register interest

Professor Chris A O'Callaghan

Research Area: Immunology
Technology Exchange: Bioinformatics, Cellular immunology, Computational biology, Crystallography, Flow cytometry, Microscopy (Confocal), Protein interaction and Transcript profiling
Scientific Themes: Immunology & Infectious Disease and Physiology, Cellular & Molecular Biology
Keywords: innate immunity, molecular immunology, protein-protein interactions, surface plasmon resonance, crystallography and ligand identification
Web Links:
A crystal of pure CLEC-2 protein for structural studies.

A crystal of pure CLEC-2 protein for structural studies.

Fluorescence microscopy demonstrating the intracellular location of HLA-F.

Fluorescence microscopy demonstrating the intracellular location of HLA-F.

CLEC-2 is present on platelets and immune cells and the colours highlight the charged areas of the molecule that interact with its ligand.

CLEC-2 is present on platelets and immune cells and the colours highlight the charged areas of the ...

Our group is studying immunity and inflammation with a disease focus on atherosclerotic vascular disease. We are particularly interested in understanding the mechanisms underlying the immune/inflammatory aspects of the disease process with a view to identifying new approaches to treatment. We use a wide range of techniques including molecular and cellular biology, immunological assays, fluorescence techniques, recombinant protein production, structural biology, next generation sequencing and epigenetic analysis.

Name Department Institution Country
Professor Richard J Cornall FMedSci FRCP Centre for Cellular and Molecular Physiology Oxford University, Henry Wellcome Building for Molecular Physiology United Kingdom
Pamela Bjorkman California Institute for Technology (Caltech) United States
Steve Watson University of Birmingham United Kingdom
Professor Paul Klenerman Experimental Medicine Division Oxford University, Peter Medawar Building United Kingdom
Johannes Eble University of Frankfurt Germany
Professor Benedikt M Kessler Target Discovery Institute Oxford University, NDM Research Building United Kingdom
Professor Paul Moss University of Birmingham United Kingdom
Del Besra University of Birmingham United Kingdom
Professor Thue Schwartz University of Copenhagen Denmark
Prof David Greaves (RDM) Univesity of Oxford, Dunn School of Pathology United Kingdom
Professor Claudia Monaco University of Oxford United Kingdom
Reschen ME, Lin D, Chalisey A, Soilleux EJ, O'Callaghan CA. 2016. Genetic and environmental risk factors for atherosclerosis regulate transcription of phosphatase and actin regulating gene PHACTR1. Atherosclerosis, 250 pp. 95-105. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Coronary artery disease (CAD) risk is associated with non-coding genetic variants at the phosphatase and actin regulating protein 1(PHACTR1) gene locus. The PHACTR1 gene encodes an actin-binding protein with phosphatase regulating activity. The mechanism whereby PHACTR1 influences CAD risk is unknown. We hypothesized that PHACTR1 would be expressed in human cell types relevant to CAD and regulated by atherogenic or genetic factors. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrate that PHACTR1 protein is expressed strongly in human atherosclerotic plaque macrophages, lipid-laden foam cells, adventitial lymphocytes and endothelial cells. Using a combination of genomic analysis and molecular techniques, we demonstrate that PHACTR1 is expressed as multiple previously uncharacterized transcripts in macrophages, foam cells, lymphocytes and endothelial cells. Immunoblotting confirmed a total absence of PHACTR1 in vascular smooth muscle cells. Real-time quantitative PCR showed that PHACTR1 is regulated by atherogenic and inflammatory stimuli. In aortic endothelial cells, oxLDL and TNF-alpha both upregulated an intermediate length transcript. A short transcript expressed only in immune cells was upregulated in macrophages by oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and oxidized phospholipids but suppressed by lipopolysaccharide or TNF-alpha. In primary human macrophages, we identified a novel expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) specific for this short transcript, whereby the risk allele at CAD risk SNP rs9349379 is associated with reduced PHACTR1 expression, similar to the effect of an inflammatory stimulus. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that PHACTR1 is a key atherosclerosis candidate gene since it is regulated by atherogenic stimuli in macrophages and endothelial cells and we identify an effect of the genetic risk variant on PHACTR1 expression in macrophages that is similar to that of an inflammatory stimulus.

Gaulton KJ, Ferreira T, Lee Y, Raimondo A, Mägi R, Reschen ME, Mahajan A, Locke A et al. 2015. Genetic fine mapping and genomic annotation defines causal mechanisms at type 2 diabetes susceptibility loci. Nat Genet, 47 (12), pp. 1415-1425. | Show Abstract | Read more

We performed fine mapping of 39 established type 2 diabetes (T2D) loci in 27,206 cases and 57,574 controls of European ancestry. We identified 49 distinct association signals at these loci, including five mapping in or near KCNQ1. 'Credible sets' of the variants most likely to drive each distinct signal mapped predominantly to noncoding sequence, implying that association with T2D is mediated through gene regulation. Credible set variants were enriched for overlap with FOXA2 chromatin immunoprecipitation binding sites in human islet and liver cells, including at MTNR1B, where fine mapping implicated rs10830963 as driving T2D association. We confirmed that the T2D risk allele for this SNP increases FOXA2-bound enhancer activity in islet- and liver-derived cells. We observed allele-specific differences in NEUROD1 binding in islet-derived cells, consistent with evidence that the T2D risk allele increases islet MTNR1B expression. Our study demonstrates how integration of genetic and genomic information can define molecular mechanisms through which variants underlying association signals exert their effects on disease.

Dahlmann F, Biedenkopf N, Babler A, Jahnen-Dechent W, Karsten CB, Gnirß K, Schneider H, Wrensch F et al. 2015. Analysis of Ebola Virus Entry Into Macrophages. J Infect Dis, 212 Suppl 2 (suppl 2), pp. S247-S257. | Show Abstract | Read more

Ebolaviruses constitute a public health threat, particularly in Central and Western Africa. Host cell factors required for spread of ebolaviruses may serve as targets for antiviral intervention. Lectins, TAM receptor tyrosine kinases (Tyro3, Axl, Mer), T cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain (TIM) proteins, integrins, and Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) have been reported to promote entry of ebolaviruses into certain cellular systems. However, the factors used by ebolaviruses to invade macrophages, major viral targets, are poorly defined. Here, we show that mannose-specific lectins, TIM-1 and Axl augment entry into certain cell lines but do not contribute to Ebola virus (EBOV)-glycoprotein (GP)-driven transduction of macrophages. In contrast, expression of Mer, integrin αV, and NPC1 was required for efficient GP-mediated transduction and EBOV infection of macrophages. These results define cellular factors hijacked by EBOV for entry into macrophages and, considering that Mer and integrin αV promote phagocytosis of apoptotic cells, support the concept that EBOV relies on apoptotic mimicry to invade target cells.

Alshehri OM, Montague S, Watson S, Carter P, Sarker N, Manne BK, Miller JL, Herr AB et al. 2015. Activation of glycoprotein VI (GPVI) and C-type lectin-like receptor-2 (CLEC-2) underlies platelet activation by diesel exhaust particles and other charged/hydrophobic ligands. Biochem J, 468 (3), pp. 459-473. | Show Abstract | Read more

Platelets are activated by a range of stimuli that share little or no resemblance in structure to each other or to recognized ligands, including diesel exhaust particles (DEP), small peptides [4N1-1, Champs (computed helical anti-membrane proteins), LSARLAF (Leu-Ser-Ala-Arg-Leu-Ala-Phe)], proteins (histones) and large polysaccharides (fucoidan, dextran sulfate). This miscellaneous group stimulate aggregation of human and mouse platelets through the glycoprotein VI (GPVI)-FcR γ-chain complex and/or C-type lectin-like receptor-2 (CLEC-2) as shown using platelets from mice deficient in either or both of these receptors. In addition, all of these ligands stimulate tyrosine phosphorylation in GPVI/CLEC-2-double-deficient platelets, indicating that they bind to additional surface receptors, although only in the case of dextran sulfate does this lead to activation. DEP, fucoidan and dextran sulfate, but not the other agonists, activate GPVI and CLEC-2 in transfected cell lines as shown using a sensitive reporter assay confirming a direct interaction with the two receptors. We conclude that this miscellaneous group of ligands bind to multiple proteins on the cell surface including GPVI and/or CLEC-2, inducing activation. These results have pathophysiological significance in a variety of conditions that involve exposure to activating charged/hydrophobic agents.

Reschen ME, Gaulton KJ, Lin D, Soilleux EJ, Morris AJ, Smyth SS, O'Callaghan CA. 2015. Lipid-induced epigenomic changes in human macrophages identify a coronary artery disease-associated variant that regulates PPAP2B Expression through Altered C/EBP-beta binding. PLoS Genet, 11 (4), pp. e1005061. | Show Abstract | Read more

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over 40 loci that affect risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and the causal mechanisms at the majority of loci are unknown. Recent studies have suggested that many causal GWAS variants influence disease through altered transcriptional regulation in disease-relevant cell types. We explored changes in transcriptional regulation during a key pathophysiological event in CAD, the environmental lipid-induced transformation of macrophages to lipid-laden foam cells. We used a combination of open chromatin mapping with formaldehyde-assisted isolation of regulatory elements (FAIRE-seq) and enhancer and transcription factor mapping using chromatin immuno-precipitation (ChIP-seq) in primary human macrophages before and after exposure to atherogenic oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), with resultant foam cell formation. OxLDL-induced foam cell formation was associated with changes in a subset of open chromatin and active enhancer sites that strongly correlated with expression changes of nearby genes. OxLDL-regulated enhancers were enriched for several transcription factors including C/EBP-beta, which has no previously documented role in foam cell formation. OxLDL exposure up-regulated C/EBP-beta expression and increased genomic binding events, most prominently around genes involved in inflammatory response pathways. Variants at CAD-associated loci were significantly and specifically enriched in the subset of chromatin sites altered by oxLDL exposure, including rs72664324 in an oxLDL-induced enhancer at the PPAP2B locus. OxLDL increased C/EBP beta binding to this site and C/EBP beta binding and enhancer activity were stronger with the protective A allele of rs72664324. In addition, expression of the PPAP2B protein product LPP3 was present in foam cells in human atherosclerotic plaques and oxLDL exposure up-regulated LPP3 in macrophages resulting in increased degradation of pro-inflammatory mediators. Our results demonstrate a genetic mechanism contributing to CAD risk at the PPAP2B locus and highlight the value of studying epigenetic changes in disease processes involving pathogenic environmental stimuli.

O'Callaghan CA. 2014. OxMaR: open source free software for online minimization and randomization for clinical trials. PLoS One, 9 (10), pp. e110761. | Show Abstract | Read more

Minimization is a valuable method for allocating participants between the control and experimental arms of clinical studies. The use of minimization reduces differences that might arise by chance between the study arms in the distribution of patient characteristics such as gender, ethnicity and age. However, unlike randomization, minimization requires real time assessment of each new participant with respect to the preceding distribution of relevant participant characteristics within the different arms of the study. For multi-site studies, this necessitates centralized computational analysis that is shared between all study locations. Unfortunately, there is no suitable freely available open source or free software that can be used for this purpose. OxMaR was developed to enable researchers in any location to use minimization for patient allocation and to access the minimization algorithm using any device that can connect to the internet such as a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone. The software is complete in itself and requires no special packages or libraries to be installed. It is simple to set up and run over the internet using online facilities which are very low cost or even free to the user. Importantly, it provides real time information on allocation to the study lead or administrator and generates real time distributed backups with each allocation. OxMaR can readily be modified and customised and can also be used for standard randomization. It has been extensively tested and has been used successfully in a low budget multi-centre study. Hitherto, the logistical difficulties involved in minimization have precluded its use in many small studies and this software should allow more widespread use of minimization which should lead to studies with better matched control and experimental arms. OxMaR should be particularly valuable in low resource settings.

McCarthy MT, O'Callaghan CA. 2014. PeaKDEck: a kernel density estimator-based peak calling program for DNaseI-seq data. Bioinformatics, 30 (9), pp. 1302-1304. | Show Abstract | Read more

Hypersensitivity to DNaseI digestion is a hallmark of open chromatin, and DNaseI-seq allows the genome-wide identification of regions of open chromatin. Interpreting these data is challenging, largely because of inherent variation in signal-to-noise ratio between datasets. We have developed PeaKDEck, a peak calling program that distinguishes signal from noise by randomly sampling read densities and using kernel density estimation to generate a dataset-specific probability distribution of random background signal. PeaKDEck uses this probability distribution to select an appropriate read density threshold for peak calling in each dataset. We benchmark PeaKDEck using published ENCODE DNaseI-seq data and other peak calling programs, and demonstrate superior performance in low signal-to-noise ratio datasets.

McCarthy MT, O'Callaghan CA. 2014. Solid-phase plate-reader quantification of specific PCR products by measurement of band-specific ethidium bromide fluorescence. Anal Biochem, 447 (1), pp. 30-32. | Show Abstract | Read more

Real-time PCR is widely employed to quantify PCR products across a range of applications. However, accurate real-time PCR is not always technically feasible, and alternative methods for PCR product quantification can be expensive and time consuming to validate. We have developed an inexpensive, rapid, and immediately accessible protocol to quantify PCR products, by measuring ethidium bromide fluorescence of PCR products excised from agarose gels. This protocol has relevance to a broad range of methods in molecular biology where quantification of PCR products is necessary.

Hughes CE, Sinha U, Pandey A, Eble JA, O'Callaghan CA, Watson SP. 2013. Critical Role for an acidic amino acid region in platelet signaling by the HemITAM (hemi-immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif) containing receptor CLEC-2 (C-type lectin receptor-2). J Biol Chem, 288 (7), pp. 5127-5135. | Show Abstract | Read more

CLEC-2 is a member of new family of C-type lectin receptors characterized by a cytosolic YXXL downstream of three acidic amino acids in a sequence known as a hemITAM (hemi-immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif). Dimerization of two phosphorylated CLEC-2 molecules leads to recruitment of the tyrosine kinase Syk via its tandem SH2 domains and initiation of a downstream signaling cascade. Using Syk-deficient and Zap-70-deficient cell lines we show that hemITAM signaling is restricted to Syk and that the upstream triacidic amino acid sequence is required for signaling. Using surface plasmon resonance and phosphorylation studies, we demonstrate that the triacidic amino acids are required for phosphorylation of the YXXL. These results further emphasize the distinct nature of the proximal events in signaling by hemITAM relative to ITAM receptors.

van Gelder VA, Scherpbier-de Haan ND, de Grauw WJ, O'Callaghan CA, Wetzels JF, Lasserson DS. 2013. Impact on cardiovascular risk follow-up from a shift to the CKD-EPI formula for eGFR reporting: a cross-sectional population-based primary care study. BMJ Open, 3 (9), pp. e003631. | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact on cardiovascular risk factor management in primary care by the introduction of chronic kidney disease epidemiological collaboration (CKD-EPI) for estimated-glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) reporting. DESIGN AND SETTING: Cross-sectional study of routine healthcare provision in 47 primary care practices in The Netherlands with Modification of Diet and Renal Disease Study eGFR reporting. METHODS: eGFR values were recalculated using CKD-EPI in patients with available creatine tests. Patients reclassified from CKD stage 3a to CKD stage 2 eGFR range were compared to those who remained in stage 3a for differences in demographic variables, blood pressure, comorbidity, medication usage and laboratory results. RESULTS: Among the 60 673 adult patients (37% of adult population) with creatine values, applying the CKD-EPI equation resulted in a 16% net reduction in patients with CKD stage 3 or worse. Patients reclassified from stage 3a to 2 had lower systolic blood pressure (139.7 vs 143.3 mm Hg p<0.0001), higher diastolic blood pressure (81.5 vs 78.4 mm Hg p<0.0001) and higher cholesterol (5.4 vs 5.1 mmol/L p<0.0001) compared to those who remained in stage 3a. Of those reclassified out of a CKD diagnosis 463 (32%) had no comorbidities that would qualify for annual CVD risk factor assessment and 20 (12% of those with sufficient data) had a EuroSCORE CVD risk >20% within 10 years. CONCLUSIONS: Use of the CKD-EPI equation will result in many patients being removed from CKD registers and the associated follow-up. Current risk factor assessment in this group may be lacking from routine data and some patients within this group are at an increased risk for cardiovascular events.

Hill NR, Lasserson D, Fatoba S, O'Callaghan CA, Pugh C, Perera-Salazar R, Shine B, Thompson B, Wolstenholme J, McManus R, Hobbs FD. 2013. The Oxford Renal (OxRen) cross-sectional study of chronic kidney disease in the UK. BMJ Open, 3 (12), pp. e004265. | Show Abstract | Read more

INTRODUCTION: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) diagnosed with objective measures of kidney damage and function has been recognised as a major public health burden. Independent of age, sex, ethnicity and comorbidity, strong associations exist between cardiovascular disease, mortality, morbidity and CKD, defined by reduced glomerular filtration rate and increased urinary albumin excretion. Detection of CKD within the population is therefore a priority for health systems. METHODS AND ANALYSIS: 15 000 patients aged 60 years or over meeting the inclusion criteria will be invited to the study. Recruitment will be stratified to represent the distribution of socioeconomic position in the UK general population. Patients will be excluded if terminally ill (expected survival <1 year), or if they have received a solid organ transplant. Patients will attend up to two screening visits, to determine if they have CKD, followed by an assessment visit where demographic and physiological parameters will be recorded alongside questionnaires on exercise, diet, cognitive assessment and quality of life. Blood and urine specimens will be taken for immediate routine assays as well as for freezing pending peptide and genetic studies. Patients will have office and home blood pressure measurements as well as pulse wave velocity assessment. Healthcare costs of screening and subsequent monitoring will be calculated. ETHICS AND DISSEMINATION: The protocol and related documents have been approved by NRES Committee South Central-Oxford B-Reference 13/SC/0020.

Lasserson DS, de Haan NS, Wetzels JFM, de Grauw WJC, van Gelder VA, Biermans MCJ, van Weel C, O'Callaghan CA. 2013. Stroke risk markers of blood pressure variability: associations with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) and identification in primary care CEREBROVASCULAR DISEASES, 35 pp. 119-120.

Reschen M, Kini U, Hood RL, Boycott KM, Hurst J, O'Callaghan CA. 2012. Floating-Harbor syndrome and polycystic kidneys associated with SRCAP mutation. Am J Med Genet A, 158A (12), pp. 3196-3200. | Show Abstract | Read more

Floating-Harbor syndrome (FHS) is a rare genetic disorder recently shown to be caused by mutations in the Snf2-related CREB-binding protein activator protein gene (SRCAP). It comprises three key clinical features of characteristic facies, expressive and receptive speech impairment and short stature. We report on a patient with this syndrome associated with early adult-onset hypertension and bilateral polycystic kidneys. Family screening for polycystic kidney disease was negative and mutations in polycystic kidney disease 1 and 2 genes (PKD1 and PKD2) were absent. Sequencing of the SRCAP gene demonstrated a de novo mutation matching one of the known FHS-associated mutations. The patient required treatment with anti-hypertensives and will require lifelong renal monitoring. We suggest this patient's presentation may be due to the pleiotropic effects of SRCAP mutations. Further, the protein encoded by SRCAP is known to interact with CREB-binding protein, the product of the gene mutated in Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, which is associated with renal abnormalities. A literature review of the renal findings in patients with Floating-Harbor syndrome identified another patient with possible polycystic kidneys, two patients with early onset hypertension, and a young patient with a ruptured intracranial aneurysm, which can be a feature of classic adult polycystic kidney disease. Collectively, these findings suggest that all patients with Floating-Harbor syndrome should undergo regular blood pressure monitoring and screening for polycystic kidneys by ultrasound at the time of the FHS diagnosis with imaging to be repeated during adulthood if a childhood ultrasound was negative.

Lin D, Lavender H, Soilleux EJ, O'Callaghan CA. 2012. NF-κB regulates MICA gene transcription in endothelial cell through a genetically inhibitable control site. J Biol Chem, 287 (6), pp. 4299-4310. | Show Abstract | Read more

Endothelial cells form a barrier between blood and the underlying vessel wall, which characteristically demonstrates inflammatory damage in atherosclerotic disease. MICA is a highly polymorphic ligand for the activating immune receptor NKG2D and can be expressed on endothelial cells. We hypothesized that damaged vessel walls, such as those involved in atherosclerosis, might express MICA, which could contribute to the vascular immunopathology. Immune activation resulting from MICA expression could play a significant role in the development of vascular damage. We have demonstrated that TNFα up-regulates MICA on human endothelial cells. The up-regulation is mediated by NF-κB, and we have defined the regulatory control site responsible for this at -130 bp upstream of the MICA transcription start site. This site overlaps with a heat shock response element and integrates input from the two pathways. We have shown that in atherosclerotic lesions there is expression of MICA on endothelial cells. Using lentivirus-mediated gene delivery in primary human endothelial cells, we were able to inhibit the MICA response to TNFα with a truncated HSF1 that lacked a transactivation domain. This highlights the potential for transcription-based therapeutic approaches in atherosclerotic vascular disease to reduce immune-mediated endothelial and vessel wall damage.

Watson AA, Christou CM, O'Callaghan CA. 2011. Expression, purification and crystallization of the human UL16-binding protein ULBP1. Protein Expr Purif, 79 (1), pp. 44-48. | Show Abstract | Read more

UL16-binding proteins (ULBPs) are markers of cellular stress which are upregulated on the surface of virus-infected and tumor cells. Recognition of ULBP1 by the activating receptor NKG2D on the surface of cytotoxic natural killer (NK) and T cells promotes lysis of cells expressing ULBP1 and is an important mechanism of immune surveillance. We report a robust method for the generation of large quantities of crystal-grade recombinant ULBP1 protein. The extracellular portion of human ULBP1 was cloned into a T7 expression vector for expression in Escherichia coli. Unpaired cysteines in the sequence which are predicted not to be involved in the intramolecular disulfide bond formation were mutated to serine. ULBP1 was expressed in E. coli BL21 (DE3) pLysS cells as inclusion bodies. Purified inclusion bodies were solubilized by denaturation in guanidine, and refolded by slow dilution. The refolded protein was purified by size exclusion gel filtration and anion exchange chromatography. Furthermore, we have identified conditions optimal for the crystallization of this protein and have obtained initial diffraction data to 4.6Å from these crystals.

Watson AA, Lebedev AA, Hall BA, Fenton-May AE, Vagin AA, Dejnirattisai W, Felce J, Mongkolsapaya J et al. 2011. Structural flexibility of the macrophage dengue virus receptor CLEC5A: implications for ligand binding and signaling. J Biol Chem, 286 (27), pp. 24208-24218. | Show Abstract | Read more

The human C-type lectin-like molecule CLEC5A is a critical macrophage receptor for dengue virus. The binding of dengue virus to CLEC5A triggers signaling through the associated adapter molecule DAP12, stimulating proinflammatory cytokine release. We have crystallized an informative ensemble of CLEC5A structural conformers at 1.9-Å resolution and demonstrate how an on-off extension to a β-sheet acts as a binary switch regulating the flexibility of the molecule. This structural information together with molecular dynamics simulations suggests a mechanism whereby extracellular events may be transmitted through the membrane and influence DAP12 signaling. We demonstrate that CLEC5A is homodimeric at the cell surface and binds to dengue virus serotypes 1-4. We used blotting experiments, surface analyses, glycan microarray, and docking studies to investigate the ligand binding potential of CLEC5A with particular respect to dengue virus. This study provides a rational foundation for understanding the dengue virus-macrophage interaction and the role of CLEC5A in dengue virus-induced lethal disease.

Chakera A, Bennett S, Lawrence S, Morteau O, Mason PD, O'Callaghan CA, Cornall RJ. 2011. Antigen-specific T cell responses to BK polyomavirus antigens identify functional anti-viral immunity and may help to guide immunosuppression following renal transplantation. Clin Exp Immunol, 165 (3), pp. 401-409. | Show Abstract | Read more

Infection with the polyoma virus BK (BKV) is a major cause of morbidity following renal transplantation. Limited understanding of the anti-viral immune response has prevented the design of a strategy that balances treatment with the preservation of graft function. The proven utility of interferon-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays to measure T cell responses in immunocompetent hosts was the basis for trying to develop a rational approach to the management of BKV following renal transplantation. In a sample of transplant recipients and healthy controls, comparisons were made between T cell responses to the complete panel of BKV antigens, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antigens, BZLF1 and EBNA1, and the mitogen phytohaemagglutinin (PHA). Correlations between responses to individual antigens and immunosuppressive regimens were also analysed. Antigen-specific T cell responses were a specific indicator of recent or ongoing recovery from BKV infection (P < 0·05), with responses to different BKV antigens being highly heterogeneous. Significant BKV immunity was undetectable in transplant patients with persistent viral replication or no history of BKV reactivation. Responses to EBV antigens and mitogen were reduced in patients with BKV reactivation, but these differences were not statistically significant. The T cell response to BKV antigens is a useful and specific guide to recovery from BKV reactivation in renal transplant recipients, provided that the full range of antigenic responses is measured.

Mora-Montes HM, Netea MG, Ferwerda G, Lenardon MD, Brown GD, Mistry AR, Kullberg BJ, O'Callaghan CA et al. 2011. Recognition and blocking of innate immunity cells by Candida albicans chitin. Infect Immun, 79 (5), pp. 1961-1970. | Show Abstract | Read more

Chitin is a skeletal cell wall polysaccharide of the inner cell wall of fungal pathogens. As yet, little about its role during fungus-host immune cell interactions is known. We show here that ultrapurified chitin from Candida albicans cell walls did not stimulate cytokine production directly but blocked the recognition of C. albicans by human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and murine macrophages, leading to significant reductions in cytokine production. Chitin did not affect the induction of cytokines stimulated by bacterial cells or lipopolysaccharide (LPS), indicating that blocking was not due to steric masking of specific receptors. Toll-like receptor 2 (TLR2), TLR4, and Mincle (the macrophage-inducible C-type lectin) were not required for interactions with chitin. Dectin-1 was required for immune blocking but did not bind chitin directly. Cytokine stimulation was significantly reduced upon stimulation of PBMCs with heat-killed chitin-deficient C. albicans cells but not with live cells. Therefore, chitin is normally not exposed to cells of the innate immune system but is capable of influencing immune recognition by blocking dectin-1-mediated engagement with fungal cell walls.

Watson AA, Christou CM, O'Callaghan CA. 2011. Expression, purification and crystallization of the human UL16-binding protein ULBP1 Protein Expression and Purification, 79 (1), pp. 44-48. | Show Abstract | Read more

UL16-binding proteins (ULBPs) are markers of cellular stress which are upregulated on the surface of virus-infected and tumor cells. Recognition of ULBP1 by the activating receptor NKG2D on the surface of cytotoxic natural killer (NK) and T cells promotes lysis of cells expressing ULBP1 and is an important mechanism of immune surveillance. We report a robust method for the generation of large quantities of crystal-grade recombinant ULBP1 protein. The extracellular portion of human ULBP1 was cloned into a T7 expression vector for expression in Escherichia coli. Unpaired cysteines in the sequence which are predicted not to be involved in the intramolecular disulfide bond formation were mutated to serine. ULBP1 was expressed in E. coli BL21 (DE3) pLysS cells as inclusion bodies. Purified inclusion bodies were solubilized by denaturation in guanidine, and refolded by slow dilution. The refolded protein was purified by size exclusion gel filtration and anion exchange chromatography. Furthermore, we have identified conditions optimal for the crystallization of this protein and have obtained initial diffraction data to 4.6 Å from these crystals. © 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Chakera A, Bennett S, Lawrence S, Morteau O, Mason PD, O'Callaghan CA, Cornall RJ. 2011. Antigen-specific T cell responses to BK polyomavirus antigens identify functional anti-viral immunity and may help to guide immunosuppression following renal transplantation Clinical and Experimental Immunology, 165 (3), pp. 401-409. | Show Abstract | Read more

Infection with the polyoma virus BK (BKV) is a major cause of morbidity following renal transplantation. Limited understanding of the anti-viral immune response has prevented the design of a strategy that balances treatment with the preservation of graft function. The proven utility of interferon-gamma enzyme-linked immunospot (ELISPOT) assays to measure T cell responses in immunocompetent hosts was the basis for trying to develop a rational approach to the management of BKV following renal transplantation. In a sample of transplant recipients and healthy controls, comparisons were made between T cell responses to the complete panel of BKV antigens, the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) antigens, BZLF1 and EBNA1, and the mitogen phytohaemagglutinin (PHA). Correlations between responses to individual antigens and immunosuppressive regimens were also analysed. Antigen-specific T cell responses were a specific indicator of recent or ongoing recovery from BKV infection (P<0·05), with responses to different BKV antigens being highly heterogeneous. Significant BKV immunity was undetectable in transplant patients with persistent viral replication or no history of BKV reactivation. Responses to EBV antigens and mitogen were reduced in patients with BKV reactivation, but these differences were not statistically significant. The T cell response to BKV antigens is a useful and specific guide to recovery from BKV reactivation in renal transplant recipients, provided that the full range of antigenic responses is measured. © 2011 The Authors. Clinical and Experimental Immunology © 2011 British Society for Immunology.

Watson AA, Lebedev AA, Hall BA, Fenton-May AE, Vagin AA, Dejnirattisai W, Felce J, Mongkolsapaya J et al. 2011. Structural flexibility of the macrophage dengue virus receptor CLEC5A: Implications for ligand binding and signaling Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286 (27), pp. 24208-24218. | Show Abstract | Read more

The human C-type lectin-like molecule CLEC5A is a critical macrophage receptor for dengue virus. The binding of dengue virus to CLEC5A triggers signaling through the associated adapter molecule DAP12, stimulating proinflammatory cytokine release. We have crystallized an informative ensemble of CLEC5A structural conformers at 1.9-Å resolution and demonstrate how an on-off extension to a β-sheet acts as a binary switch regulating the flexibility of the molecule. This structural information together with molecular dynamics simulations suggests a mechanism whereby extracellular events may be transmitted through the membrane and influence DAP12 signaling. We demonstrate that CLEC5A is homodimeric at the cell surface and binds to dengue virus serotypes 1-4. We used blotting experiments, surface analyses, glycan microarray, and docking studies to investigate the ligand binding potential of CLEC5A with particular respect to dengue virus. This study provides a rational foundation for understanding the dengue virus-macrophage interaction and the role of CLEC5A in dengue virus-induced lethal disease. © 2011 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Watson AA, O'Callaghan CA. 2011. Molecular analysis of the interaction of the snake venom rhodocytin with the platelet receptor CLEC-2. Toxins (Basel), 3 (8), pp. 991-1003. | Show Abstract | Read more

The Malayan pit viper, Calloselasma rhodostoma, produces a potent venom toxin, rhodocytin (aggretin) which causes platelet aggregation. Rhodocytin is a ligand for the receptor CLEC-2 on the surface of platelets. The interaction of these two molecules initiates a signaling pathway which results in platelet activation and aggregation. We have previously solved the crystal structures of CLEC-2 and of rhodocytin, and have proposed models by which tetrameric rhodocytin may interact with either two monomers of CLEC-2, or with one or two copies of dimeric CLEC-2. In the current study we use a range of approaches to analyze the molecular interfaces and dynamics involved in the models of the interaction of rhodocytin with either one or two copies of dimeric CLEC-2, and their implications for clustering of CLEC-2 on the platelet surface.

O'Callaghan CA, Shine B, Lasserson DS. 2011. Chronic kidney disease: a large-scale population-based study of the effects of introducing the CKD-EPI formula for eGFR reporting. BMJ Open, 1 (2), pp. e000308. | Show Abstract | Read more

Objective To evaluate the effects of introducing the Chronic Kidney Disease-Epidemiology Collaboration (CKD-EPI) formula for estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) reporting in the adult population in routine clinical practice with clinician-directed testing. Design Retrospective study of all creatinine measurements and calculation of eGFRs using Modification of Diet in Renal Disease (MDRD) and CKD-EPI formulae. Setting General population, Oxfordshire, UK. Participants An unselected population of around 660 000. Interventions Reporting of eGFRs using MDRD or CKD-EPI formulae. Primary and secondary outcome measures Evaluation of the effects of the CKD-EPI formula on the prevalence of different stages of chronic kidney disease (CKD). Results The CKD-EPI formula reduced the prevalence of CKD (stages 2-5) by 16.4% in patients tested in primary care. At the important stage 2-stage 3 cut-off, there was a relative reduction of 7.5% in the prevalence of CKD stages 3-5 from 15.7% to 14.5%. The CKD-EPI formula reduced the prevalence of CKD stages 3-5 in those aged <70 but increased it at ages >70. Above 70 years, the prevalence of stages 3-5 was similar with both equations for women (around 41.2%) but rose in men from 33.3% to 35.5%. CKD stages 4-5 rose by 15% due exclusively to increases in the over 70s, which could increase specialist referral rates. The CKD classification of 18.3% of all individuals who had a creatinine measurement was altered by a change from the MDRD to the CKD-EPI formula. In the UK population, the classification of up to 3 million patients could be altered, the prevalence of CKD could be reduced by up to 1.9 million and the prevalence of CKD stages 3-5 could fall by around 200 000. Conclusions Introduction of the CKD-EPI formula for eGFR reporting will reduce the prevalence of CKD in a primary care setting with current testing practice but will raise the prevalence in the over 70s age group. This has implications for clinical practice, healthcare policy and current prevalence-based funding arrangements.

Chakera A, Leslie T, Roberts I, O'Callaghan CA, Cranston D. 2010. A lucky fall? Case report. Transplant Proc, 42 (9), pp. 3883-3886. | Show Abstract | Read more

Renal cell carcinomas (RCCs) account for 3% of all solid neoplasms, with an increased incidence after renal transplantation. In transplant recipients, RCCs predominantly occur in the patient's native kidneys. Herein is reported a case of a localized RCC of recipient origin that developed in the donor allograft and was detected 8 years after renal transplantation. Treatment with high-intensity focussed ultrasound followed by partial nephrectomy was successful, averting the need for dialysis therapy.

Antoun A, Jobson S, Cook M, O'Callaghan CA, Moss P, Briggs DC. 2010. Single nucleotide polymorphism analysis of the NKG2D ligand cluster on the long arm of chromosome 6: Extensive polymorphisms and evidence of diversity between human populations. Hum Immunol, 71 (6), pp. 610-620. | Show Abstract | Read more

NKG2D is an important activating receptor on NK cells and T-cells and has a diverse panel of ligands (NKG2DL) which include the ULBP and RAET1 proteins. Several NKG2DL exhibit a considerable degree of genetic polymorphism, and although the functional significance of such allelic variation remains unclear, genetic variants have been implicated in susceptibility to infection and auto-immune disease. We used sequence-specific primer polymerase chain reaction to determine the frequency of 25 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the promoter and coding regions of genes of the RAET1/ULBP cluster in 223 Euro-Caucasoid, 60 Afro-Caribbean, and 52 Indo-Asian individuals to determine NKG2DL allele and haplotype frequencies within these populations. We show marked differences in the frequency of NKG2DL SNPs and haplotypes among the three ethnic groups, and certain haplotypes were observed almost exclusively in Afro-Caribbean compared with the Euro-Caucasoid and Indo-Asian populations. Interestingly, variation was focused within the RAET1E (ULBP4), RAET1L, and ULBP3 genes, whereas the ULBP1, ULBP2 and RAET1G (ULBP5) genes were highly conserved. These findings suggest that individual NKG2DL alleles have been subject to divergent selective pressures during the migration of Homo sapiens. This information will be of importance in understanding the biology and clinical significance of NKG2DL polymorphism.

Hughes CE, Pollitt AY, Mori J, Eble JA, Tomlinson MG, Hartwig JH, O'Callaghan CA, Fütterer K, Watson SP. 2010. CLEC-2 activates Syk through dimerization. Blood, 115 (14), pp. 2947-2955. | Show Abstract | Read more

The C-type lectin receptor CLEC-2 activates platelets through Src and Syk tyrosine kinases, leading to tyrosine phosphorylation of downstream adapter proteins and effector enzymes, including phospholipase-C gamma2. Signaling is initiated through phosphorylation of a single conserved tyrosine located in a YxxL sequence in the CLEC-2 cytosolic tail. The signaling pathway used by CLEC-2 shares many similarities with that used by receptors that have 1 or more copies of an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif, defined by the sequence Yxx(L/I)x(6-12)Yxx(L/I), in their cytosolic tails or associated receptor chains. Phosphorylation of the conserved immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif tyrosines promotes Syk binding and activation through binding of the Syk tandem SH2 domains. In this report, we present evidence using peptide pull-down studies, surface plasmon resonance, quantitative Western blotting, tryptophan fluorescence measurements, and competition experiments that Syk activation by CLEC-2 is mediated by the cross-linking through the tandem SH2 domains with a stoichiometry of 2:1. In support of this model, cross-linking and electron microscopy demonstrate that CLEC-2 is present as a dimer in resting platelets and converted to larger complexes on activation. This is a unique mode of activation of Syk by a single YxxL-containing receptor.

Watson AA, O'Callaghan CA. 2010. Crystallization and X-ray diffraction analysis of human CLEC5A (MDL-1), a dengue virus receptor. Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun, 66 (Pt 1), pp. 29-31. | Show Abstract | Read more

The human C-type lectin-like protein CLEC5A (also known as MDL-1) is expressed on the surface of myeloid cells and plays a critical role in dengue-virus-induced disease by signalling through the transmembrane adaptor protein DAP12. The C-type lectin-like domain of CLEC5A was expressed in Escherichia coli, refolded and purified. Recombinant CLEC5A crystals were grown by sitting-drop vapour diffusion using polyethylene glycol 6000 as a precipitant. After optimization, crystals were grown which diffracted to 1.56 A using synchrotron radiation. The results presented in this paper suggest that crystals producing diffraction of this quality will be suitable for structural determination of human CLEC5A.

Morteau O, Blundell S, Chakera A, Bennett S, Christou CM, Mason PD, Cornall RJ, O'Callaghan CA. 2010. Renal transplant immunosuppression impairs natural killer cell function in vitro and in vivo. PLoS One, 5 (10), pp. e13294. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Despite an increasing awareness of the importance of innate immunity, the roles of natural killer (NK) cells in transplant rejection and antiviral and cancer immunity during immunosuppression have not been clearly defined. METHODS: To address this issue we have developed a quantitative assay of NK cell function that can be used on clinical samples and have studied the influence of immunosuppression on NK cell function. NK cell degranulation and intracellular interferon (IFN)-γ production were determined by flow cytometry of peripheral blood samples. RESULTS: Overnight ex vivo treatment of peripheral blood cells from healthy controls with ciclosporin or tacrolimus inhibited NK cell degranulation and IFN-γ production in a dose-dependent manner. A similar impairment of function was seen in NK cells from patients treated in vivo with calcineurin inhibitors. In the early post-transplant period, there was a variable reduction of NK cell counts after treatment with alemtuzumab and basiliximab. CONCLUSIONS: The functional inhibition of NK cells in early transplant patients coincides with the period of maximum susceptibility to viral infections. The ability to assay NK cell function in clinical samples allows assessment of the impact of immunosuppression on these effector cells. This information may be helpful in guiding the titration of immunosuppression in the clinical setting.

Chakera A, Paul HJ, O'Callaghan CA. 2010. Reversible renal impairment caused by thyroid disease. Scand J Urol Nephrol, 44 (3), pp. 190-192. | Show Abstract | Read more

Renal impairment is a common finding in clinical practice and is increasingly recognized with the routine reporting of estimated glomerular filtration rates. Clinical assessment is essential to determine which of the many possible investigations are appropriate. Thyroid hormones regulate many cellular functions, and abnormalities of the active thyroid hormones, thyroxine (T(4)) and tri-iodothyronine (T(3)), can influence serum creatinine levels. Evaluation of thyroid function is easily overlooked, but important in this context, as hypothyroidism is common and can cause renal impairment, which is typically reversible. Renal dysfunction may also be more frequent in hyperthyroidism than is recognized. This report describe how a dramatic elevation in serum creatinine paralleled the development of hyperthyroidism, with a return of the creatinine to normal following treatment of the hyperthyroid state.

Watson AA, Christou CM, James JR, Fenton-May AE, Moncayo GE, Mistry AR, Davis SJ, Gilbert RJ, Chakera A, O'Callaghan CA. 2009. The platelet receptor CLEC-2 is active as a dimer. Biochemistry, 48 (46), pp. 10988-10996. | Show Abstract | Read more

The platelet receptor CLEC-2 binds to the snake venom toxin rhodocytin and the tumor cell surface protein podoplanin. Binding of either of these ligands promotes phosphorylation of a single tyrosine residue in the YXXL motif in the intracellular domain of CLEC-2. Phosphorylation of this tyrosine initiates binding of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and triggers further downstream signaling events and ultimately potent platelet activation and aggregation. However, it is unclear how a single YXXL motif can interact efficiently with Syk, which usually recognizes two tandem YXXL repeats presented as an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM). Using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer, coimmunopreciptitation, recombinant protein expression and analytical gel filtration chromatography, surface plasmon resonance, Western blotting, multiangle light scattering (MALS), and analytical ultracentrifugation, we show that CLEC-2 exists as a non-disulfide-linked homodimer which could allow each Syk molecule to interact with two YXXL motifs, one from each CLEC-2 monomer.

Herrington WG, Al-Mossawi MH, Roberts IS, O'Callaghan CA. 2009. The hyponatraemic hairdresser: highlighting the differentials. Lancet, 374 (9698), pp. 1392. | Read more

Bishop B, Aricescu AR, Harlos K, O'Callaghan CA, Jones EY, Siebold C. 2009. Structural insights into hedgehog ligand sequestration by the human hedgehog-interacting protein HHIP. Nat Struct Mol Biol, 16 (7), pp. 698-703. | Show Abstract | Read more

Hedgehog (Hh) morphogens have fundamental roles in development, whereas dysregulation of Hh signaling leads to disease. Multiple cell-surface receptors are responsible for transducing and/or regulating Hh signals. Among these, the Hedgehog-interacting protein (Hhip) is a highly conserved, vertebrate-specific inhibitor of Hh signaling. We have solved a series of crystal structures for the human HHIP ectodomain and Desert hedgehog (DHH) in isolation, as well as HHIP in complex with DHH (HHIP-DHH) and Sonic hedgehog (Shh) (HHIP-Shh), with and without Ca2+. The interaction determinants, confirmed by biophysical studies and mutagenesis, reveal previously uncharacterized and distinct functions for the Hh Zn2+ and Ca2+ binding sites--functions that may be common to all vertebrate Hh proteins. Zn2+ makes a key contribution to the Hh-HHIP interface, whereas Ca2+ is likely to prevent electrostatic repulsion between the two proteins, suggesting an important modulatory role. This interplay of several metal binding sites suggests a tuneable mechanism for regulation of Hh signaling.

O'Callaghan CA. 2009. Chronic kidney disease--assessing the impact. QJM, 102 (6), pp. 431-433. | Read more

O'Callaghan CA. 2009. Thrombomodulation via CLEC-2 targeting. Curr Opin Pharmacol, 9 (2), pp. 90-95. | Show Abstract | Read more

CLEC-2 is a C-type lectin-like molecule that has recently been identified as a receptor on the surface of platelets. Ligand binding by CLEC-2 promotes phosphorylation of a tyrosine in the cytoplasmic domain YXXL motif of CLEC-2 by Src kinases and further downstream signalling events trigger platelet activation and aggregation. The snake venom protein rhodocytin and the endogenous protein podoplanin have been identified as ligands. The structures of CLEC-2 and rhodocytin suggest that ligand binding could cluster CLEC-2 molecules at the platelet surface, so initiating signalling. CLEC-2 is a promising target for therapeutic strategies to inhibit platelet activity in thrombotic vascular disease.

Watson AA, Ocallaghan CA. 2009. Crystallization and X-ray diffraction analysis of human CLEC5A (MDL-1), a dengue virus receptor Acta Crystallographica Section F: Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications, 66 (1), pp. 29-31. | Show Abstract | Read more

The human C-type lectin-like protein CLEC5A (also known as MDL-1) is expressed on the surface of myeloid cells and plays a critical role in dengue-virus-induced disease by signalling through the transmembrane adaptor protein DAP12. The C-type lectin-like domain of CLEC5A was expressed in Escherichia coli, refolded and purified. Recombinant CLEC5A crystals were grown by sitting-drop vapour diffusion using polyethylene glycol 6000 as a precipitant. After optimization, crystals were grown which diffracted to 1.56 Å using synchrotron radiation. The results presented in this paper suggest that crystals producing diffraction of this quality will be suitable for structural determination of human CLEC5A. © 2010 International Union of Crystallography All rights reserved.

O'Callaghan CA. 2008. Kidney transplantation--the long term view. QJM, 101 (12), pp. 985-986. | Read more

Watson AA, Eble JA, O'Callaghan CA. 2008. Crystal structure of rhodocytin, a ligand for the platelet-activating receptor CLEC-2. Protein Sci, 17 (9), pp. 1611-1616. | Show Abstract | Read more

Binding of the snake venom protein rhodocytin to CLEC-2, a receptor on the surface of human platelets, initiates a signaling cascade leading to platelet activation and aggregation. We have previously solved the structure of CLEC-2. The 2.4 A resolution crystal structure of rhodocytin presented here demonstrates that it is the first snake venom or other C-type lectin-like protein to assemble as a non-disulfide linked (alphabeta)(2) tetramer. Rhodocytin is highly adapted for interaction with CLEC-2 and displays a concave binding surface, which is highly complementary to the experimentally determined binding interface on CLEC-2. Using computational dynamic methods, surface electrostatic charge and hydrophobicity analyses, and protein-protein docking predictions, we propose that the (alphabeta)(2) rhodocytin tetramer induces clustering of CLEC-2 receptors on the platelet surface, which will trigger major signaling events resulting in platelet activation and aggregation.

Christou CM, Pearce AC, Watson AA, Mistry AR, Pollitt AY, Fenton-May AE, Johnson LA, Jackson DG, Watson SP, O'Callaghan CA. 2008. Renal cells activate the platelet receptor CLEC-2 through podoplanin. Biochem J, 411 (1), pp. 133-140. | Show Abstract | Read more

We have recently shown that the C-type lectin-like receptor, CLEC-2, is expressed on platelets and that it mediates powerful platelet aggregation by the snake venom toxin rhodocytin. In addition, we have provided indirect evidence for an endogenous ligand for CLEC-2 in renal cells expressing HIV-1. This putative ligand facilitates transmission of HIV through its incorporation into the viral envelope and binding to CLEC-2 on platelets. The aim of the present study was to identify the ligand on these cells which binds to CLEC-2 on platelets. Recombinant CLEC-2 exhibits specific binding to HEK-293T (human embryonic kidney) cells in which the HIV can be grown. Furthermore, HEK-293T cells activate both platelets and CLEC-2-transfected DT-40 B-cells. The transmembrane protein podoplanin was identified on HEK-293T cells and was demonstrated to mediate both binding of HEK-293T cells to CLEC-2 and HEK-293T cell activation of CLEC-2-transfected DT-40 B-cells. Podoplanin is expressed on renal cells (podocytes). Furthermore, a direct interaction between CLEC-2 and podoplanin was confirmed using surface plasmon resonance and was shown to be independent of glycosylation of CLEC-2. The interaction has an affinity of 24.5+/-3.7 microM. The present study identifies podoplanin as a ligand for CLEC-2 on renal cells.

Watson AA, Eble JA, O'Callaghan CA. 2008. Crystal structure of rhodocytin, a ligand for the platelet-activating receptor CLEC-2 Protein Science, 17 (9), pp. 1611-1616. | Show Abstract | Read more

Binding of the snake venom protein rhodocytin to CLEC-2, a receptor on the surface of human platelets, initiates a signaling cascade leading to platelet activation and aggregation. We have previously solved the structure of CLEC-2. The 2.4 Å resolution crystal structure of rhodocytin presented here demonstrates that it is the first snake venom or other C-type lectin-like protein to assemble as a non-disulfide linked (αβ)2 tetramer. Rhodocytin is highly adapted for interaction with CLEC-2 and displays a concave binding surface, which is highly complementary to the experimentally determined binding interface on CLEC-2. Using computational dynamic methods, surface electrostatic charge and hydrophobicity analyses, and protein-protein docking predictions, we propose that the (αβ)2 rhodocytin tetramer induces clustering of CLEC-2 receptors on the platelet surface, which will trigger major signaling events resulting in platelet activation and aggregation. Published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press. Copyright © 2008 The Protein Society.

Cited:

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Christou CM, Pearce AC, Watson AA, Mistry AR, Pollitt AY, Fenton-May AE, Johnson LA, Jackson DG, Watson SP, O'Callaghan CA. 2008. Renal cells activate the platelet receptor CLEC-2 through podoplanin Biochemical Journal, 411 (1), pp. 133-140. | Show Abstract | Read more

We have recently shown that the C-type lectin-like receptor, CLEC-2, is expressed on platelets and that it mediates powerful platelet aggregation by the snake venom toxin rhodocytin. In addition, we have provided indirect evidence for an endogenous ligand for CLEC-2 in renal cells expressing HIV-1. This putative ligand facilitates transmission of HIV through its incorporation into the viral envelope and binding to CLEC-2 on platelets. The aim of the present study was to identify the ligand on these cells which binds to CLEC-2 on platelets. Recombinant CLEC-2 exhibits specific binding to HEK-293T (human embryonic kidney) cells in which the HIV can be grown. Furthermore, HEK-293T cells activate both platelets and CLEC-2-transfected DT-40 B-cells. The transmembrane protein podoplanin was identified on HEK-293T cells and was demonstrated to mediate both binding of HEK-293T cells to CLEC-2 and HEK-293T cell activation of CLEC-2-transfected DT-40 B-cells. Podoplanin is expressed on renal cells (podocytes). Furthermore, a direct interaction between CLEC-2 and podoplanin was confirmed using surface plasmon resonance and was shown to be independent of glycosylation of CLEC-2. The interaction has an affinity of 24.5 ± 3.7 μM. The present study identifies podoplanin as a ligand for CLEC-2 on renal cells. © The Authors.

Mistry AR, O'Callaghan CA. 2007. Regulation of ligands for the activating receptor NKG2D. Immunology, 121 (4), pp. 439-447. | Show Abstract | Read more

The outcome of an encounter between a cytotoxic cell and a potential target cell depends on the balance of signals from inhibitory and activating receptors. Natural Killer group 2D (NKG2D) has recently emerged as a major activating receptor on T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. In both humans and mice, multiple different genes encode ligands for NKG2D, and these ligands are non-classical major histocompatibility complex class I molecules. The NKG2D-ligand interaction triggers an activating signal in the cell expressing NKG2D and this promotes cytotoxic lysis of the cell expressing the ligand. Most normal tissues do not express ligands for NKG2D, but ligand expression has been documented in tumour and virus-infected cells, leading to lysis of these cells. Tight regulation of ligand expression is important. If there is inappropriate expression in normal tissues, this will favour autoimmune processes, whilst failure to up-regulate the ligands in pathological conditions would favour cancer development or dissemination of intracellular infection.

Brown J, O'Callaghan CA, Marshall AS, Gilbert RJ, Siebold C, Gordon S, Brown GD, Jones EY. 2007. Structure of the fungal beta-glucan-binding immune receptor dectin-1: implications for function. Protein Sci, 16 (6), pp. 1042-1052. | Show Abstract | Read more

The murine molecule dectin-1 (known as the beta-glucan receptor in humans) is an immune cell surface receptor implicated in the immunological defense against fungal pathogens. Sequence analysis has indicated that the dectin-1 extracellular domain is a C-type lectin-like domain, and functional studies have established that it binds fungal beta-glucans. We report several dectin-1 crystal structures, including a high-resolution structure and a 2.8 angstroms resolution structure in which a short soaked natural beta-glucan is trapped in the crystal lattice. In vitro characterization of dectin-1 in the presence of its natural ligand indicates higher-order complex formation between dectin-1 and beta-glucans. These combined structural and biophysical data considerably extend the current knowledge of dectin-1 structure and function, and suggest potential mechanisms of defense against fungal pathogens.

Watson AA, Brown J, Harlos K, Eble JA, Walter TS, O'Callaghan CA. 2007. The crystal structure and mutational binding analysis of the extracellular domain of the platelet-activating receptor CLEC-2. J Biol Chem, 282 (5), pp. 3165-3172. | Show Abstract | Read more

The human C-type lectin-like molecule CLEC-2 is expressed on the surface of platelets and signaling through CLEC-2 causes platelet activation and aggregation. CLEC-2 is a receptor for the platelet-aggregating snake venom protein rhodocytin. It is also a newly identified co-receptor for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). An endogenous ligand has not yet been identified. We have solved the crystal structure of the extracellular domain of CLEC-2 to 1.6-A resolution, and identified the key structural features involved in ligand binding. A semi-helical loop region and flanking residues dominate the surface that is available for ligand binding. The precise distribution of hydrophobic and electrostatic features in this loop will determine the nature of any endogenous ligand with which it can interact. Major ligand-induced conformational change in CLEC-2 is unlikely as its overall fold is compact and robust. However, ligand binding could induce a tilt of a 3-10 helical portion of the long loop region. Mutational analysis and surface plasmon resonance binding studies support these observations. This study provides a framework for understanding the effects of rhodocytin venom binding on CLEC-2 and for understanding the nature of likely endogenous ligands and will provide a basis for rational design of drugs to block ligand binding.

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33

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Watson AA, Brown J, Harlos K, Eble JA, Walter TS, O'Callaghan CA. 2007. The crystal structure and mutational binding analysis of the extracellular domain of the platelet-activating receptor CLEC-2 Journal of Biological Chemistry, 282 (5), pp. 3165-3172. | Show Abstract | Read more

The human C-type lectin-like molecule CLEC-2 is expressed on the surface of platelets and signaling through CLEC-2 causes platelet activation and aggregation. CLEC-2 is a receptor for the platelet-aggregating snake venom protein rhodocytin. It is also a newly identified co-receptor for human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). An endogenous ligand has not yet been identified. We have solved the crystal structure of the extracellular domain of CLEC-2 to 1.6-Å resolution, and identified the key structural features involved in ligand binding. A semi-helical loop region and flanking residues dominate the surface that is available for ligand binding. The precise distribution of hydrophobic and electrostatic features in this loop will determine the nature of any endogenous ligand with which it can interact. Major ligand-induced conformational change in CLEC-2 is unlikely as its overall fold is compact and robust. However, ligand binding could induce a tilt of a 3-10 helical portion of the long loop region. Mutational analysis and surface plasmon resonance binding studies support these observations. This study provides a framework for understanding the effects of rhodocytin venom binding on CLEC-2 and for understanding the nature of likely endogenous ligands and will provide a basis for rational design of drugs to block ligand binding. © 2007 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

Hourigan CS, Harkiolaki M, Peterson NA, Bell JI, Jones EY, O'Callaghan CA. 2006. The structure of the human allo-ligand HLA-B*3501 in complex with a cytochrome p450 peptide: steric hindrance influences TCR allo-recognition. Eur J Immunol, 36 (12), pp. 3288-3293. | Show Abstract | Read more

Virus-specific T cell populations have been implicated in allo-recognition. The subdominant T cell receptor JL12 recognizes both HLA-B*0801 presenting the Epstein-Barr virus-derived peptide FLRGRAYGL and also HLA-B*3501 presenting the cytochrome p450 self peptide KPIVVLHGY. This cross-reactivity could promote the rejection of HLA-B*3501-positive cells in Epstein-Barr virus-exposed HLA-B*0801 recipients. LC13, the dominant TCR against the HLA-B*0801:FLRGRAYGL complex, fails to recognize HLA-B*3501:KPIVVLHGY. We report the 1.75-Angstrom resolution crystal structure of the human allo-ligand HLA-B*3501:KPIVVLHGY. Similarities between this structure and that of HLA-B*0801:FLRGRAYGL may facilitate cross-recognition by JL12. Moreover, the elevated peptide position in HLA-B*3501:KPIVVLHGY would provide steric hindrance to LC13, preventing it from interacting in the manner in which it interacts with HLA-B*0801:FLRGRAYGL. These findings are relevant to understanding the basis of T cell cross-reactivity in allo-recognition, optimal transplant donor-recipient matching and developing specific molecular inhibitors of allo-recognition.

Aslam A, Kessler B, Batycka M, O'Callaghan CA, Misbah SA, Warrell DA, Ogg G. 2006. Defining the T cell antigen proteome of wasp venom. Clin Exp Allergy, 36 (10), pp. 1274-1280. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: While modulation of T cell function is believed to be important in the successful acquisition of clinical tolerance during venom immunotherapy, little is known of the role of wasp venom specific T cell antigens. OBJECTIVE: We sought comprehensively to characterize the T cell proteome for wasp venom to facilitate the future development of T cell-based immunotherapeutic approaches. METHODS: Using peripheral blood mononuclear cells from wasp venom-allergic individuals and IL-4 ELISPOT analysis, we characterized T cell responses to whole venom and gel filtration/ion exchange-fractionated venom. Reactive fractions were purified and identified using highly sensitive electrospray ion-trap mass spectrometry. RESULTS: Wasp venom-allergic individuals have detectable whole wasp venom-specific T cells directly ex vivo, which show rapid IL-4 effector function. T cell responses to gel filtration/ion exchange fractionated venom were dominated by responses to phospholipase A(1), hyaluronidase and antigen 5. CONCLUSION: Although it is likely that there are many T cell antigens within wasp venom, the main responses are to proteins coincident with the known IgE-binding proteins.

O'Callaghan CA. 2006. [Renal manifestations of systemic autoimmune disease: diagnosis and therapy]. Nephrol Ther, 2 (3), pp. 140-151. | Show Abstract | Read more

Renal involvement is relatively common in certain systemic autoimmune diseases, but can be clinically silent. Active surveillance is, therefore, essential because the early recognition of renal involvement may influence the extent of renal recovery. Blood pressure control is also essential, regardless of the underlying disease. In systemic lupus erythematosus, therapy usually depends on the renal biopsy findings as not all forms of renal involvement respond in the same way. Typically, for aggressive disease, therapy is with steroids and a cytotoxic agent, usually cyclophosphamide initially and then azathioprine. In systemic vasculitis with renal involvement, a similar approach is adopted, therapy including steroids and cyclophosphamide initially and then steroids and azathioprine. With severe fulminant disease, plasma exchange or pulsed intravenous methylprednisolone is added initially. Scleroderma renal crises are managed by blood pressure control using angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and other agents as required. Dialysis and transplantation can be successful in these conditions.

Watson AA, O'Callaghan CA. 2005. Crystallization and X-ray diffraction analysis of human CLEC-2. Acta Crystallogr Sect F Struct Biol Cryst Commun, 61 (Pt 12), pp. 1094-1096. | Show Abstract | Read more

The human C-type lectin-like protein CLEC-2 has recently been shown to be expressed on the surface of platelets and to function as a receptor for the snake-venom protein rhodocytin. The C-type lectin-like domain (CTLD) of CLEC-2 was expressed in Escherichia coli, refolded and purified. Crystals of this recombinant CLEC-2 were grown by sitting-drop vapour diffusion using polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000 as a precipitant. After optimization, crystals were grown which diffracted to 2.0 A using in-house radiation (lambda = 1.5418 A). These crystals belonged to the orthorhombic space group P2(1)2(1)2(1), with unit-cell parameters a = 35.407, b = 55.143, c = 56.078 A. The presence of one molecule per asymmetric unit is consistent with a crystal volume per unit weight (VM) of 1.82 A3 Da(-1) and a solvent content of 32.6%. These results suggest that crystals producing diffraction of this quality will be suitable for the structural determination of human CLEC-2.

Watson AA, O'Callaghan CA. 2005. Crystallization and X-ray diffraction analysis of human CLEC-2 Acta Crystallographica Section F: Structural Biology and Crystallization Communications, 61 (12), pp. 1094-1096. | Show Abstract | Read more

The human C-type lectin-like protein CLEC-2 has recently been shown to be expressed on the surface of platelets and to function as a receptor for the snake-venom protein rhodocytin. The C-type lectin-like domain (CTLD) of CLEC-2 was expressed in Escherichia coli, refolded and purified. Crystals of this recombinant CLEC-2 were grown by sitting-drop vapour diffusion using polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000 as a precipitant. After optimization, crystals were grown which diffracted to 2.0 Å using in-house radiation (λ = 1.5418 Å). These crystals belonged to the orthorhombic space group P2 12121, with unit-cell parameters a = 35.407, b = 55.143, c = 56.078 Å. The presence of one molecule per asymmetric unit is consistent with a crystal volume per unit weight (VM) of 1.82 Å3 Da-1 and a solvent content of 32.6%. These results suggest that crystals producing diffraction of this quality will be suitable for the structural determination of human CLEC-2. © 2005 International Union of Crystallography All rights reserved.

O'Callaghan CA. 2004. Renal manifestations of systemic autoimmune disease: diagnosis and therapy. Best Pract Res Clin Rheumatol, 18 (3), pp. 411-427. | Show Abstract | Read more

Renal involvement is relatively common in certain systemic autoimmune diseases, but can be clinically silent. Active surveillance is, therefore, essential because the early recognition of renal involvement may influence the extent of renal recovery. Blood pressure control is also essential, regardless of the underlying disease. In systemic lupus erythematosus, therapy usually depends on the renal biopsy findings as not all forms of renal involvement respond in the same way. Typically, for aggressive disease, therapy is with steroids and a cytotoxic agent, usually cyclophosphamide initially and then azathioprine. In systemic vasculitis with renal involvement, a similar approach is adopted, therapy including steroids and cyclophosphamide initially and then steroids and azathioprine. With severe fulminant disease, plasma exchange or pulsed intravenous methylprednisolone is added initially. Scleroderma renal crises are managed by blood pressure control using angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and other agents as required. Dialysis and transplantation can be successful in these conditions.

O'Callaghan CA, Jones EY. 2003. Structural and energetic aspects of multispecific immune recognition by NKG2D. Structure, 11 (4), pp. 360-361. | Show Abstract | Read more

The multispecific immune receptor NKG2D binds different ligands using a different set of energetically dominant interface residues for each ligand.

Allan DS, Lepin EJ, Braud VM, O'Callaghan CA, McMichael AJ. 2002. Tetrameric complexes of HLA-E, HLA-F, and HLA-G. J Immunol Methods, 268 (1), pp. 43-50. | Show Abstract | Read more

HLA-E, HLA-F, and HLA-G are human nonclassical MHC class Ib molecules. To study the function and identify potential ligands of these molecules, we constructed tetrameric complexes. In this brief review, we discuss the methods used to produce such tetramers and the interesting results they provided. HLA-E tetramers bound to natural killer (NK) cells and T cells, allowing the identification of CD94/NKG2 molecules as receptors for HLA-E. HLA-G tetramers interacted with immunoglobulin-like transcript-2 (ILT2) and ILT4 receptors, aiding the understanding of HLA-G function during pregnancy. Tetrameric complexes of HLA-F also bound to ILT2 and ILT4.

Jayawardene SA, O'Callaghan CA, Sacks SH, Hargreaves R, Hilton RM. 2002. Direct visualization of the immune response to cytomegalovirus (CMV) following renal transplantation. JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF NEPHROLOGY, 13 pp. 377A-377A.

Hilton RM, Hargreaves RE, Sacks SH, O'Callaghan CA. 2002. Direct visualisation of cytomegalovirus-specific CD8+ T cells in renal transplant recipients. Transplant Proc, 34 (4), pp. 1171-1173. | Read more

Cerwenka A, O'Callaghan CA, Hamerman JA, Yadav R, Ajayi W, Roopenian DC, Joyce S, Lanier LL. 2002. Cutting edge: the minor histocompatibility antigen H60 peptide interacts with both H-2Kb and NKG2D. J Immunol, 168 (7), pp. 3131-3134. | Show Abstract

Minor histocompatibility Ags elicit cell-mediated immune responses and graft rejection in individuals receiving MHC-matched tissues. H60 represents a dominant Ag that elicits a strong CTL response in C57BL/6 mice immunized against BALB.B. An 8-aa peptide in the H60 protein is presented by H-2K(b) and this is recognized by the TCR as an alloantigen. The intact H60 glycoprotein is a ligand for the costimulatory NKG2D receptor that is expressed by activated CD8(+) T cells. Thus, H60 may provide both an allogeneic peptide and its own costimulation. We show that mutation of an H-2K(b)-binding anchor residue in the H60 peptide completely abrogates binding of H60 glycoprotein to NKG2D and a synthetic H60 peptide partially blocks the binding of NKG2D to its ligand. Ligands of the human NKG2D receptor are remarkably polymorphic, suggesting that these may also serve as minor histocompatibility Ags.

Lepin EJ, O'Callaghan CA, Powis SH. 2002. Biochemical characterisation and cell surface expression of HLA-F TISSUE ANTIGENS, 59 pp. 16-16.

O'Callaghan CA, Hicks J, Doll H, Sacks SH, Cameron JS. 2002. Characteristics and outcome of membranous nephropathy in older patients. Int Urol Nephrol, 33 (1), pp. 157-165. | Show Abstract | Read more

Many patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy are elderly, but little is known about the natural or treated history of these patients. We have studied a cohort of 155 patients with membranous nephropathy who were recruited and followed-up over a 20 year period. We have compared the clinical features and outcome of the older (>60 years) and younger age groups. There was a higher incidence of an identifiable cause for the nephropathy in older patients. At presentation with idiopathic disease, older patients were more often hypertensive and had worse renal impairment than the younger cohort, but had a similar levels of proteinuria, hypoalbuminemia and hematuria. Thrombotic complications and minor rheumatological complaints were more common in the older patients. Prognosis for life and renal survival was worse in the older onset patients. Treatment was well tolerated in selected older patients and was associated with a better outcome in those selected for treatment.

O'Callaghan CA, Cerwenka A, Willcox BE, Lanier LL, Bjorkman PJ. 2001. Molecular competition for NKG2D: H60 and RAE1 compete unequally for NKG2D with dominance of H60. Immunity, 15 (2), pp. 201-211. | Show Abstract | Read more

NKG2D is a potent activating receptor on natural killer cells, T cells, and macrophages. Mouse NKG2D interacts with two cell surface ligands related to class I MHC molecules: RAE1 and H60. We used soluble versions of NKG2D, RAE1, and H60 to characterize their interactions. RAE1 and H60 each bind NKG2D with nanomolar affinities, indicating tighter binding than most cell surface immune interactions, but NKG2D binds to H60 with approximately 25-fold higher affinity than to RAE1. RAE1 and H60 compete directly for occupancy of NKG2D, and, thus, NKG2D can be occupied by only one ligand at a time. The NKG2D-H60 interaction is more temperature dependent and makes greater use of electrostatic interactions than the NKG2D-RAE1 interaction. The distinct thermodynamic profiles provide insights into the different molecular mechanisms of the binding interactions.

Goulder PJ, Tang Y, Brander C, Betts MR, Altfeld M, Annamalai K, Trocha A, He S et al. 2000. Functionally inert HIV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes do not play a major role in chronically infected adults and children. J Exp Med, 192 (12), pp. 1819-1832. | Show Abstract | Read more

The highly sensitive quantitation of virus-specific CD8(+) T cells using major histocompatibility complex-peptide tetramer assays has revealed higher levels of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in acute and chronic virus infections than were recognized previously. However, studies in lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection have shown that tetramer assays may include measurement of a substantial number of tetramer-binding cells that are functionally inert. Such phenotypically silent CTLs, which lack cytolytic function and do not produce interferon (IFN)-gamma, have been hypothesized to explain the persistence of virus in the face of a quantitatively large immune response, particularly when CD4 help is impaired. In this study, we examined the role of functionally inert CTLs in chronic HIV infection. Subjects studied included children and adults (n = 42) whose viral loads ranged from <50 to >100,000 RNA copies/ml plasma. Tetramer assays were compared with three functional assays: enzyme-linked immunospot (Elispot), intracellular cytokine staining, and precursor frequency (limiting dilution assay [LDA]) cytotoxicity assays. Strong positive associations were observed between cell numbers derived by the Elispot and the tetramer assay (r = 0.90). An even stronger association between tetramer-derived numbers and intracellular cytokine staining for IFN-gamma was present (r = 0.97). The majority (median 76%) of tetramer-binding cells were consistently detectable via intracellular IFN-gamma cytokine staining. Furthermore, modifications to the LDA, using a low input cell number into each well, enabled LDAs to reach equivalence with the other methods of CTL enumeration. These data together show that functionally inert CTLs do not play a significant role in chronic pediatric or adult HIV infection.

Lepin EJ, Bastin JM, Allan DS, Roncador G, Braud VM, Mason DY, van der Merwe PA, McMichael AJ, Bell JI, Powis SH, O'Callaghan CA. 2000. Functional characterization of HLA-F and binding of HLA-F tetramers to ILT2 and ILT4 receptors. Eur J Immunol, 30 (12), pp. 3552-3561. | Show Abstract | Read more

HLA-F is a human non-classical MHC molecule. Recombinant HLA-F heavy chain was refolded with 2-microglobulin to form a stable complex. This complex was used as an immunogen to produce a highly specific, high-affinity monoclonal antibody (FG1) that was used to study directly the cellular biology and tissue distribution of HLA-F. HLA-F has a restricted pattern of tissue expression in tonsil, spleen, and thymus. HLA-F could be immunoprecipitated from B cell lines and from HUT-78, a T cell line. HLA-F binds TAP, but unlike the classical human class I molecules, was undetected at the cell surface. HLA-F tetramers stain peripheral blood monocytes and B cells. HLA-F tetramer binding could be conferred on non-binding cells by transfection with the inhibitory receptors ILT2 and ILT4. Surface plasmon resonance studies demonstrated a direct molecular interaction of HLA-F with ILT2 and ILT4. These results, together with structural predictions based on the sequence of HLA-F, suggest that HLA-F may be a peptide binding molecule and may reach the cell surface under favorable conditions, which may include the presence of specific peptide or peptides. At the cell surface it would be capable of interacting with LIR1 (ILT2) and LIR2 (ILT4) receptors and so altering the activation threshold of immune effector cells.

Dorrell L, O'Callaghan CA, Britton W, Hambleton S, McMichael A, Smith GL, Rowland-Jones S, Blanchard TJ. 2000. Recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara efficiently restimulates human cytotoxic T lymphocytes in vitro. Vaccine, 19 (2-3), pp. 327-336. | Show Abstract | Read more

The immunogenicity of recombinant modified vaccinia Ankara, a highly attenuated vaccinia virus, expressing influenza nucleoprotein (MVA-NP) and HIV-1 gag (MVA-gag) was investigated. Restimulation of peripheral blood lymphocytes of healthy subjects with MVA-NP led to expansion of CTL with specificity for known NP epitopes. These CTL efficiently lysed NP peptide-pulsed targets and released interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) on contact with epitope peptide. MVA-NP-stimulated CTL specific for the HLA-B8 epitope, NP380-88, stained with a tetrameric complex of HLA-B8 refolded with the NP380-88 peptide and anti-CD8 antibody on flow cytometry. CTL were also elicited from two HIV-1 seropositive donors by restimulation with MVA-HIV-1 gag and showed specificity for immunodominant gag epitopes. These data indicate that restimulation of human CTL with recombinant MVA is effective and suggest that MVA will elicit CTL responses in humans in vivo.

Goulder PJ, Brander C, Annamalai K, Mngqundaniso N, Govender U, Tang Y, He S, Hartman KE et al. 2000. Differential narrow focusing of immunodominant human immunodeficiency virus gag-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte responses in infected African and caucasoid adults and children. J Virol, 74 (12), pp. 5679-5690. | Show Abstract | Read more

Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) activity plays a central role in control of viral replication and in determining outcome in cases of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection. Incorporation of important CTL epitope sequences into candidate vaccines is, therefore, vital. Most CTL studies have focused upon small numbers of adult Caucasoid subjects infected with clade-B virus, whereas the global epidemic is most severe in sub-Saharan African populations and predominantly involves clade-C infection in both adults and children. In this study, sensitive enzyme-linked immunospot (elispot) assays have been utilized to identify the dominant Gag-specific CTL epitopes targeted by adults and children infected with clade-B or -C virus. Cohorts evaluated included 44 B-clade-infected Caucasoid American and African American adults and children and 37 C-clade-infected African adults and children from Durban, South Africa. The results show that 3 out of 46 peptides spanning p17(Gag) and p24(Gag) sequences tested contain two-thirds of the dominant Gag-specific epitopes, irrespective of the clade, ethnicity, or age group studied. However, there were distinctive differences between the dominant responses made by Caucasoids and Africans. Dominant responses in Caucasoids were more often within p17(Gag) peptide residues 16 to 30 (38 versus 12%; P < 0.01), while p24(Gag) peptide residues 41 to 60 contained the dominant Gag epitope more often in the African subjects tested (39 versus 4%; P < 0.005). Within this 20-mer p24(Gag), an epitope presented by both B42 and B81 is defined which represents the dominant Gag response in >30% of the total infected population in Durban. This epitope is closely homologous with dominant HIV-2 and simian immunodeficiency virus Gag-specific CTL epitopes. The fine focusing of dominant CTL responses to these few regions of high immunogenicity is of significance to vaccine design.

Gao GF, Willcox BE, Wyer JR, Boulter JM, O'Callaghan CA, Maenaka K, Stuart DI, Jones EY, Van Der Merwe PA, Bell JI, Jakobsen BK. 2000. Classical and nonclassical class I major histocompatibility complex molecules exhibit subtle conformational differences that affect binding to CD8alphaalpha. J Biol Chem, 275 (20), pp. 15232-15238. | Show Abstract | Read more

The cell surface molecules CD4 and CD8 greatly enhance the sensitivity of T-cell antigen recognition, acting as "co-receptors" by binding to the same major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules as the T-cell receptor (TCR). Here we use surface plasmon resonance to study the binding of CD8alphaalpha to class I MHC molecules. CD8alphaalpha bound the classical MHC molecules HLA-A*0201, -A*1101, -B*3501, and -C*0702 with dissociation constants (K(d)) of 90-220 microm, a range of affinities distinctly lower than that of TCR/peptide-MHC interaction. We suggest such affinities apply to most CD8alphaalpha/classical class I MHC interactions and may be optimal for T-cell recognition. In contrast, CD8alphaalpha bound both HLA-A*6801 and B*4801 with a significantly lower affinity (>/=1 mm), consistent with the finding that interactions with these alleles are unable to mediate cell-cell adhesion. Interestingly, CD8alphaalpha bound normally to the nonclassical MHC molecule HLA-G (K(d) approximately 150 microm), but only weakly to the natural killer cell receptor ligand HLA-E (K(d) >/= 1 mm). Site-directed mutagenesis experiments revealed that variation in CD8alphaalpha binding affinity can be explained by amino acid differences within the alpha3 domain. Taken together with crystallographic studies, these results indicate that subtle conformational changes in the solvent exposed alpha3 domain loop (residues 223-229) can account for the differential ability of both classical and nonclassical class I MHC molecules to bind CD8.

O'Callaghan CA. 2000. Natural killer cell surveillance of intracellular antigen processing pathways mediated by recognition of HLA-E and Qa-1b by CD94/NKG2 receptors. Microbes Infect, 2 (4), pp. 371-380. | Show Abstract | Read more

HLA-E binds specifically to MHC class Ia leader peptides in a TAP (transporter associated with antigen processing)-dependent manner. It interacts with CD94/NKG2A receptors on natural killer cells and this inhibits natural killer cell lysis of the cell displaying HLA-E. The crystal structure of HLA-E demonstrates that the specificity of leader peptide binding is a structurally defined intrinsic property of HLA-E.

Oxenius A, Price DA, Easterbrook PJ, O'Callaghan CA, Kelleher AD, Whelan JA, Sontag G, Sewell AK, Phillips RE. 2000. Early highly active antiretroviral therapy for acute HIV-1 infection preserves immune function of CD8+ and CD4+ T lymphocytes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 97 (7), pp. 3382-3387. | Show Abstract | Read more

Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has been advocated for the management of primary HIV-1 infection without clear understanding of its immunological effects. Here, we demonstrate that early use of HAART during primary infection preserves HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells physically and functionally while HIV-specific T cell help is sustained. We also show that even transient administration of HAART at seroconversion can preserve HIV-specific immunity. In contrast, delayed initiation of HAART is associated with a progressive loss of HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells and absent HIV-specific T cell help. These results imply that HIV-specific T help is damaged during primary HIV-1 infection. Early drug treatment, which preserves this immunity, also preserves HIV-specific CD8(+) T cells. These results have implications for understanding the early pathogenesis of HIV-1 infection and suggest that acute HIV infection should be treated aggressively and as early as possible.

Willcox BE, Gao GF, Wyer JR, O'Callaghan CA, Boulter JM, Jones EY, van der Merwe PA, Bell JI, Jakobsen BK. 1999. Production of soluble alphabeta T-cell receptor heterodimers suitable for biophysical analysis of ligand binding. Protein Sci, 8 (11), pp. 2418-2423. | Show Abstract | Read more

A method to produce alphabeta T-cell receptors (TCRs) in a soluble form suitable for biophysical analysis was devised involving in vitro refolding of a TCR fusion protein. Polypeptides corresponding to the variable and constant domains of each chain of a human and a murine receptor, fused to a coiled coil heterodimerization motif from either c-Jun (alpha) or v-Fos (beta), were overexpressed separately in Escherichia coli. Following recovery from inclusion bodies, the two chains of each receptor were denatured, and then refolded together in the presence of denaturants. For the human receptor, which is specific for the immunodominant influenza A HLA-A2-restricted matrix epitope (M58-66), a heterodimeric protein was purified in milligram yields and found to be homogeneous, monomeric, antibody-reactive, and stable at concentrations lower than 1 microM. Using similar procedures, analogous results were obtained with a murine receptor specific for an influenza nucleoprotein epitope (366-374) restricted by H2-Db. Production of these receptors has facilitated a detailed analysis of viral peptide-Major Histocompatibility Complex (peptide-MHC) engagement by the TCR using both surface plasmon resonance (SPR) and, in the case of the human TCR, isothermal titration calorimetry (ITC) (Willcox et al., 1999). The recombinant methods described should enable a wide range of TCR-peptide-MHC interactions to be studied and may also have implications for the production of other heterodimeric receptor molecules.

Allen RL, O'Callaghan CA, McMichael AJ, Bowness P. 1999. Cutting edge: HLA-B27 can form a novel beta 2-microglobulin-free heavy chain homodimer structure. J Immunol, 162 (9), pp. 5045-5048. | Show Abstract

HLA-B27 has a striking association with inflammatory arthritis. We show that free HLA-B27 heavy chains can form a disulfide-bonded homodimer, dependent on residue Cys67 in their extracellular alpha 1 domain. Despite the absence of beta 2-microglobulin, HLA-B27 heavy chain homodimers (termed HC-B27) were stabilized by a known peptide epitope. HC-B27 complexes were recognized by the conformation-specific Ab W6/32, but not the ME1 Ab. Surface labeling and immunoprecipitation demonstrated the presence of similar W6/32-reactive free heavy chains at the surface of HLA-B27-transfected T2 cells. HC-B27 homodimer formation might explain the ability of HLA-B27 to induce spondyloarthropathy in beta 2-microglobulin-deficient mice.

Tan LC, Gudgeon N, Annels NE, Hansasuta P, O'Callaghan CA, Rowland-Jones S, McMichael AJ, Rickinson AB, Callan MF. 1999. A re-evaluation of the frequency of CD8+ T cells specific for EBV in healthy virus carriers. J Immunol, 162 (3), pp. 1827-1835. | Show Abstract

EBV is a gammaherpesvirus that can establish both nonproductive (latent) and productive (lytic) infections within the cells of its host. Although T cell responses to EBV latent proteins have been well characterized, little is known about the importance of responses to lytic proteins in long term virus carriers. Here we have compared the frequencies of CD8+ T cells specific for EBV latent and lytic Ags in healthy virus carriers, using three techniques: limiting dilution analysis, enzyme-linked immunospot assay, and FACS staining with tetrameric MHC-peptide complexes. T cells specific for EBV lytic protein epitopes were readily detectable in all donors and were usually more abundant than those specific for latent epitopes. We infer that direct T cell control of viral replicative lesions is maintained in long term carriers of EBV and is an important component of the immune response to this virus. Estimates of CD8+ T cell frequencies varied considerably according to methodology; values obtained from MHC-peptide tetramer staining were, on the average, 4.4-fold higher than those obtained from enzyme-linked immunospot assays, which were, in turn, on the average, 5.3-fold higher than those obtained from limiting dilution analysis. Tetramer staining showed that as many as 5.5% circulating CD8+ T cells in a virus carrier were specific for a single EBV lytic protein epitope. Such values are much greater than previously imagined and illustrate how antigenic challenge from a persistent herpesvirus can influence the composition of the host's CD8+ T cell pool.

O'callaghan CA, Byford MF, Wyer JR, Willcox BE, Jakobsen BK, McMichael AJ, Bell JI. 1999. BirA enzyme: production and application in the study of membrane receptor-ligand interactions by site-specific biotinylation. Anal Biochem, 266 (1), pp. 9-15. | Show Abstract | Read more

The enzyme BirA is a key reagent because of its ability to biotinylate proteins at a specific residue in a recognition sequence. We report a rapid, efficient, and economical method for the production, purification, and application of this enzyme. The method is easily scaled up and the protein produced is of high purity and can be stored for many months with retention of activity. We have used this enzyme to biotinylate the C termini of membrane proteins, allowing these proteins to be tetramerized by binding to streptavidin. Because of the specificity of the biotinylation at the C terminus, the orientation of the membrane proteins on the streptavidin is equivalent to that of the native protein on the cell surface. These tetrameric proteins can be used to study protein receptor-ligand interactions at the cell surface, and site-specific biotinylation can be used to study proteins in vitro using a defined orientation.

Cited:

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Bastin JM, Jones M, O'Callaghan CA, Schimanski L, Mason DY, Townsend ARM. 1998. Kupffer cell staining by an HFE-specific monoclonal antibody: implications for hereditary haemochromatosis BRITISH JOURNAL OF HAEMATOLOGY, 103 (4), pp. 931-941. | Show Abstract | Read more

Hereditary haemochromatosis is an inherited disorder of iron absorption that leads to excessive iron storage in the liver and other organs. A candidate disease gene HFE has been identified that encodes a novel MHC class I like protein. We report the development of a monoclonal antibody (HFE-JB1) specific for recombinant refolded HFE protein. The antibody immunoprecipitates a 49 kD protein from the cell line U937, a histiocytic lymphoma. It binds HFE but does not recognize other recombinant non-classic MHC class I proteins (HLA-E, F and G), nor does it react with a variety of recombinant classic class I MHC molecules. COS cells transfected with HFE in culture are stained specifically. The immunohistochemical staining pattern in human tissues is unique and can be defined as a subset of the transferrin receptor positive cells. In the liver HFE protein was shown to be present on Kupffer cells and endothelium (sinusoidal lining cells), but absent from the parenchyma. Kupffer cells from an untreated C282Y HH patient failed to stain with the antibody. In the normal gut scattered cells in the crypts are stained, HFE was also present on capillary endothelium in the brain (a site of high levels of transferrin receptor) and on scattered cells in the cerebellum and cortex. These results raise interesting questions concerning the function of HFE in the control of body iron content and distribution.

Wilson JD, Ogg GS, Allen RL, Goulder PJ, Kelleher A, Sewell AK, O'Callaghan CA, Rowland-Jones SL, Callan MF, McMichael AJ. 1998. Oligoclonal expansions of CD8(+) T cells in chronic HIV infection are antigen specific. J Exp Med, 188 (4), pp. 785-790. | Show Abstract | Read more

Acute HIV infection is associated with a vigorous immune response characterized by the proliferation of selected T cell receptor V beta (BV)-expressing CD8(+) T cells. These 'expansions', which are commonly detected in the peripheral blood, can persist during chronic HIV infection and may result in the dominance of particular clones. Such clonal populations are most consistent with antigen-driven expansions of CD8(+) T cells. However, due to the difficulties in studying antigen-specific T cells in vivo, it has been hard to prove that oligoclonal BV expansions are actually HIV specific. The use of tetrameric major histocompatibility complex-peptide complexes has recently enabled direct visualization of antigen-specific T cells ex vivo but has not provided information on their clonal composition. We have now made use of these tetrameric complexes in conjunction with anti-BV chain-specific monoclonal antibodies and analysis of cytotoxic T lymphocyte lines/clones to show that chronically clonally expanded CD8(+) T cells are HIV specific in vivo.

O'Callaghan CA, Bell JI. 1998. Structure and function of the human MHC class Ib molecules HLA-E, HLA-F and HLA-G. Immunol Rev, 163 (1), pp. 129-138. | Show Abstract | Read more

The major histocompatibility (MHC) class Ib molecules HLA-E, HLA-F and HLA-G are relatively non-polymorphic compared to class Ia molecules. Both HLA-E and HLA-G bind peptides and are involved in natural killer (NK)-cell recognition, but the role of HLA-F is unclear. HLA-E binds specifically to the conserved leader sequence peptides from the class Ia MHC molecules and interacts on the cell surface with the CD94/NKG2 class of NK-cell receptors. The framework structure of HLA-E is similar to that of the MHC class Ia molecules, but the peptide-binding groove is highly adapted for the specific binding of the leader sequence peptides. This is different from class Ia molecules, which have highly promiscuous peptide-binding grooves. The HLA-E groove makes full use of all the available pockets and imposes specificity along the entire length of the peptide. HLA-G binds nonamer peptides with leucine or isoleucine at position 2, proline at position 3 and leucine at position 9. Expression of HLA-G inhibits NK cells expressing the CD94/NKG2 class of receptors, though an interaction with these receptors has not been directly demonstrated.

McMichael AJ, O'Callaghan CA. 1998. A new look at T cells. J Exp Med, 187 (9), pp. 1367-1371. | Read more

Callan MF, Tan L, Annels N, Ogg GS, Wilson JD, O'Callaghan CA, Steven N, McMichael AJ, Rickinson AB. 1998. Direct visualization of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells during the primary immune response to Epstein-Barr virus In vivo. J Exp Med, 187 (9), pp. 1395-1402. | Show Abstract | Read more

Primary infection with virus can stimulate a vigorous cytotoxic T cell response. The magnitude of the antigen-specific component versus the bystander component of a primary T cell response remains controversial. In this study, we have used tetrameric major histocompatibility complex-peptide complexes to directly visualize antigen-specific cluster of differentration (CD)8+ T cells during the primary immune response to Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection in humans. We show that massive expansion of activated, antigen-specific T cells occurs during the primary response to this virus. In one individual, T cells specific for a single EBV epitope comprised 44% of the total CD8+ T cells within peripheral blood. The majority of the antigen-specific cells had an activated/memory phenotype, with expression of human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) DR, CD38, and CD45RO, downregulation of CD62 leukocyte (CD62L), and low levels of expression of CD45RA. After recovery from AIM, the frequency of antigen-specific T cells fell in most donors studied, although populations of antigen-specific cells continued to be easily detectable for at least 3 yr.

Gao GF, Gerth UC, Wyer JR, Willcox BE, O'Callaghan CA, Zhang Z, Jones EY, Bell JI, Jakobsen BK. 1998. Assembly and crystallization of the complex between the human T cell coreceptor CD8alpha homodimer and HLA-A2. Protein Sci, 7 (5), pp. 1245-1249. | Show Abstract | Read more

A strategy for overexpression in Escherichia coli of the extracellular immunoglobulin domain of human CD8alpha was devised using codon usage alterations in the 5' region of the gene, designed so as to prevent the formation of secondary structures in the mRNA. A fragment of CD8alpha, comprising residues 1-120 of the mature protein, excluding the signal peptide and the membrane-proximal stalk region, was recovered from bacterial inclusion bodies and refolded to produce a single species of homodimeric, soluble receptor. HLA-A2 heavy chain, beta2-microglobulin and a synthetic peptide antigen corresponding to the pol epitope from HIV-1 were also expressed in E. coli, refolded and purified. CD8alpha/HLA-A2 complexes were formed in solution and by co-crystallization with a stoichiometry of one CD8alpha alpha dimer to one HLA-A2-peptide unit.

O'Callaghan CA, Tormo J, Willcox BE, Blundell CD, Jakobsen BK, Stuart DI, McMichael AJ, Bell JI, Jones EY. 1998. Production, crystallization, and preliminary X-ray analysis of the human MHC class Ib molecule HLA-E. Protein Sci, 7 (5), pp. 1264-1266. | Show Abstract | Read more

HLA-E is the first human class Ib major histocompatibility complex molecule to be crystallized. HLA-E is highly conserved and almost nonpolymorphic, and has recently been shown to be the first specialized ligand for natural killer cell receptors. In functional studies, HLA-E is unlike the class Ia MHC molecules in having tightly restricted peptide binding specificity. HLA-E binds a limited set of almost identical leader sequence peptides derived from class Ia molecules and presents these at the cell surface for recognition by natural killer cell receptors. We now show that the extracellular region of HLA-E forms a stable complex with beta2 microglobulin and can be refolded around synthetic peptide. Crystals of this complex formed slowly over four to six months in the presence of ammonium sulphate. The crystals diffract to 2.85 A with space group P3(1)21 and unit cell dimensions a = 182.2 A, b = 182.2 A, c = 88.4 A.

Colonna M, Samaridis J, Cella M, Angman L, Allen RL, O'Callaghan CA, Dunbar R, Ogg GS, Cerundolo V, Rolink A. 1998. Human myelomonocytic cells express an inhibitory receptor for classical and nonclassical MHC class I molecules. J Immunol, 160 (7), pp. 3096-3100. | Show Abstract

Leukocyte activation can be negatively regulated by inhibitory receptors specific for MHC class I molecules. While one inhibitory receptor, Ig-like transcript 2 (ILT2), is expressed by all lymphoid and myelomonocytic cell types, other receptors display a more selective tissue distribution. Here we characterize an inhibitory receptor, termed ILT4, which is selectively expressed in monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells (DCs), binds classical class I molecules and the nonclassical class I molecules HLA-G, and transduces negative signals that can inhibit early signaling events triggered by stimulatory receptors. ILT4 may control inflammatory responses and cytotoxicity mediated by myelomonocytic cells and may modulate their Ag-presenting functions, focusing immune responses to microbial challenges and avoiding autoreactivity.

O'Callaghan CA, Tormo J, Willcox BE, Braud VM, Jakobsen BK, Stuart DI, McMichael AJ, Bell JI, Jones EY. 1998. Structural features impose tight peptide binding specificity in the nonclassical MHC molecule HLA-E. Mol Cell, 1 (4), pp. 531-541. | Show Abstract | Read more

The crystal structure of the nonclassical human class lb MHC molecule HLA-E has been determined in complex with a prototypic ligand, the nonamer peptide (VMAPRTVLL), derived from the highly conserved residues 3-11 of the human MHC class la leader sequence. The mode of peptide binding retains some of the standard features observed in MHC class la complexes, but novel features imply that HLA-E has evolved to mediate specific binding to a tightly defined set of almost identical hydrophobic peptides from the highly conserved class l leader sequences. These molecular adaptations make HLA-E a rigorous checkpoint at the cell surface reporting on the integrity of the antigen processing pathway to CD94/NKG2 receptor-bearing natural killer cells.

Braud VM, Allan DS, O'Callaghan CA, Söderström K, D'Andrea A, Ogg GS, Lazetic S, Young NT et al. 1998. HLA-E binds to natural killer cell receptors CD94/NKG2A, B and C. Nature, 391 (6669), pp. 795-799. | Show Abstract | Read more

The protein HLA-E is a non-classical major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecule of limited sequence variability. Its expression on the cell surface is regulated by the binding of peptides derived from the signal sequence of some other MHC class I molecules. Here we report the identification of ligands for HLA-E. We constructed tetramers in which recombinant HLA-E and beta2-microglobulin were refolded with an MHC leader-sequence peptide, biotinylated, and conjugated to phycoerythrin-labelled Extravidin. This HLA-E tetramer bound to natural killer (NK) cells and a small subset of T cells from peripheral blood. On transfectants, the tetramer bound to the CD94/NKG2A, CD94/NKGK2B and CD94/NKG2C NK cell receptors, but did not bind to the immunoglobulin family of NK cell receptors (KIR). Surface expression of HLA-E was enough to protect target cells from lysis by CD94/NKG2A+ NK-cell clones. A subset of HLA class I alleles has been shown to inhibit killing by CD94/NKG2A+ NK-cell clones. Only the HLA alleles that possess a leader peptide capable of upregulating HLA-E surface expression confer resistance to NK-cell-mediated lysis, implying that their action is mediated by HLA-E, the predominant ligand for the NK cell inhibitory receptor CD94/NKG2A.

OCallaghan CA, Hicks J, Sacks SH, Cameron JS. 1997. Characteristics of idiopathic membranous nephropathy in older patients. KIDNEY INTERNATIONAL, 52 (4), pp. 1130-1131.

Goulder PJ, Reid SW, Price DA, O'Callaghan CA, McMichael AJ, Phillips RE, Jones EY. 1997. Combined structural and immunological refinement of HIV-1 HLA-B8-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes. Eur J Immunol, 27 (6), pp. 1515-1521. | Show Abstract | Read more

This study demonstrates that use of structural information improves the definition and optimization of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) epitopes. Epitope optimization usually requires numerous truncated peptides or a reverse immunogenetic approach, where the peptide binding motif is used to predict epitopes. These binding motifs do not reliably predict all peptides which are CTL epitopes. Comparison of 24 peptides eluted from HLA-B8 with 10 HLA-B8-restricted defined CTL epitopes demonstrated that known epitopes varied considerably at anchor positions. We used structural information based on determination of the crystal structure of the HLA-B8-GGKKKYKL complex to reassess previously described CTL epitopes, to predict new epitopes, and to predict the consequences of naturally occurring variation within epitopes. These predictions were confirmed by cytotoxicity and binding assays. Use of combined structural and immunological data more accurately defines the true peptide-binding motif of a restriction element than eluted peptide data allows.

Vessey SJ, Barouch DH, McAdam SN, Tussey LG, Davenport MA, O'Callaghan CA, Bell JI, McMichael AJ, Jakobsen BK. 1997. Engagement of a T cell receptor by major histocompatibility complex irrespective of peptide. Eur J Immunol, 27 (4), pp. 879-885. | Show Abstract | Read more

T cell receptors (TCR) identify target cells presenting a ligand consisting of a major histocompatibility complex molecule (MHC) and an antigenic peptide. A considerable amount of evidence indicates that the TCR contacts both the peptide and the MHC components of the ligand. In fully differentiated T cells the interaction between the peptide and the TCR makes the critical contribution to eliciting a cellular response. However, during the positive selection of thymocytes the contribution of peptide relative to MHC is less well established. Indeed it has been suggested that the critical interaction for positive selection is between the TCR and the MHC molecule and that peptides can be viewed as either allowing or obstructing this contact. This predicts that a given TCR is capable of engaging multiple MHC/peptide complexes. In this study a system is described which detects simply engagement of the TCR by MHC/peptide complexes rather than the functional outcome of such interactions. Using this approach the extent to which peptides can influence contacts between the TCR and the MHC molecule has been examined. The results show that the TCR does in fact engage a wide range of ligands in an MHC-restricted but largely peptide-independent manner, suggesting that only a few peptides are able to prevent the TCR from contacting the MHC molecule.

Reid SW, McAdam S, Smith KJ, Klenerman P, O'Callaghan CA, Harlos K, Jakobsen BK, McMichael AJ, Bell JI, Stuart DI, Jones EY. 1996. Antagonist HIV-1 Gag peptides induce structural changes in HLA B8. J Exp Med, 184 (6), pp. 2279-2286. | Show Abstract | Read more

In the cellular immune response, recognition by CTL-TCRs of viral antigens presented as peptides by HLA class I molecules, triggers destruction of the virally infected cell (Townsend, A.R.M., J. Rothbard, F.M. Gotch, G. Bahadur, D. Wraith, and A.J. McMichael. 1986. Cell. 44:959-968). Altered peptide ligands (APLs) which antagonise CTL recognition of infected cells have been reported (Jameson, S.C., F.R. Carbone, and M.J. Bevan. 1993. J. Exp. Med. 177:1541-1550). In one example, lysis of antigen presenting cells by CTLs in response to recognition of an HLA B8-restricted HIV-1 P17 (aa 24-31) epitope can be inhibited by naturally occurring variants of this peptide, which act as TCR antagonists (Klenerman, P., S. Rowland Jones, S. McAdam, J. Edwards, S. Daenke, D. Lalloo, B. Koppe, W. Rosenberg, D. Boyd, A. Edwards, P. Giangrande, R.E. Phillips, and A. McMichael. 1994. Nature (Lond.). 369:403-407). We have characterised two CTL clones and a CTL line whose interactions with these variants of P17 (aa 24-31) exhibit a variety of responses. We have examined the high resolution crystal structures of four of these APLs in complex with HLA B8 to determine alterations in the shape, chemistry, and local flexibility of the TCR binding surface. The variant peptides cause changes in the recognition surface by three mechanisms: changes contributed directly by the peptide, effects transmitted to the exposed peptide surface, and induced effects on the exposed framework of the peptide binding groove. While the first two mechanisms frequently lead to antagonism, the third has more profound effects on TCR recognition.

Costigan MG, Callaghan CA, Lindup WE. 1996. Hypothesis: is accumulation of a furan dicarboxylic acid (3-carboxy-4- methyl-5-propyl-2-furanpropanoic acid) related to the neurological abnormalities in patients with renal failure? Nephron, 73 (2), pp. 169-173. | Show Abstract | Read more

The Plasma concentrations of a lipophilic furan dicarboxylic acid (3- carboxy-4-methyl-5-propyl-2-fluranpropanoic acid; 5-propyl FPA), which is highly bound to albumin and not removed by haemodialysis, have been measured in patients with renal impairment who were not dialysis dependent or who were treated by either haemodialysis or peritoneal dialysis. Neurological abnormalities were assessed as absent, moderate, or severe. A relationship was observed between the increasing severity of abnormalities attributable to the uraemic state and the higher plasma concentrations of 5-propyl FPA. There are theoretical grounds for believing that 5-propyl FPA contributes to these neurological abnormalities because of its structure and also because it inhibits the transport of organic acids in the kidney and could do likewise at the blood-brain barrier.

Reid SW, Smith KJ, Jakobsen BK, O'Callaghan CA, Reyburn H, Harlos K, Stuart DI, McMichael AJ, Bell JI, Jones EY. 1996. Production and crystallization of MHC class I B allele single peptide complexes. FEBS Lett, 383 (1-2), pp. 119-123. | Show Abstract | Read more

Major histocompatibility complex class I B alleles, HLA B8, B53 and B3501 have been cloned, expressed, refolded and crystallized in specific complexes with a number of different 8-mer and 9-mer peptides. For some of these crystallization was initiated by cross-seeding between different B allele complexes. All crystallize in the space group P212121, with similar unit cell dimensions of approximately 52 A X 81 A X 112 A, contain one complex per asymmetric unit and diffract to approximately 2.0 A resolution.

O'Callaghan CA, Cameron JS, Sacks SH. 1995. Early prediction of treatment outcome in idiopathic membranous nephropathy. QJM, 88 (12), pp. 889-894. | Show Abstract

Most patients with idiopathic membranous nephropathy have a benign course, but a minority develop severe persistent nephrotic syndrome or endstage renal failure. The disease appears to have an immunological basis and immunosuppression has been used with some benefit. Unfortunately, treatment can be toxic and not all patients respond. For this reason it would be useful to identify at an early stage those patients who might benefit from treatment. This information could be used to minimize the exposure of patients to unnecessary treatment toxicity. We studied a cohort of 128 patients over a 2-year period. A clear relationship exists between the early response to treatment at one month and the long-term outcome from treatment across a number of treatment types. Those patients who might benefit from treatment and those who are unlikely to benefit, can be clearly distinguished at an early stage.

O'Callaghan CA, Wells AU, Lalvani A, Dhillon PD, Hansell DM, Mitchell DN. 1994. Effective use of cyclosporin in sarcoidosis: a treatment strategy based on computed tomography scanning. Eur Respir J, 7 (12), pp. 2255-2256. | Show Abstract | Read more

Cyclosporin was used successfully in a patient with severe pulmonary sarcoidosis, a poor response and unacceptable side-effects from corticosteroid therapy. Computed tomography (CT) scanning initially suggested reversible disease, and subsequently detected improvement earlier than other indices of disease activity. This information was critical in the decision to commence and to continue cyclosporin. The literature on the use of cyclosporin in sarcoidosis is reviewed.

Moore DF, O'Callaghan CA, Berlyne G, Ogg CS, Davies HA, House IM, Henry JA. 1994. Acute arsenic poisoning: absence of polyneuropathy after treatment with 2,3-dimercaptopropanesulphonate (DMPS). J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry, 57 (9), pp. 1133-1135. | Show Abstract | Read more

Two men aged 19 and 21 years ingested 1 g and 4 g respectively from 3 kg of a white crystalline powder that they thought was a substance of abuse. It was later identified as almost pure arsenic trioxide. Both had nausea and vomiting and one developed acute renal failure. Each was treated with 2,3-dimercaptopropanesulphonate (DMPS), and made a full recovery with no evidence of prolonged renal or neurological impairment. The DMPS-arsenic complex is probably associated with lower penetration into the CNS and as a consequence treatment with DMPS may result in lower acute and chronic neurotoxicity than treatment with the currently standard recommended chelating agent dimercaprol (British Anti-Lewisite; BAL).

O'Callaghan CA. 1994. Acute renal failure associated with NSAIDS. BMJ, 308 (6932), pp. 857-858. | Read more

O'Callaghan CA, Andrews PA, Ogg CS. 1994. Renal disease and use of topical non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. BMJ, 308 (6921), pp. 110-111. | Read more

O'Callaghan CA, Andrews PA, Ogg CS. 1993. NSAIDS in the postoperative period. Many factors threaten renal function. BMJ, 307 (6898), pp. 257. | Read more

O'Callaghan CA, Trump D. 1993. Prolonged QT syndrome presenting as epilepsy. Lancet, 341 (8847), pp. 759-760. | Read more

O'Callaghan CA. 1993. Prevention of nosocomial respiratory syncytial virus infection. Lancet, 341 (8838), pp. 182. | Read more

Hill NR, Fatoba ST, Oke JL, Hirst JA, O'Callaghan CA, Lasserson DS, Hobbs FD. 2016. Global Prevalence of Chronic Kidney Disease - A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One, 11 (7), pp. e0158765. | Show Abstract | Read more

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is a global health burden with a high economic cost to health systems and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). All stages of CKD are associated with increased risks of cardiovascular morbidity, premature mortality, and/or decreased quality of life. CKD is usually asymptomatic until later stages and accurate prevalence data are lacking. Thus we sought to determine the prevalence of CKD globally, by stage, geographical location, gender and age. A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies estimating CKD prevalence in general populations was conducted through literature searches in 8 databases. We assessed pooled data using a random effects model. Of 5,842 potential articles, 100 studies of diverse quality were included, comprising 6,908,440 patients. Global mean(95%CI) CKD prevalence of 5 stages 13·4%(11·7-15·1%), and stages 3-5 was 10·6%(9·2-12·2%). Weighting by study quality did not affect prevalence estimates. CKD prevalence by stage was Stage-1 (eGFR>90+ACR>30): 3·5% (2·8-4·2%); Stage-2 (eGFR 60-89+ACR>30): 3·9% (2·7-5·3%); Stage-3 (eGFR 30-59): 7·6% (6·4-8·9%); Stage-4 = (eGFR 29-15): 0·4% (0·3-0·5%); and Stage-5 (eGFR<15): 0·1% (0·1-0·1%). CKD has a high global prevalence with a consistent estimated global CKD prevalence of between 11 to 13% with the majority stage 3. Future research should evaluate intervention strategies deliverable at scale to delay the progression of CKD and improve CVD outcomes.

Lasserson DS, Scherpbier de Haan N, de Grauw W, van der Wel M, Wetzels JF, O'Callaghan CA. 2016. What is the relationship between renal function and visit-to-visit blood pressure variability in primary care? Retrospective cohort study from routinely collected healthcare data. BMJ Open, 6 (6), pp. e010702. | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVE: To determine the relationship between renal function and visit-to-visit blood pressure (BP) variability in a cohort of primary care patients. DESIGN: Retrospective cohort study from routinely collected healthcare data. SETTING: Primary care in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, from 2007 to 2012. PARTICIPANTS: 19 175 patients who had a measure of renal function, and 7 separate visits with BP readings in the primary care record. OUTCOME MEASURES: Visit-to-visit variability in systolic BP, calculated from the first 7 office measurements, including SD, successive variation, absolute real variation and metrics of variability shown to be independent of mean. Multiple linear regression was used to analyse the influence of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) on BP variability measures with adjustment for age, sex, diabetes, mean BP, proteinuria, cardiovascular disease, time interval between measures and antihypertensive use. RESULTS: In the patient cohort, 57% were women, mean (SD) age was 65.5 (12.3) years, mean (SD) eGFR was 75.6 (18.0) mL/min/1.73m(2) and SD systolic BP 148.3 (21.4) mm Hg. All BP variability measures were negatively correlated with eGFR and positively correlated with age. However, multiple linear regressions demonstrated consistent, small magnitude negative relationships between eGFR and all measures of BP variability adjusting for confounding variables. CONCLUSIONS: Worsening renal function is associated with small increases in measures of visit-to-visit BP variability after adjustment for confounding factors. This is seen across the spectrum of renal function in the population, and provides a mechanism whereby chronic kidney disease may raise the risk of cardiovascular events.

Reschen ME, Lin D, Chalisey A, Soilleux EJ, O'Callaghan CA. 2016. Genetic and environmental risk factors for atherosclerosis regulate transcription of phosphatase and actin regulating gene PHACTR1. Atherosclerosis, 250 pp. 95-105. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Coronary artery disease (CAD) risk is associated with non-coding genetic variants at the phosphatase and actin regulating protein 1(PHACTR1) gene locus. The PHACTR1 gene encodes an actin-binding protein with phosphatase regulating activity. The mechanism whereby PHACTR1 influences CAD risk is unknown. We hypothesized that PHACTR1 would be expressed in human cell types relevant to CAD and regulated by atherogenic or genetic factors. METHODS AND RESULTS: Using immunohistochemistry, we demonstrate that PHACTR1 protein is expressed strongly in human atherosclerotic plaque macrophages, lipid-laden foam cells, adventitial lymphocytes and endothelial cells. Using a combination of genomic analysis and molecular techniques, we demonstrate that PHACTR1 is expressed as multiple previously uncharacterized transcripts in macrophages, foam cells, lymphocytes and endothelial cells. Immunoblotting confirmed a total absence of PHACTR1 in vascular smooth muscle cells. Real-time quantitative PCR showed that PHACTR1 is regulated by atherogenic and inflammatory stimuli. In aortic endothelial cells, oxLDL and TNF-alpha both upregulated an intermediate length transcript. A short transcript expressed only in immune cells was upregulated in macrophages by oxidized low-density lipoprotein, and oxidized phospholipids but suppressed by lipopolysaccharide or TNF-alpha. In primary human macrophages, we identified a novel expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) specific for this short transcript, whereby the risk allele at CAD risk SNP rs9349379 is associated with reduced PHACTR1 expression, similar to the effect of an inflammatory stimulus. CONCLUSIONS: Our data demonstrate that PHACTR1 is a key atherosclerosis candidate gene since it is regulated by atherogenic stimuli in macrophages and endothelial cells and we identify an effect of the genetic risk variant on PHACTR1 expression in macrophages that is similar to that of an inflammatory stimulus.

Gaulton KJ, Ferreira T, Lee Y, Raimondo A, Mägi R, Reschen ME, Mahajan A, Locke A et al. 2015. Genetic fine mapping and genomic annotation defines causal mechanisms at type 2 diabetes susceptibility loci. Nat Genet, 47 (12), pp. 1415-1425. | Show Abstract | Read more

We performed fine mapping of 39 established type 2 diabetes (T2D) loci in 27,206 cases and 57,574 controls of European ancestry. We identified 49 distinct association signals at these loci, including five mapping in or near KCNQ1. 'Credible sets' of the variants most likely to drive each distinct signal mapped predominantly to noncoding sequence, implying that association with T2D is mediated through gene regulation. Credible set variants were enriched for overlap with FOXA2 chromatin immunoprecipitation binding sites in human islet and liver cells, including at MTNR1B, where fine mapping implicated rs10830963 as driving T2D association. We confirmed that the T2D risk allele for this SNP increases FOXA2-bound enhancer activity in islet- and liver-derived cells. We observed allele-specific differences in NEUROD1 binding in islet-derived cells, consistent with evidence that the T2D risk allele increases islet MTNR1B expression. Our study demonstrates how integration of genetic and genomic information can define molecular mechanisms through which variants underlying association signals exert their effects on disease.

Reschen ME, Gaulton KJ, Lin D, Soilleux EJ, Morris AJ, Smyth SS, O'Callaghan CA. 2015. Lipid-induced epigenomic changes in human macrophages identify a coronary artery disease-associated variant that regulates PPAP2B Expression through Altered C/EBP-beta binding. PLoS Genet, 11 (4), pp. e1005061. | Show Abstract | Read more

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have identified over 40 loci that affect risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and the causal mechanisms at the majority of loci are unknown. Recent studies have suggested that many causal GWAS variants influence disease through altered transcriptional regulation in disease-relevant cell types. We explored changes in transcriptional regulation during a key pathophysiological event in CAD, the environmental lipid-induced transformation of macrophages to lipid-laden foam cells. We used a combination of open chromatin mapping with formaldehyde-assisted isolation of regulatory elements (FAIRE-seq) and enhancer and transcription factor mapping using chromatin immuno-precipitation (ChIP-seq) in primary human macrophages before and after exposure to atherogenic oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), with resultant foam cell formation. OxLDL-induced foam cell formation was associated with changes in a subset of open chromatin and active enhancer sites that strongly correlated with expression changes of nearby genes. OxLDL-regulated enhancers were enriched for several transcription factors including C/EBP-beta, which has no previously documented role in foam cell formation. OxLDL exposure up-regulated C/EBP-beta expression and increased genomic binding events, most prominently around genes involved in inflammatory response pathways. Variants at CAD-associated loci were significantly and specifically enriched in the subset of chromatin sites altered by oxLDL exposure, including rs72664324 in an oxLDL-induced enhancer at the PPAP2B locus. OxLDL increased C/EBP beta binding to this site and C/EBP beta binding and enhancer activity were stronger with the protective A allele of rs72664324. In addition, expression of the PPAP2B protein product LPP3 was present in foam cells in human atherosclerotic plaques and oxLDL exposure up-regulated LPP3 in macrophages resulting in increased degradation of pro-inflammatory mediators. Our results demonstrate a genetic mechanism contributing to CAD risk at the PPAP2B locus and highlight the value of studying epigenetic changes in disease processes involving pathogenic environmental stimuli.

O'Callaghan CA. 2014. OxMaR: open source free software for online minimization and randomization for clinical trials. PLoS One, 9 (10), pp. e110761. | Show Abstract | Read more

Minimization is a valuable method for allocating participants between the control and experimental arms of clinical studies. The use of minimization reduces differences that might arise by chance between the study arms in the distribution of patient characteristics such as gender, ethnicity and age. However, unlike randomization, minimization requires real time assessment of each new participant with respect to the preceding distribution of relevant participant characteristics within the different arms of the study. For multi-site studies, this necessitates centralized computational analysis that is shared between all study locations. Unfortunately, there is no suitable freely available open source or free software that can be used for this purpose. OxMaR was developed to enable researchers in any location to use minimization for patient allocation and to access the minimization algorithm using any device that can connect to the internet such as a desktop computer, tablet or mobile phone. The software is complete in itself and requires no special packages or libraries to be installed. It is simple to set up and run over the internet using online facilities which are very low cost or even free to the user. Importantly, it provides real time information on allocation to the study lead or administrator and generates real time distributed backups with each allocation. OxMaR can readily be modified and customised and can also be used for standard randomization. It has been extensively tested and has been used successfully in a low budget multi-centre study. Hitherto, the logistical difficulties involved in minimization have precluded its use in many small studies and this software should allow more widespread use of minimization which should lead to studies with better matched control and experimental arms. OxMaR should be particularly valuable in low resource settings.

McCarthy MT, O'Callaghan CA. 2014. PeaKDEck: a kernel density estimator-based peak calling program for DNaseI-seq data. Bioinformatics, 30 (9), pp. 1302-1304. | Show Abstract | Read more

Hypersensitivity to DNaseI digestion is a hallmark of open chromatin, and DNaseI-seq allows the genome-wide identification of regions of open chromatin. Interpreting these data is challenging, largely because of inherent variation in signal-to-noise ratio between datasets. We have developed PeaKDEck, a peak calling program that distinguishes signal from noise by randomly sampling read densities and using kernel density estimation to generate a dataset-specific probability distribution of random background signal. PeaKDEck uses this probability distribution to select an appropriate read density threshold for peak calling in each dataset. We benchmark PeaKDEck using published ENCODE DNaseI-seq data and other peak calling programs, and demonstrate superior performance in low signal-to-noise ratio datasets.

Reschen M, Kini U, Hood RL, Boycott KM, Hurst J, O'Callaghan CA. 2012. Floating-Harbor syndrome and polycystic kidneys associated with SRCAP mutation. Am J Med Genet A, 158A (12), pp. 3196-3200. | Show Abstract | Read more

Floating-Harbor syndrome (FHS) is a rare genetic disorder recently shown to be caused by mutations in the Snf2-related CREB-binding protein activator protein gene (SRCAP). It comprises three key clinical features of characteristic facies, expressive and receptive speech impairment and short stature. We report on a patient with this syndrome associated with early adult-onset hypertension and bilateral polycystic kidneys. Family screening for polycystic kidney disease was negative and mutations in polycystic kidney disease 1 and 2 genes (PKD1 and PKD2) were absent. Sequencing of the SRCAP gene demonstrated a de novo mutation matching one of the known FHS-associated mutations. The patient required treatment with anti-hypertensives and will require lifelong renal monitoring. We suggest this patient's presentation may be due to the pleiotropic effects of SRCAP mutations. Further, the protein encoded by SRCAP is known to interact with CREB-binding protein, the product of the gene mutated in Rubinstein-Taybi syndrome, which is associated with renal abnormalities. A literature review of the renal findings in patients with Floating-Harbor syndrome identified another patient with possible polycystic kidneys, two patients with early onset hypertension, and a young patient with a ruptured intracranial aneurysm, which can be a feature of classic adult polycystic kidney disease. Collectively, these findings suggest that all patients with Floating-Harbor syndrome should undergo regular blood pressure monitoring and screening for polycystic kidneys by ultrasound at the time of the FHS diagnosis with imaging to be repeated during adulthood if a childhood ultrasound was negative.

Lin D, Lavender H, Soilleux EJ, O'Callaghan CA. 2012. NF-κB regulates MICA gene transcription in endothelial cell through a genetically inhibitable control site. J Biol Chem, 287 (6), pp. 4299-4310. | Show Abstract | Read more

Endothelial cells form a barrier between blood and the underlying vessel wall, which characteristically demonstrates inflammatory damage in atherosclerotic disease. MICA is a highly polymorphic ligand for the activating immune receptor NKG2D and can be expressed on endothelial cells. We hypothesized that damaged vessel walls, such as those involved in atherosclerosis, might express MICA, which could contribute to the vascular immunopathology. Immune activation resulting from MICA expression could play a significant role in the development of vascular damage. We have demonstrated that TNFα up-regulates MICA on human endothelial cells. The up-regulation is mediated by NF-κB, and we have defined the regulatory control site responsible for this at -130 bp upstream of the MICA transcription start site. This site overlaps with a heat shock response element and integrates input from the two pathways. We have shown that in atherosclerotic lesions there is expression of MICA on endothelial cells. Using lentivirus-mediated gene delivery in primary human endothelial cells, we were able to inhibit the MICA response to TNFα with a truncated HSF1 that lacked a transactivation domain. This highlights the potential for transcription-based therapeutic approaches in atherosclerotic vascular disease to reduce immune-mediated endothelial and vessel wall damage.

Watson AA, Lebedev AA, Hall BA, Fenton-May AE, Vagin AA, Dejnirattisai W, Felce J, Mongkolsapaya J et al. 2011. Structural flexibility of the macrophage dengue virus receptor CLEC5A: implications for ligand binding and signaling. J Biol Chem, 286 (27), pp. 24208-24218. | Show Abstract | Read more

The human C-type lectin-like molecule CLEC5A is a critical macrophage receptor for dengue virus. The binding of dengue virus to CLEC5A triggers signaling through the associated adapter molecule DAP12, stimulating proinflammatory cytokine release. We have crystallized an informative ensemble of CLEC5A structural conformers at 1.9-Å resolution and demonstrate how an on-off extension to a β-sheet acts as a binary switch regulating the flexibility of the molecule. This structural information together with molecular dynamics simulations suggests a mechanism whereby extracellular events may be transmitted through the membrane and influence DAP12 signaling. We demonstrate that CLEC5A is homodimeric at the cell surface and binds to dengue virus serotypes 1-4. We used blotting experiments, surface analyses, glycan microarray, and docking studies to investigate the ligand binding potential of CLEC5A with particular respect to dengue virus. This study provides a rational foundation for understanding the dengue virus-macrophage interaction and the role of CLEC5A in dengue virus-induced lethal disease.

Hughes CE, Pollitt AY, Mori J, Eble JA, Tomlinson MG, Hartwig JH, O'Callaghan CA, Fütterer K, Watson SP. 2010. CLEC-2 activates Syk through dimerization. Blood, 115 (14), pp. 2947-2955. | Show Abstract | Read more

The C-type lectin receptor CLEC-2 activates platelets through Src and Syk tyrosine kinases, leading to tyrosine phosphorylation of downstream adapter proteins and effector enzymes, including phospholipase-C gamma2. Signaling is initiated through phosphorylation of a single conserved tyrosine located in a YxxL sequence in the CLEC-2 cytosolic tail. The signaling pathway used by CLEC-2 shares many similarities with that used by receptors that have 1 or more copies of an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif, defined by the sequence Yxx(L/I)x(6-12)Yxx(L/I), in their cytosolic tails or associated receptor chains. Phosphorylation of the conserved immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif tyrosines promotes Syk binding and activation through binding of the Syk tandem SH2 domains. In this report, we present evidence using peptide pull-down studies, surface plasmon resonance, quantitative Western blotting, tryptophan fluorescence measurements, and competition experiments that Syk activation by CLEC-2 is mediated by the cross-linking through the tandem SH2 domains with a stoichiometry of 2:1. In support of this model, cross-linking and electron microscopy demonstrate that CLEC-2 is present as a dimer in resting platelets and converted to larger complexes on activation. This is a unique mode of activation of Syk by a single YxxL-containing receptor.

Watson AA, Christou CM, James JR, Fenton-May AE, Moncayo GE, Mistry AR, Davis SJ, Gilbert RJ, Chakera A, O'Callaghan CA. 2009. The platelet receptor CLEC-2 is active as a dimer. Biochemistry, 48 (46), pp. 10988-10996. | Show Abstract | Read more

The platelet receptor CLEC-2 binds to the snake venom toxin rhodocytin and the tumor cell surface protein podoplanin. Binding of either of these ligands promotes phosphorylation of a single tyrosine residue in the YXXL motif in the intracellular domain of CLEC-2. Phosphorylation of this tyrosine initiates binding of spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and triggers further downstream signaling events and ultimately potent platelet activation and aggregation. However, it is unclear how a single YXXL motif can interact efficiently with Syk, which usually recognizes two tandem YXXL repeats presented as an immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM). Using bioluminescence resonance energy transfer, coimmunopreciptitation, recombinant protein expression and analytical gel filtration chromatography, surface plasmon resonance, Western blotting, multiangle light scattering (MALS), and analytical ultracentrifugation, we show that CLEC-2 exists as a non-disulfide-linked homodimer which could allow each Syk molecule to interact with two YXXL motifs, one from each CLEC-2 monomer.

Christou CM, Pearce AC, Watson AA, Mistry AR, Pollitt AY, Fenton-May AE, Johnson LA, Jackson DG, Watson SP, O'Callaghan CA. 2008. Renal cells activate the platelet receptor CLEC-2 through podoplanin. Biochem J, 411 (1), pp. 133-140. | Show Abstract | Read more

We have recently shown that the C-type lectin-like receptor, CLEC-2, is expressed on platelets and that it mediates powerful platelet aggregation by the snake venom toxin rhodocytin. In addition, we have provided indirect evidence for an endogenous ligand for CLEC-2 in renal cells expressing HIV-1. This putative ligand facilitates transmission of HIV through its incorporation into the viral envelope and binding to CLEC-2 on platelets. The aim of the present study was to identify the ligand on these cells which binds to CLEC-2 on platelets. Recombinant CLEC-2 exhibits specific binding to HEK-293T (human embryonic kidney) cells in which the HIV can be grown. Furthermore, HEK-293T cells activate both platelets and CLEC-2-transfected DT-40 B-cells. The transmembrane protein podoplanin was identified on HEK-293T cells and was demonstrated to mediate both binding of HEK-293T cells to CLEC-2 and HEK-293T cell activation of CLEC-2-transfected DT-40 B-cells. Podoplanin is expressed on renal cells (podocytes). Furthermore, a direct interaction between CLEC-2 and podoplanin was confirmed using surface plasmon resonance and was shown to be independent of glycosylation of CLEC-2. The interaction has an affinity of 24.5+/-3.7 microM. The present study identifies podoplanin as a ligand for CLEC-2 on renal cells.

Mistry AR, O'Callaghan CA. 2007. Regulation of ligands for the activating receptor NKG2D. Immunology, 121 (4), pp. 439-447. | Show Abstract | Read more

The outcome of an encounter between a cytotoxic cell and a potential target cell depends on the balance of signals from inhibitory and activating receptors. Natural Killer group 2D (NKG2D) has recently emerged as a major activating receptor on T lymphocytes and natural killer cells. In both humans and mice, multiple different genes encode ligands for NKG2D, and these ligands are non-classical major histocompatibility complex class I molecules. The NKG2D-ligand interaction triggers an activating signal in the cell expressing NKG2D and this promotes cytotoxic lysis of the cell expressing the ligand. Most normal tissues do not express ligands for NKG2D, but ligand expression has been documented in tumour and virus-infected cells, leading to lysis of these cells. Tight regulation of ligand expression is important. If there is inappropriate expression in normal tissues, this will favour autoimmune processes, whilst failure to up-regulate the ligands in pathological conditions would favour cancer development or dissemination of intracellular infection.

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