted T cells. Co-blockade of CEACAM1 and TIM-3 leads to enhancement of anti-tumour immune responses with improved elimination of tumours in mouse colorectal cancer models. Thus, CEACAM1 serves as a heterophilic ligand for TIM-3 that is required for its ability to mediate T-cell inhibition, and this interaction has a crucial role in regulating autoimmunity and anti-tumour immunity.
Publication
Journal: Nature
June/17/2019
Abstract
Tumour-specific CD8 T cell dysfunction is a differentiation state that is distinct from the functional effector or memory T cell states1-6. Here we identify the nuclear factor TOX as a crucial regulator of the differentiation of tumour-specific T (TST) cells. We show that TOX is highly expressed in dysfunctional TST cells from tumours and in exhausted T cells during chronic viral infection. Expression of TOX is driven by chronic T cell receptor stimulation and NFAT activation. Ectopic expression of TOX in effector T cells in vitro induced a transcriptional program associated with T cell exhaustion. Conversely, deletion of Tox in TST cells in tumours abrogated the exhaustion program: Tox-deleted TST cells did not upregulate genes for inhibitory receptors (such as Pdcd1, Entpd1, Havcr2, Cd244 and Tigit), the chromatin of which remained largely inaccessible, and retained high expression of transcription factors such as TCF-1. Despite their normal, 'non-exhausted' immunophenotype, Tox-deleted TST cells remained dysfunctional, which suggests that the regulation of expression of inhibitory receptors is uncoupled from the loss of effector function. Notably, although Tox-deleted CD8 T cells differentiated normally to effector and memory states in response to acute infection, Tox-deleted TST cells failed to persist in tumours. We hypothesize that the TOX-induced exhaustion program serves to prevent the overstimulation of T cells and activation-induced cell death in settings of chronic antigen stimulation such as cancer.
Publication
Journal: Gastroenterology
December/3/2018
Abstract
T-cell exhaustion, or an impaired capacity to secrete cytokines and proliferate with overexpression of immune checkpoint receptors, occurs during chronic viral infections but has also been observed in tumors, including hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). We investigated features of exhaustion in CD8+ T cells isolated from HCC specimens.
We obtained HCC specimens, along with adjacent nontumor tissues and blood samples, from 90 patients who underwent surgical resection at Asan Medical Center (Seoul, Korea) from April 2016 through April 2018. Intrahepatic lymphocytes and tumor-infiltrating T cells were analyzed by flow cytometry. Tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells were sorted by flow cytometry into populations based on expression level of programmed cell death 1 (PDCD1 or PD1): PD1-high, PD1-intermediate, and PD1-negative. Sorted cells were analyzed by RNA sequencing. Proliferation and production of interferon gamma (IFNG) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) by CD8+ T cells were measured in response to anti-CD3 and antibodies against immune checkpoint receptors including PD1, hepatitis A virus cellular receptor 2 (HAVCR2 or TIM3), lymphocyte activating 3 (LAG3), or isotype control. Tumor-associated antigen-specific CD8+ T cells were identified using HLA-A*0201 dextramers. PDL1 expression on tumor tissue was assessed by immunohistochemistry.
PD1-high, PD1-intermediate, and PD1-negative CD8+ T cells from HCCs had distinct gene expression profiles. PD1-high cells expressed higher levels of genes that regulate T-cell exhaustion than PD1-intermediate cells. PD1-high cells expressed TIM3 and LAG3, and low proportions of TCF1+, TBEThigh/eomesoderminlow, and CD127+. PD1-high cells produced the lowest amounts of IFNG and TNF upon anti-CD3 stimulation. Differences in the PD1 expression patterns of CD8+ T cells led to the identification of 2 subgroups of HCCs: HCCs with a discrete population of PD1-high cells were more aggressive than HCCs without a discrete population of PD1-high cells. HCCs with a discrete population of PD1-high cells had higher levels of predictive biomarkers of response to anti-PD1 therapy. Incubation of CD8+ T cells from HCCs with a discrete population of PD1-high cells with antibodies against PD1 and TIM3 or LAG3 further restored proliferation and production of IFNG and TNF in response to anti-CD3.
We found HCC specimens to contain CD8+ T cells that express different levels of PD1. HCCs with a discrete population of PD1-high CD8+ T cells express TIM3 and/or LAG3 and produce low levels of IFNG and TNF in response to anti-CD3. Incubation of these cells with antibodies against PD1 and TIM3 or LAG3 further restore proliferation and production of cytokines; HCCs with a discrete population of PD1-high CD8+ T cells might be more susceptible to combined immune checkpoint blockade-based therapies.
Publication
Journal: Immunity
September/2/2013
Abstract
T cell activation plays a central role in immune response and in the maintenance of self-tolerance. We analyzed the evolutionary history of T cell regulatory molecules. Nine genes involved in triggering T cell activation or in regulating the ensuing response evolved adaptively in mammals. Several positively selected sites overlap with positions interacting with the binding partner or with cellular components. Population genetic analysis in humans revealed a complex scenario of local (FASLG, CD40LG, HAVCR2) and worldwide (FAS, ICOSLG) adaptation and H. sapiens-to-Neandertal gene flow (gene transfer between populations). Disease variants in these genes are preferential targets of pathogen-driven selection, and a Crohn's disease risk polymorphism targeted by bacterial-driven selection modulates the expression of ICOSLG in response to a bacterial superantigen. Therefore, we used evolutionary information to generate experimentally testable hypotheses concerning the function of specific genetic variants and indicate that adaptation to infection underlies the maintenance of autoimmune risk alleles.
Publication
Journal: American Journal of Pathology
October/28/2003
Abstract
The induction of organ-specific autoimmune diseases, such as experimental allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE) the principal animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), relies on the use of complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) emulsions. In this study we report that the physical structure of the particles comprising neuroantigen-CFA emulsions significantly influences the genetic control of the incidence and sexual dimorphism seen in EAE. Immunization of (B10.S/SgMcdJ x SJL/J) F(2) mice segregating the quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling EAE in susceptible SJL/J and resistant B10.S/SgMcdJ mice with emulsions consisting of particles where the Mycobacterium tuberculosis and neuroantigens are localized on the phase surfaces led to severe EAE in 98.8% of the mice, overriding all sex-specific and non-sex-specific genetic checkpoints. In contrast, F(2) mice immunized with emulsions where the bacterial products and encephalitogens are buried inside the water/oil vesicles exhibited a significant reduction in disease incidence (7.5%) and a sexual dimorphism (5% male versus 10% female). A genome scan identified QTL on chromosomes 7 and 11 controlling the sexual dimorphism as a function of the physical structure of the emulsion. The chromosome 11 QTL co-localizes with eae6b, and with Il12b and heptatitis A virus cellular receptor 2 (Havcr2, formerly known as Timd3), both of which are candidate genes for this QTL. Sequence analysis of the SJL/J and B10.S/SgMcdJ alleles indicates that both gene products are structurally monomorphic. Expression analysis also excluded both as candidates for this sex-specific QTL. These results reinforce the importance of gene-environment interactions in initiating and propagating autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, particularly in the context of susceptibility to MS and disease heterogeneity.