register interest

Dr Nicola Ternette

Research Area: Protein Science and Structural Biology
Technology Exchange: Bioinformatics, Cellular immunology, Mass spectrometry and Protein interaction
Scientific Themes: Immunology & Infectious Disease and Cancer Biology
Keywords: Mass Spectrometry, Proteomics, T cell Immunity, Cancer and Infectious Diseases

T-cell mediated immunity is reliant on the nature of the HLA-associated peptide pool presented on an infected cell or in tumour tissue. The specificity of this presentation determines the quality of the immunological response that can be elicited by cellular immune responses. My research focuses on qualitative and quantitative characterization of these cellular immunopeptidomes in the context of pathogen infection and cancer using mass spectrometry.

Name Department Institution Country
Professor Lucy Dorrell NDM Research Building Oxford University, NDM Research Building United Kingdom
Nyagwange J, Tijhaar E, Ternette N, Mobegi F, Tretina K, Silva JC, Pelle R, Nene V. 2018. Characterization of the Theileria parva sporozoite proteome. Int J Parasitol, 48 (3-4), pp. 265-273. | Show Abstract | Read more

East Coast fever is a lymphoproliferative disease caused by the tick-borne protozoan parasite Theileria parva. The sporozoite stage of this parasite, harboured and released from the salivary glands of the tick Rhipicephalus appendiculatus during feeding, invades and establishes infection in bovine lymphocytes. Blocking this initial stage of invasion presents a promising vaccine strategy for control of East Coast fever and can in part be achieved by targeting the major sporozoite surface protein p67. To support research on the biology of T. parva and the identification of additional candidate vaccine antigens, we report on the sporozoite proteome as defined by LC-MS/MS analysis. In total, 4780 proteins were identified in an enriched preparation of sporozoites. Of these, 2007 were identified as T. parva proteins, representing close to 50% of the total predicted parasite proteome. The remaining 2773 proteins were derived from the tick vector. The identified sporozoite proteins include a set of known T. parva antigens targeted by antibodies and cytotoxic T cells from cattle that are immune to East Coast fever. We also identified proteins predicted to be orthologs of Plasmodium falciparum sporozoite surface molecules and invasion organelle proteins, and proteins that may contribute to the phenomenon of bovine lymphocyte transformation. Overall, these data establish a protein expression profile of T. parva sporozoites as an important starting point for further study of a parasitic species which has considerable agricultural impact.

Nielsen M, Connelley T, Ternette N. 2018. Improved Prediction of Bovine Leucocyte Antigens (BoLA) Presented Ligands by Use of Mass-Spectrometry-Determined Ligand and in Vitro Binding Data. J Proteome Res, 17 (1), pp. 559-567. | Show Abstract | Read more

Peptide binding to MHC class I molecules is the single most selective step in antigen presentation and the strongest single correlate to peptide cellular immunogenicity. The cost of experimentally characterizing the rules of peptide presentation for a given MHC-I molecule is extensive, and predictors of peptide-MHC interactions constitute an attractive alternative. Recently, an increasing amount of MHC presented peptides identified by mass spectrometry (MS ligands) has been published. Handling and interpretation of MS ligand data is, in general, challenging due to the polyspecificity nature of the data. We here outline a general pipeline for dealing with this challenge and accurately annotate ligands to the relevant MHC-I molecule they were eluted from by use of GibbsClustering and binding motif information inferred from in silico models. We illustrate the approach here in the context of MHC-I molecules (BoLA) of cattle. Next, we demonstrate how such annotated BoLA MS ligand data can readily be integrated with in vitro binding affinity data in a prediction model with very high and unprecedented performance for identification of BoLA-I restricted T-cell epitopes. The prediction model is freely available at http://www.cbs.dtu.dk/services/NetMHCpan/NetBoLApan . The approach has here been applied to the BoLA-I system, but the pipeline is readily applicable to MHC systems in other species.

Adam J, Ramracheya R, Chibalina MV, Ternette N, Hamilton A, Tarasov AI, Zhang Q, Rebelato E, Rorsman NJG, Martín-Del-Río R et al. 2017. Fumarate Hydratase Deletion in Pancreatic β Cells Leads to Progressive Diabetes. Cell Rep, 20 (13), pp. 3135-3148. | Show Abstract | Read more

We explored the role of the Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). Mice lacking Fh1 in pancreatic β cells (Fh1βKO mice) appear normal for 6-8 weeks but then develop progressive glucose intolerance and diabetes. Glucose tolerance is rescued by expression of mitochondrial or cytosolic FH but not by deletion of Hif1α or Nrf2. Progressive hyperglycemia in Fh1βKO mice led to dysregulated metabolism in β cells, a decrease in glucose-induced ATP production, electrical activity, cytoplasmic [Ca2+]i elevation, and GSIS. Fh1 loss resulted in elevated intracellular fumarate, promoting succination of critical cysteines in GAPDH, GMPR, and PARK 7/DJ-1 and cytoplasmic acidification. Intracellular fumarate levels were increased in islets exposed to high glucose and in islets from human donors with type 2 diabetes (T2D). The impaired GSIS in islets from diabetic Fh1βKO mice was ameliorated after culture under normoglycemic conditions. These studies highlight the role of FH and dysregulated mitochondrial metabolism in T2D.

Shao W, Pedrioli PGA, Wolski W, Scurtescu C, Schmid E, Vizcaíno JA, Courcelles M, Schuster H, Kowalewski D, Marino F et al. 2018. The SysteMHC Atlas project. Nucleic Acids Res, 46 (D1), pp. D1237-D1247. | Show Abstract | Read more

Mass spectrometry (MS)-based immunopeptidomics investigates the repertoire of peptides presented at the cell surface by major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules. The broad clinical relevance of MHC-associated peptides, e.g. in precision medicine, provides a strong rationale for the large-scale generation of immunopeptidomic datasets and recent developments in MS-based peptide analysis technologies now support the generation of the required data. Importantly, the availability of diverse immunopeptidomic datasets has resulted in an increasing need to standardize, store and exchange this type of data to enable better collaborations among researchers, to advance the field more efficiently and to establish quality measures required for the meaningful comparison of datasets. Here we present the SysteMHC Atlas (https://systemhcatlas.org), a public database that aims at collecting, organizing, sharing, visualizing and exploring immunopeptidomic data generated by MS. The Atlas includes raw mass spectrometer output files collected from several laboratories around the globe, a catalog of context-specific datasets of MHC class I and class II peptides, standardized MHC allele-specific peptide spectral libraries consisting of consensus spectra calculated from repeat measurements of the same peptide sequence, and links to other proteomics and immunology databases. The SysteMHC Atlas project was created and will be further expanded using a uniform and open computational pipeline that controls the quality of peptide identifications and peptide annotations. Thus, the SysteMHC Atlas disseminates quality controlled immunopeptidomic information to the public domain and serves as a community resource toward the generation of a high-quality comprehensive map of the human immunopeptidome and the support of consistent measurement of immunopeptidomic sample cohorts.

Hakimi O, Ternette N, Murphy R, Kessler BM, Carr A. 2017. A quantitative label-free analysis of the extracellular proteome of human supraspinatus tendon reveals damage to the pericellular and elastic fibre niches in torn and aged tissue. PLoS One, 12 (5), pp. e0177656. | Show Abstract | Read more

Tears of the human supraspinatus tendon are common and often cause painful and debilitating loss of function. Progressive failure of the tendon leading to structural abnormality and tearing is accompanied by numerous cellular and extra-cellular matrix (ECM) changes in the tendon tissue. This proteomics study aimed to compare torn and aged rotator cuff tissue to young and healthy tissue, and provide the first ECM inventory of human supraspinatus tendon generated using label-free quantitative LC-MS/MS. Employing two digestion protocols (trypsin and elastase), we analysed grain-sized tendon supraspinatus biopsies from older patients with torn tendons and from healthy, young controls. Our findings confirm measurable degradation of collagen fibrils and associated proteins in old and torn tendons, suggesting a significant loss of tissue organisation. A particularly marked reduction of cartilage oligomeric matrix protein (COMP) raises the possibility of using changes in levels of this glycoprotein as a marker of abnormal tissue, as previously suggested in horse models. Surprisingly, and despite using an elastase digestion for validation, elastin was not detected, suggesting that it is not highly abundant in human supraspinatus tendon as previously thought. Finally, we identified marked changes to the elastic fibre, fibrillin-rich niche and the pericellular matrix. Further investigation of these regions may yield other potential biomarkers and help to explain detrimental cellular processes associated with tendon ageing and tendinopathy.

Li D, Bentley C, Anderson A, Wiblin S, Cleary KLS, Koustoulidou S, Hassanali T, Yates J, Greig J, Nordkamp MO et al. 2017. Development of a T-cell Receptor Mimic Antibody against Wild-Type p53 for Cancer Immunotherapy. Cancer Res, 77 (10), pp. 2699-2711. | Show Abstract | Read more

The tumor suppressor p53 is widely dysregulated in cancer and represents an attractive target for immunotherapy. Because of its intracellular localization, p53 is inaccessible to classical therapeutic monoclonal antibodies, an increasingly successful class of anticancer drugs. However, peptides derived from intracellular antigens are presented on the cell surface in the context of MHC I and can be bound by T-cell receptors (TCR). Here, we report the development of a novel antibody, T1-116C, that acts as a TCR mimic to recognize an HLA-A*0201-presented wild-type p53 T-cell epitope, p5365-73(RMPEAAPPV). The antibody recognizes a wide range of cancers, does not bind normal peripheral blood mononuclear cells, and can activate immune effector functions to kill cancer cells in vitroIn vivo, the antibody targets p5365-73 peptide-expressing breast cancer xenografts, significantly inhibiting tumor growth. This represents a promising new agent for future cancer immunotherapy. Cancer Res; 77(10); 2699-711. ©2017 AACR.

Keating SM, Heitman JW, Wu S, Deng X, Stacey AR, Zahn RC, de la Rosa M, Finstad SL, Lifson JD, Piatak M et al. 2016. Magnitude and Quality of Cytokine and Chemokine Storm during Acute Infection Distinguish Nonprogressive and Progressive Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infections of Nonhuman Primates. J Virol, 90 (22), pp. 10339-10350. | Show Abstract | Read more

Acute human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection represents a period of intense immune perturbation and activation of the host immune system. Study of the eclipse and viral expansion phases of infection is difficult in humans, but studies in nonprogressive and progressive nonhuman primate (NHP) infection models can provide significant insight into critical events occurring during this time. Cytokines, chemokines, and other soluble immune factors were measured in longitudinal samples from rhesus macaques infected with either SIVmac251 (progressive infection) or SIVmac239Δnef (attenuated/nonprogressive infection) and from African green monkeys infected with SIVsab9315BR (nonpathogenic infection). Levels of acute-phase peak viral replication were highest in SIVmac251 infection but correlated positively with viremia at 3 months postinfection in all three infection models. SIVmac251 infection was associated with stronger corresponding acute-phase cytokine/chemokine responses than the nonprogressive infections. The production of interleukin 15 (IL-15), IL-18, gamma interferon (IFN-γ), granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), macrophage inflammatory protein 1β (MIP-1β), and serum amyloid A protein (SAA) during acute SIVmac251 infection, but not during SIVmac239Δnef or SIVsab9315BR infection, correlated positively with chronic viremia at 3 months postinfection. Acute-phase production of MCP-1 correlated with viremia at 3 months postinfection in both nonprogressive infections. Finally, a positive correlation between the acute-phase area under the curve (AUC) for IL-6 and soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) and chronic viremia was observed only for the nonprogressive infection models. While we observed dynamic acute inflammatory immune responses in both progressive and nonprogressive SIV infections, the responses in the nonprogressive infections were not only lower in magnitude but also qualitatively different biomarkers of disease progression. IMPORTANCE: NHP models of HIV infection constitute a powerful tool with which to study viral pathogenesis in order to gain critical information for a better understanding of HIV infection in humans. Here we studied progressive and nonprogressive simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection models in both natural and nonnatural host NHP species. Regardless of the pathogenicity of the virus infection and regardless of the NHP species studied, the magnitude of viremia, as measured by area under the curve, during the first 4 weeks of infection correlated positively with viremia in chronic infection. The magnitude of cytokine and chemokine responses during primary infection also correlated positively with both acute-phase and chronic viremia. However, the pattern and levels of specific cytokines and chemokines produced differed between nonprogressive and progressive SIV infection models. The qualitative differences in the early immune response in pathogenic and nonpathogenic infections identified here may be important determinants of the subsequent disease course.

Das S, Lindemann C, Young BC, Muller J, Österreich B, Ternette N, Winkler A-C, Paprotka K, Reinhardt R, Förstner KU et al. 2016. Natural mutations in a Staphylococcus aureus virulence regulator attenuate cytotoxicity but permit bacteremia and abscess formation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 113 (22), pp. E3101-E3110. | Show Abstract | Read more

Staphylococcus aureus is a major bacterial pathogen, which causes severe blood and tissue infections that frequently emerge by autoinfection with asymptomatically carried nose and skin populations. However, recent studies report that bloodstream isolates differ systematically from those found in the nose and skin, exhibiting reduced toxicity toward leukocytes. In two patients, an attenuated toxicity bloodstream infection evolved from an asymptomatically carried high-toxicity nasal strain by loss-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the transcription factor repressor of surface proteins (rsp). Here, we report that rsp knockout mutants lead to global transcriptional and proteomic reprofiling, and they exhibit the greatest signal in a genome-wide screen for genes influencing S. aureus survival in human cells. This effect is likely to be mediated in part via SSR42, a long-noncoding RNA. We show that rsp controls SSR42 expression, is induced by hydrogen peroxide, and is required for normal cytotoxicity and hemolytic activity. Rsp inactivation in laboratory- and bacteremia-derived mutants attenuates toxin production, but up-regulates other immune subversion proteins and reduces lethality during experimental infection. Crucially, inactivation of rsp preserves bacterial dissemination, because it affects neither formation of deep abscesses in mice nor survival in human blood. Thus, we have identified a spontaneously evolving, attenuated-cytotoxicity, nonhemolytic S. aureus phenotype, controlled by a pleiotropic transcriptional regulator/noncoding RNA virulence regulatory system, capable of causing S. aureus bloodstream infections. Such a phenotype could promote deep infection with limited early clinical manifestations, raising concerns that bacterial evolution within the human body may contribute to severe infection.

Rahighi S, Braunstein I, Ternette N, Kessler B, Kawasaki M, Kato R, Matsui T, Weiss TM, Stanhill A, Wakatsuki S. 2016. Selective Binding of AIRAPL Tandem UIMs to Lys48-Linked Tri-Ubiquitin Chains. Structure, 24 (3), pp. 412-422. | Show Abstract | Read more

Lys48-linked ubiquitin chains act as the main targeting signals for protein degradation by the proteasome. Here we report selective binding of AIRAPL, a protein that associates with the proteasome upon exposure to arsenite, to Lys48-linked tri-ubiquitin chains. AIRAPL comprises two ubiquitin-interacting motifs in tandem (tUIMs) that are linked through a flexible inter-UIM region. In the complex crystal structure UIM1 binds the proximal ubiquitin, whereas UIM2 (the double-sided UIM) binds non-symmetrically to the middle and distal ubiquitin moieties on either side of the helix. Specificity of AIRAPL for Lys48-linked ubiquitin chains is determined by UIM2, and the flexible inter-UIM linker increases avidity by placing the two UIMs in an orientation that facilitates binding of the third ubiquitin to UIM1. Unlike middle and proximal ubiquitins, distal ubiquitin binds UIM2 through a novel surface, which leaves the Ile44 hydrophobic patch accessible for binding to the proteasomal ubiquitin receptors.

Keating SM, Heitman JW, Wu S, Deng X, Stacey AR, Zahn RC, de la Rosa M, Finstad SL, Lifson JD, Piatak M et al. 2016. Magnitude and quality of cytokine and chemokine storm during acute infection distinguish nonprogressive and progressive simian immunodeficiency virus infections of nonhuman primates Journal of Virology, 90 (22), pp. 10339-10350. | Show Abstract | Read more

© 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved. Acute human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection represents a period of intense immune perturbation and activation of the host immune system. Study of the eclipse and viral expansion phases of infection is difficult in humans, but studies in nonprogressive and progressive nonhuman primate (NHP) infection models can provide significant insight into critical events occurring during this time. Cytokines, chemokines, and other soluble immune factors were measured in longitudinal samples from rhesus macaques infected with either SIVmac251 (progressive infection) or SIVmac239Δnef (attenuated/nonprogressive infection) and from African green monkeys infected with SIVsab9315BR (nonpathogenic infection). Levels of acute-phase peak viral replication were highest in SIVmac251 infection but correlated positively with viremia at 3 months postinfection in all three infection models. SIVmac251 infection was associated with stronger corresponding acute-phase cytokine/chemokine responses than the nonprogressive infections. The production of interleukin 15 (IL-15), IL-18, gamma interferon (IFN-γ), granulocyte colony- stimulating factor (G-CSF), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), macrophage inflammatory protein 1β (MIP- 1β), and serum amyloid A protein (SAA) during acute SIVmac251 infection, but not during SIVmac239Δnef or SIVsab9315BR infection, correlated positively with chronic viremia at 3 months postinfection. Acute-phase production of MCP-1 correlated with viremia at 3 months postinfection in both nonprogressive infections. Finally, a positive correlation between the acute-phase area under the curve (AUC) for IL-6 and soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) and chronic viremia was observed only for the nonprogressive infection models. While we observed dynamic acute inflammatory immune responses in both progressive and nonprogressive SIV infections, the responses in the nonprogressive infections were not only lower in magnitude but also qualitatively different biomarkers of disease progression.

Ternette N, Yang H, Partridge T, Llano A, Cedeño S, Fischer R, Charles PD, Dudek NL, Mothe B, Crespo M et al. 2016. Defining the HLA class I-associated viral antigen repertoire from HIV-1-infected human cells. Eur J Immunol, 46 (1), pp. 60-69. | Show Abstract | Read more

Recognition and eradication of infected cells by cytotoxic T lymphocytes is a key defense mechanism against intracellular pathogens. High-throughput definition of HLA class I-associated immunopeptidomes by mass spectrometry is an increasingly important analytical tool to advance our understanding of the induction of T-cell responses against pathogens such as HIV-1. We utilized a liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry workflow including de novo-assisted database searching to define the HLA class I-associated immunopeptidome of HIV-1-infected human cells. We here report for the first time the identification of 75 HIV-1-derived peptides bound to HLA class I complexes that were purified directly from HIV-1-infected human primary CD4(+) T cells and the C8166 human T-cell line. Importantly, one-third of eluted HIV-1 peptides had not been previously known to be presented by HLA class I. Over 82% of the identified sequences originated from viral protein regions for which T-cell responses have previously been reported but for which the precise HLA class I-binding sequences have not yet been defined. These results validate and expand the current knowledge of virus-specific antigenic peptide presentation during HIV-1 infection and provide novel targets for T-cell vaccine development.

Caron E, Espona L, Kowalewski DJ, Schuster H, Ternette N, Alpízar A, Schittenhelm RB, Ramarathinam SH, Lindestam Arlehamn CS, Chiek Koh C et al. 2015. An open-source computational and data resource to analyze digital maps of immunopeptidomes. Elife, 4 (JULY 2015), pp. 1-17. | Show Abstract | Read more

We present a novel mass spectrometry-based high-throughput workflow and an open-source computational and data resource to reproducibly identify and quantify HLA-associated peptides. Collectively, the resources support the generation of HLA allele-specific peptide assay libraries consisting of consensus fragment ion spectra, and the analysis of quantitative digital maps of HLA peptidomes generated from a range of biological sources by SWATH mass spectrometry (MS). This study represents the first community-based effort to develop a robust platform for the reproducible and quantitative measurement of the entire repertoire of peptides presented by HLA molecules, an essential step towards the design of efficient immunotherapies.

Chappell P, Meziane EK, Harrison M, Magiera Ł, Hermann C, Mears L, Wrobel AG, Durant C, Nielsen LL, Buus S et al. 2015. Expression levels of MHC class I molecules are inversely correlated with promiscuity of peptide binding. Elife, 4 (4), pp. e05345. | Show Abstract | Read more

Highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules are at the heart of adaptive immune responses, playing crucial roles in many kinds of disease and in vaccination. We report that breadth of peptide presentation and level of cell surface expression of class I molecules are inversely correlated in both chickens and humans. This relationship correlates with protective responses against infectious pathogens including Marek's disease virus leading to lethal tumours in chickens and human immunodeficiency virus infection progressing to AIDS in humans. We propose that differences in peptide binding repertoire define two groups of MHC class I molecules strategically evolved as generalists and specialists for different modes of pathogen resistance. We suggest that differences in cell surface expression level ensure the development of optimal peripheral T cell responses. The inverse relationship of peptide repertoire and expression is evidently a fundamental property of MHC molecules, with ramifications extending beyond immunology and medicine to evolutionary biology and conservation.

Ternette N, Block PD, Sánchez-Bernabéu Á, Borthwick N, Pappalardo E, Abdul-Jawad S, Ondondo B, Charles PD, Dorrell L, Kessler BM, Hanke T. 2015. Early Kinetics of the HLA Class I-Associated Peptidome of MVA.HIVconsv-Infected Cells. J Virol, 89 (11), pp. 5760-5771. | Show Abstract | Read more

UNLABELLED: Cytotoxic T cells substantially contribute to the control of intracellular pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Here, we evaluated the immunopeptidome of Jurkat cells infected with the vaccine candidate MVA.HIVconsv, which delivers HIV-1 conserved antigenic regions by using modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). We employed liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to identify 6,358 unique peptides associated with the class I human leukocyte antigen (HLA), of which 98 peptides were derived from the MVA vector and 7 were derived from the HIVconsv immunogen. Human vaccine recipients responded to the peptide sequences identified by LC-MS/MS. Peptides derived from the conserved HIV-1 regions were readily detected as early as 1.5 h after MVA.HIVconsv infection. Four of the seven conserved peptides were monitored between 0 and 3.5 h of infection by using quantitative mass spectrometry (Q-MS), and their abundance in HLA class I associations reflected levels of the whole HIVconsv protein in the cell. While immunopeptides delivered by the incoming MVA vector proteins could be detected, all early HIVconsv-derived immunopeptides were likely synthesized de novo. MVA.HIVconsv infection generally altered the composition of HLA class I-associated human (self) peptides, but these changes corresponded only partially to changes in the whole cell host protein abundance. IMPORTANCE: The vast changes in cellular antigen presentation after infection of cells with a vectored vaccine, as shown here for MVA.HIVconsv, highlight the complexity of factors that need to be considered for efficient antigen delivery and presentation. Identification and quantitation of HLA class I-associated peptides by Q-MS will not only find broad application in T-cell epitope discovery but also inform vaccine design and allow evaluation of efficient epitope presentation using different delivery strategies.

Altun M, Walter TS, Kramer HB, Herr P, Iphöfer A, Boström J, David Y, Komsany A, Ternette N, Navon A et al. 2015. The human otubain2-ubiquitin structure provides insights into the cleavage specificity of poly-ubiquitin-linkages. PLoS One, 10 (1), pp. e0115344. | Show Abstract | Read more

Ovarian tumor domain containing proteases cleave ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like polypeptides from proteins. Here we report the crystal structure of human otubain 2 (OTUB2) in complex with a ubiquitin-based covalent inhibitor, Ub-Br2. The ubiquitin binding mode is oriented differently to how viral otubains (vOTUs) bind ubiquitin/ISG15, and more similar to yeast and mammalian OTUs. In contrast to OTUB1 which has exclusive specificity towards Lys48 poly-ubiquitin chains, OTUB2 cleaves different poly-Ub linked chains. N-terminal tail swapping experiments between OTUB1 and OTUB2 revealed how the N-terminal structural motifs in OTUB1 contribute to modulating enzyme activity and Ub-chain selectivity, a trait not observed in OTUB2, supporting the notion that OTUB2 may affect a different spectrum of substrates in Ub-dependent pathways.

Yang M, Ternette N, Su H, Dabiri R, Kessler BM, Adam J, Teh BT, Pollard PJ. 2014. The Succinated Proteome of FH-Mutant Tumours. Metabolites, 4 (3), pp. 640-654. | Show Abstract | Read more

Inherited mutations in the Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) predispose to hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC). Loss of FH activity in HLRCC tumours causes accumulation of the Krebs cycle intermediate fumarate to high levels, which may act as an oncometabolite through various, but not necessarily mutually exclusive, mechanisms. One such mechanism, succination, is an irreversible non-enzymatic modification of cysteine residues by fumarate, to form S-(2-succino)cysteine (2SC). Previous studies have demonstrated that succination of proteins including glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) and mitochondrial aconitase (ACO2) can have profound effects on cellular metabolism. Furthermore, immunostaining for 2SC is a sensitive and specific biomarker for HLRCC tumours. Here, we performed a proteomic screen on an FH-mutant tumour and two HLRCC-derived cancer cell lines and identified 60 proteins where one or more cysteine residues were succinated; 10 of which were succinated at cysteine residues either predicted, or experimentally proven, to be functionally significant. Bioinformatic enrichment analyses identified most succinated targets to be involved in redox signaling. To our knowledge, this is the first proteomic-based succination screen performed in human tumours and cancer-derived cells and has identified novel 2SC targets that may be relevant to the pathogenesis of HLRCC.

Chen L, Fischer R, Peng Y, Reeves E, McHugh K, Ternette N, Hanke T, Dong T, Elliott T, Shastri N et al. 2014. Critical role of endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 in determining the length and sequence of peptides bound and presented by HLA-B27. Arthritis Rheumatol, 66 (2), pp. 284-294. | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVE: HLA-B27 and endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 (ERAP1) are the two strongest genetic factors predisposing to ankylosing spondylitis (AS). A key aminopeptidase in class I major histocompatibility complex presentation, ERAP1 potentially contributes to the pathogenesis of AS by altering HLA-B27 peptide presentation. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of ERAP1 on the HLA-B27 peptide repertoire and peptide presentation to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). METHODS: ERAP1-silenced and -competent HeLa.B27 and C1R.B27 cells were isotope-labeled, mixed, lysed, and then immunoprecipitated using W6/32 or ME1 antibodies. Peptides bound to HLA-B27 were eluted and analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry. Selected peptides were synthesized and tested for HLA-B27 binding ability. The effect of ERAP1 silencing/mutation on presentation of an immunodominant viral HLA-B27 epitope, KK10, to CTLs was also studied. RESULTS: In both HeLa.B27 and C1R.B27 cells, the proportion of 9-mer HLA-B27-bound peptides was decreased by ERAP1 silencing, whereas the percentages of longer peptides (11-13 mer) were increased. Surprisingly, following ERAP1 silencing, C-terminally extended peptides were readily identified. These were better able to bind to HLA-B27 than were N-terminally extended peptides lacking an arginine at position 2. In both HeLa.B27 cells and mouse fibroblasts expressing HLA-B27, the absence of ERAP1 reduced peptide recognition by HLA-B27-restricted KK10-specific CTLs following infection with recombinant vaccinia virus or transfection with minigenes expressing KK10 precursors. Presence of an AS-protective variant of ERAP1, K528R, as compared to wild-type ERAP1, reduced the peptide recognition by KK10 CTLs following transfection with extended KK10 minigenes. CONCLUSION: These results show that ERAP1 directly alters peptide binding and presentation by HLA-B27, thus demonstrating a potential pathogenic mechanism in AS. Inhibition of ERAP1 could potentially be used for treatment of AS and other ERAP1-associated diseases.

Ternette N, Yang M, Laroyia M, Kitagawa M, O'Flaherty L, Wolhulter K, Igarashi K, Saito K, Kato K, Fischer R et al. 2013. Inhibition of mitochondrial aconitase by succination in fumarate hydratase deficiency. Cell Rep, 3 (3), pp. 689-700. | Show Abstract | Read more

The gene encoding the Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) is mutated in hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC). Loss of FH activity causes accumulation of intracellular fumarate, which can directly modify cysteine residues to form 2-succinocysteine through succination. We undertook a proteomic-based screen in cells and renal cysts from Fh1 (murine FH)-deficient mice and identified 94 protein succination targets. Notably, we identified the succination of three cysteine residues in mitochondrial Aconitase2 (ACO2) crucial for iron-sulfur cluster binding. We show that fumarate exerts a dose-dependent inhibition of ACO2 activity, which correlates with increased succination as determined by mass spectrometry, possibly by interfering with iron chelation. Importantly, we show that aconitase activity is impaired in FH-deficient cells. Our data provide evidence that succination, resulting from FH deficiency, targets and potentially alters the function of multiple proteins and may contribute to the dysregulated metabolism observed in HLRCC.

Parsons JL, Khoronenkova SV, Dianova II, Ternette N, Kessler BM, Datta PK, Dianov GL. 2012. Phosphorylation of PNKP by ATM prevents its proteasomal degradation and enhances resistance to oxidative stress. Nucleic Acids Res, 40 (22), pp. 11404-11415. | Show Abstract | Read more

We examined the mechanism regulating the cellular levels of PNKP, the major kinase/phosphatase involved in the repair of oxidative DNA damage, and find that it is controlled by ATM phosphorylation and ubiquitylation-dependent proteasomal degradation. We discovered that ATM-dependent phosphorylation of PNKP at serines 114 and 126 in response to oxidative DNA damage inhibits ubiquitylation-dependent proteasomal degradation of PNKP, and consequently increases PNKP stability that is required for DNA repair. We have also purified a novel Cul4A-DDB1 ubiquitin ligase complex responsible for PNKP ubiquitylation and identify serine-threonine kinase receptor associated protein (STRAP) as the adaptor protein that provides specificity of the complex to PNKP. Strap(-/-) mouse embryonic fibroblasts subsequently contain elevated cellular levels of PNKP, and show elevated resistance to oxidative DNA damage. These data demonstrate an important role for ATM and the Cul4A-DDB1-STRAP ubiquitin ligase in the regulation of the cellular levels of PNKP, and consequently in the repair of oxidative DNA damage.

Konietzny R, Fischer R, Ternette N, Wright CA, Turney BW, Chakera A, Hughes D, Kessler BM, Pugh CW. 2012. Detection of BK virus in urine from renal transplant subjects by mass spectrometry. Clin Proteomics, 9 (1), pp. 4. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: The diagnosis and management of BK virus (BKV) reactivation following renal transplantation continues to be a significant clinical problem. Following reactivation of latent virus, impaired cellular immunity enables sustained viral replication to occur in urothelial cells, which potentially leads to the development of BKV-associated nephropathy (BKVAN). Current guidelines recommend regular surveillance for BKV reactivation through the detection of infected urothelial cells in urine (decoy cells) or viral nucleic acid in urine or blood. However, these methods have variable sensitivity and cannot routinely distinguish between different viral subtypes. We therefore asked whether mass spectrometry might be able to overcome these limitations and provide an additional non-invasive technique for the surveillance of BKV and identification of recipients at increased risk of BKVAN. RESULTS: Here we describe a mass spectrometry (MS)-based method for the detection of BKV derived proteins directly isolated from clinical urine samples. Peptides detected by MS derived from Viral Protein 1 (VP1) allowed differentiation between subtypes I and IV. Using this approach, we observed an association between higher decoy cell numbers and the presence of the VP1 subtype Ib-2 in urine samples derived from a cohort of 20 renal transplant recipients, consistent with the hypothesis that certain viral subtypes may be associated with more severe BKVAN. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to identify BK virus proteins in clinical samples by MS and that this approach makes it possible to distinguish between different viral subtypes. Further studies are required to establish whether this information could lead to stratification of patients at risk of BKVAN, facilitate distinction between BKVAN and acute rejection (AR), and ultimately improve patient treatment and outcomes.

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Scopus

Khoronenkova SV, Dianova II, Ternette N, Kessler BM, Parsons JL, Dianov GL. 2012. ATM-Dependent Downregulation of USP7/HAUSP by PPM1G Activates p53 Response to DNA Damage MOLECULAR CELL, 45 (6), pp. 801-813. | Show Abstract | Read more

The deubiquitylation enzyme USP7/HAUSP plays a major role in regulating genome stability and cancer prevention by controlling the key proteins involved in the DNA damage response. Despite this important role in controlling other proteins, USP7 itself has not been recognized as a target for regulation. Here, we report that USP7 regulation plays a central role in DNA damage signal transmission. We find that stabilization of Mdm2, and correspondingly p53 downregulation in unstressed cells, is accomplished by a specific isoform of USP7 (USP7S), which is phosphorylated at serine 18 by the protein kinase CK2. Phosphorylation stabilizes USP7S and thus contributes to Mdm2 stabilization and downregulation of p53. After ionizing radiation, dephosphorylation of USP7S by the ATM-dependent protein phosphatase PPM1G leads to USP7S downregulation, followed by Mdm2 downregulation and accumulation of p53. Our findings provide a quantitative transmission mechanism of the DNA damage signal to coordinate a p53-dependent DNA damage response. © 2012 Elsevier Inc..

Cited:

63

European Pubmed Central

Khoronenkova SV, Dianova II, Ternette N, Kessler BM, Parsons JL, Dianov GL. 2012. ATM-dependent downregulation of USP7/HAUSP by PPM1G activates p53 response to DNA damage. Mol Cell, 45 (6), pp. 801-813. | Show Abstract | Read more

The deubiquitylation enzyme USP7/HAUSP plays a major role in regulating genome stability and cancer prevention by controlling the key proteins involved in the DNA damage response. Despite this important role in controlling other proteins, USP7 itself has not been recognized as a target for regulation. Here, we report that USP7 regulation plays a central role in DNA damage signal transmission. We find that stabilization of Mdm2, and correspondingly p53 downregulation in unstressed cells, is accomplished by a specific isoform of USP7 (USP7S), which is phosphorylated at serine 18 by the protein kinase CK2. Phosphorylation stabilizes USP7S and thus contributes to Mdm2 stabilization and downregulation of p53. After ionizing radiation, dephosphorylation of USP7S by the ATM-dependent protein phosphatase PPM1G leads to USP7S downregulation, followed by Mdm2 downregulation and accumulation of p53. Our findings provide a quantitative transmission mechanism of the DNA damage signal to coordinate a p53-dependent DNA damage response.

Adam J, Hatipoglu E, O'Flaherty L, Ternette N, Sahgal N, Lockstone H, Baban D, Nye E, Stamp GW, Wolhuter K et al. 2011. Renal cyst formation in Fh1-deficient mice is independent of the Hif/Phd pathway: roles for fumarate in KEAP1 succination and Nrf2 signaling. Cancer Cell, 20 (4), pp. 524-537. | Show Abstract | Read more

The Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) is a human tumor suppressor whose inactivation is associated with the development of leiomyomata, renal cysts, and tumors. It has been proposed that activation of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) by fumarate-mediated inhibition of HIF prolyl hydroxylases drives oncogenesis. Using a mouse model, we provide genetic evidence that Fh1-associated cyst formation is Hif independent, as is striking upregulation of antioxidant signaling pathways revealed by gene expression profiling. Mechanistic analysis revealed that fumarate modifies cysteine residues within the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1), abrogating its ability to repress the Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2)-mediated antioxidant response pathway, suggesting a role for Nrf2 dysregulation in FH-associated cysts and tumors.

Meisenberg C, Tait PS, Dianova II, Wright K, Edelmann MJ, Ternette N, Tasaki T, Kessler BM, Parsons JL, Kwon YT, Dianov GL. 2012. Ubiquitin ligase UBR3 regulates cellular levels of the essential DNA repair protein APE1 and is required for genome stability. Nucleic Acids Res, 40 (2), pp. 701-711. | Show Abstract | Read more

APE1 (Ref-1) is an essential human protein involved in DNA damage repair and regulation of transcription. Although the cellular functions and biochemical properties of APE1 are well characterized, the mechanism involved in regulation of the cellular levels of this important DNA repair/transcriptional regulation enzyme, remains poorly understood. Using an in vitro ubiquitylation assay, we have now purified the human E3 ubiquitin ligase UBR3 as a major activity that polyubiquitylates APE1 at multiple lysine residues clustered on the N-terminal tail. We further show that a knockout of the Ubr3 gene in mouse embryonic fibroblasts leads to an up-regulation of the cellular levels of APE1 protein and subsequent genomic instability. These data propose an important role for UBR3 in the control of the steady state levels of APE1 and consequently error free DNA repair.

Trudgian DC, Ridlova G, Fischer R, Mackeen MM, Ternette N, Acuto O, Kessler BM, Thomas B. 2011. Comparative evaluation of label-free SINQ normalized spectral index quantitation in the central proteomics facilities pipeline. Proteomics, 11 (14), pp. 2790-2797. | Show Abstract | Read more

Normalized spectral index quantification was recently presented as an accurate method of label-free quantitation, which improved spectral counting by incorporating the intensities of peptide MS/MS fragment ions into the calculation of protein abundance. We present SINQ, a tool implementing this method within the framework of existing analysis software, our freely available central proteomics facilities pipeline (CPFP). We demonstrate, using data sets of protein standards acquired on a variety of mass spectrometers, that SINQ can rapidly provide useful estimates of the absolute quantity of proteins present in a medium-complexity sample. In addition, relative quantitation of standard proteins spiked into a complex lysate background and run without pre-fractionation produces accurate results at amounts above 1 fmol on column. We compare quantitation performance to various precursor intensity- and identification-based methods, including the normalized spectral abundance factor (NSAF), exponentially modified protein abundance index (emPAI), MaxQuant, and Progenesis LC-MS. We anticipate that the SINQ tool will be a useful asset for core facilities and individual laboratories that wish to produce quantitative MS data, but lack the necessary manpower to routinely support more complicated software workflows. SINQ is freely available to obtain and use as part of the central proteomics facilities pipeline, which is released under an open-source license.

Ternette N, Wright C, Kramer HB, Altun M, Kessler BM. 2011. Label-free quantitative proteomics reveals regulation of interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 3 (IFIT3) and 5'-3'-exoribonuclease 2 (XRN2) during respiratory syncytial virus infection. Virol J, 8 (1), pp. 442. | Show Abstract | Read more

ABSTRACT: A large quantitative study was carried out to compare the proteome of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infected versus uninfected cells in order to determine novel pathways regulated during viral infection. RSV infected and mock-infected HEp2 cells were lysed and proteins separated by preparative isoelectric focussing using offgel fractionation. Following tryptic digestion, purified peptides were characterized using label-free quantitative expression profiling by nano-ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry with collision energy ramping for all-ion fragmentation (UPLC-MSE). A total of 1352 unique cellular proteins were identified and their abundance compared between infected and non-infected cells. Ingenuity pathway analysis revealed regulation of several central cellular metabolic and signalling pathways during infection. Selected proteins that were found regulated in RSV infected cells were screened by quantitative real-time PCR for their regulation on the transcriptional level. Synthesis of interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 3 (IFIT3) and 5'-3'-exoribonuclease 2 (XRN2) mRNAs were found to be highly induced upon RSV infection in a time dependent manner. Accordingly, IFIT3 protein levels accumulated during the time course of infection. In contrast, little variation was observed in XRN2 protein levels, but different forms were present in infected versus non-infected cells. This suggests a role of these proteins in viral infection, and analysis of their function will shed further light on mechanisms of RNA virus replication and the host cell defence machinery.

Bardella C, El-Bahrawy M, Frizzell N, Adam J, Ternette N, Hatipoglu E, Howarth K, O'Flaherty L, Roberts I, Turner G et al. 2011. Aberrant succination of proteins in fumarate hydratase-deficient mice and HLRCC patients is a robust biomarker of mutation status. J Pathol, 225 (1), pp. 4-11. | Show Abstract | Read more

Germline mutations in the FH gene encoding the Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase predispose to hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) syndrome. FH-deficient cells and tissues accumulate high levels of fumarate, which may act as an oncometabolite and contribute to tumourigenesis. A recently proposed role for fumarate in the covalent modification of cysteine residues to S-(2-succinyl) cysteine (2SC) (termed protein succination) prompted us to assess 2SC levels in our existing models of HLRCC. Herein, using a previously characterized antibody against 2SC, we show that genetic ablation of FH causes high levels of protein succination. We next hypothesized that immunohistochemistry for 2SC would serve as a metabolic biomarker for the in situ detection of FH-deficient tissues. Robust detection of 2SC was observed in Fh1 (murine FH)-deficient renal cysts and in a retrospective series of HLRCC tumours (n = 16) with established FH mutations. Importantly, 2SC was undetectable in normal tissues (n = 200) and tumour types not associated with HLRCC (n = 1342). In a prospective evaluation of cases referred for genetic testing for HLRCC, the presence of 2SC-modified proteins (2SCP) correctly predicted genetic alterations in FH in every case. In two series of unselected type II papillary renal cancer (PRCC), prospectively analysed by 2SCP staining followed by genetic analysis, the biomarker accurately identified previously unsuspected FH mutations (2/33 and 1/36). The investigation of whether metabolites in other tumour types produce protein modification signature(s) that can be assayed using similar strategies will be of interest in future studies of cancer.

David Y, Ternette N, Edelmann MJ, Ziv T, Gayer B, Sertchook R, Dadon Y, Kessler BM, Navon A. 2011. E3 ligases determine ubiquitination site and conjugate type by enforcing specificity on E2 enzymes. J Biol Chem, 286 (51), pp. 44104-44115. | Show Abstract | Read more

Ubiquitin-conjugating enzymes (E2s) have a dominant role in determining which of the seven lysine residues of ubiquitin is used for polyubiquitination. Here we show that tethering of a substrate to an E2 enzyme in the absence of an E3 ubiquitin ligase is sufficient to promote its ubiquitination, whereas the type of the ubiquitin conjugates and the identity of the target lysine on the substrate are promiscuous. In contrast, when an E3 enzyme is introduced, a clear decision between mono- and polyubiquitination is made, and the conjugation type as well as the identity of the target lysine residue on the substrate becomes highly specific. These features of the E3 can be further regulated by auxiliary factors as exemplified by MDMX (Murine Double Minute X). In fact, we show that this interactor reconfigures MDM2-dependent ubiquitination of p53. Based on several model systems, we propose that although interaction with an E2 is sufficient to promote substrate ubiquitination the E3 molds the reaction into a specific, physiologically relevant protein modification.

Fox JL, Ismail F, Azad A, Ternette N, Leverrier S, Edelmann MJ, Kessler BM, Leigh IM, Jackson S, Storey A. 2010. Tyrosine dephosphorylation is required for Bak activation in apoptosis. EMBO J, 29 (22), pp. 3853-3868. | Show Abstract | Read more

Activation of the cell-death mediator Bak commits a cell to mitochondrial apoptosis. The initial steps that govern Bak activation are poorly understood. To further clarify these pivotal events, we have investigated whether post-translational modifications of Bak impinge on its activation potential. In this study, we report that on apoptotic stimulation Bak undergoes dephosphorylation at tyrosine residue 108 (Y108), a critical event that is necessary but not sufficient for Bak activation, but is required both for early exposure of the occluded N-terminal domain and multimerisation. RNA interference (RNAi) screening identified non-receptor tyrosine phosphatases (PTPNs) required for Bak dephosphorylation and apoptotic induction through chemotherapeutic agents. Specifically, modulation of PTPN5 protein expression by siRNA and overexpression directly affected both Bak-Y108 phosphorylation and the initiation of Bak activation. We further show that MEK/ERK signalling directly affects Bak phosphorylation through inhibition of PTPN5 to promote cell survival. We propose a model of Bak activation in which the regulation of Bak dephosphorylation constitutes the initial step in the activation process, which reveals a previously unsuspected mechanism controlling the initiation of mitochondrial apoptosis.

Cited:

28

Scopus

Fox JL, Ismail F, Azad A, Ternette N, Leverrier S, Edelmann MJ, Kessler BM, Leigh IM, Jackson S, Storey A. 2010. Tyrosine dephosphorylation is required for Bak activation in apoptosis EMBO Journal, 29 (22), pp. 3853-3868. | Show Abstract | Read more

Activation of the cell-death mediator Bak commits a cell to mitochondrial apoptosis. The initial steps that govern Bak activation are poorly understood. To further clarify these pivotal events, we have investigated whether post-translational modifications of Bak impinge on its activation potential. In this study, we report that on apoptotic stimulation Bak undergoes dephosphorylation at tyrosine residue 108 (Y108), a critical event that is necessary but not sufficient for Bak activation, but is required both for early exposure of the occluded N-terminal domain and multimerisation. RNA interference (RNAi) screening identified non-receptor tyrosine phosphatases (PTPNs) required for Bak dephosphorylation and apoptotic induction through chemotherapeutic agents. Specifically, modulation of PTPN5 protein expression by siRNA and overexpression directly affected both Bak-Y108 phosphorylation and the initiation of Bak activation. We further show that MEK/ERK signalling directly affects Bak phosphorylation through inhibition of PTPN5 to promote cell survival. We propose a model of Bak activation in which the regulation of Bak dephosphorylation constitutes the initial step in the activation process, which reveals a previously unsuspected mechanism controlling the initiation of mitochondrial apoptosis. © 2010 European Molecular Biology Organization.

Kohlmann R, Schwannecke S, Tippler B, Ternette N, Temchura VV, Tenbusch M, Uberla K, Grunwald T. 2009. Protective efficacy and immunogenicity of an adenoviral vector vaccine encoding the codon-optimized F protein of respiratory syncytial virus. J Virol, 83 (23), pp. 12601-12610. | Show Abstract | Read more

Adenoviral vectors (AdV) have received considerable attention for vaccine development because of their high immunogenicity and efficacy. In previous studies, it was shown that DNA immunization of mice with codon-optimized expression plasmids encoding the fusion protein of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV F) resulted in enhanced protection against RSV challenge compared to immunization with plasmids carrying the wild-type cDNA sequence of RSV F. In this study, we constructed AdV carrying the codon-optimized full-length RSV F gene (AdV-F) or the soluble form of the RSV F gene (AdV-Fsol). BALB/c mice were immunized twice with AdV-F or AdV-Fsol and challenged with RSV intranasally. Substantial levels of antibody to RSV F were induced by both AdV vaccines, with peak neutralizing-antibody titers of 1:900. Consistently, the viral loads in lung homogenates and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids were significantly reduced by a factor of more than 60,000. The protection against viral challenge could be measured even 8 months after the booster immunization. AdV-F and AdV-Fsol induced similar levels of immunogenicity and protective efficacy. Therefore, these results encourage further development of AdV vaccines against RSV infection in humans.

Ternette N, Tippler B, Uberla K, Grunwald T. 2007. Immunogenicity and efficacy of codon optimized DNA vaccines encoding the F-protein of respiratory syncytial virus. Vaccine, 25 (41), pp. 7271-7279. | Show Abstract | Read more

Respiratory syncytial virus F-protein (RSV-F) is poorly expressed from DNA expression plasmids containing the wild type RSV-F open reading frame. By codon optimization, premature polyadenylation signals were deleted and a striking enhancement of RSV-F expression levels was achieved. Therefore, the immunogenicity and efficacy of wild type DNA vaccines were compared to codon optimized expression plasmids encoding full-length RSV-F or its ectodomain. Mice were immunized twice with the different DNA vaccines followed by an RSV challenge. Only codon optimized DNA vaccines and in particular the one encoding the ectodomain of RSV-F induced substantial antibody levels and reduced viral load 13-170-fold. Thus, codon optimization enhances the immunogenicity and efficacy of RSV encoding DNA vaccines.

Ternette N, Stefanou D, Kuate S, Uberla K, Grunwald T. 2007. Expression of RNA virus proteins by RNA polymerase II dependent expression plasmids is hindered at multiple steps. Virol J, 4 (1), pp. 51. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: Proteins of human and animal viruses are frequently expressed from RNA polymerase II dependent expression cassettes to study protein function and to develop gene-based vaccines. Initial attempts to express the G protein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and the F protein of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) by eukaryotic promoters revealed restrictions at several steps of gene expression. RESULTS: Insertion of an intron flanked by exonic sequences 5'-terminal to the open reading frames (ORF) of VSV-G and RSV-F led to detectable cytoplasmic mRNA levels of both genes. While the exonic sequences were sufficient to stabilise the VSV-G mRNA, cytoplasmic mRNA levels of RSV-F were dependent on the presence of a functional intron. Cytoplasmic VSV-G mRNA levels led to readily detectable levels of VSV-G protein, whereas RSV-F protein expression remained undetectable. However, RSV-F expression was observed after mutating two of four consensus sites for polyadenylation present in the RSV-F ORF. Expression levels could be further enhanced by codon optimisation. CONCLUSION: Insufficient cytoplasmic mRNA levels and premature polyadenylation prevent expression of RSV-F by RNA polymerase II dependent expression plasmids. Since RSV replicates in the cytoplasm, the presence of premature polyadenylation sites and elements leading to nuclear instability should not interfere with RSV-F expression during virus replication. The molecular mechanisms responsible for the destabilisation of the RSV-F and VSV-G mRNAs and the different requirements for their rescue by insertion of an intron remain to be defined.

Caron E, Espona L, Kowalewski DJ, Schuster H, Ternette N, Alpízar A, Schittenhelm RB, Ramarathinam SH, Lindestam Arlehamn CS, Chiek Koh C et al. 2015. An open-source computational and data resource to analyze digital maps of immunopeptidomes. Elife, 4 (JULY 2015), pp. 1-17. | Show Abstract | Read more

We present a novel mass spectrometry-based high-throughput workflow and an open-source computational and data resource to reproducibly identify and quantify HLA-associated peptides. Collectively, the resources support the generation of HLA allele-specific peptide assay libraries consisting of consensus fragment ion spectra, and the analysis of quantitative digital maps of HLA peptidomes generated from a range of biological sources by SWATH mass spectrometry (MS). This study represents the first community-based effort to develop a robust platform for the reproducible and quantitative measurement of the entire repertoire of peptides presented by HLA molecules, an essential step towards the design of efficient immunotherapies.

Chappell P, Meziane EK, Harrison M, Magiera Ł, Hermann C, Mears L, Wrobel AG, Durant C, Nielsen LL, Buus S et al. 2015. Expression levels of MHC class I molecules are inversely correlated with promiscuity of peptide binding. Elife, 4 (4), pp. e05345. | Show Abstract | Read more

Highly polymorphic major histocompatibility complex (MHC) molecules are at the heart of adaptive immune responses, playing crucial roles in many kinds of disease and in vaccination. We report that breadth of peptide presentation and level of cell surface expression of class I molecules are inversely correlated in both chickens and humans. This relationship correlates with protective responses against infectious pathogens including Marek's disease virus leading to lethal tumours in chickens and human immunodeficiency virus infection progressing to AIDS in humans. We propose that differences in peptide binding repertoire define two groups of MHC class I molecules strategically evolved as generalists and specialists for different modes of pathogen resistance. We suggest that differences in cell surface expression level ensure the development of optimal peripheral T cell responses. The inverse relationship of peptide repertoire and expression is evidently a fundamental property of MHC molecules, with ramifications extending beyond immunology and medicine to evolutionary biology and conservation.

Ternette N, Block PD, Sánchez-Bernabéu Á, Borthwick N, Pappalardo E, Abdul-Jawad S, Ondondo B, Charles PD, Dorrell L, Kessler BM, Hanke T. 2015. Early Kinetics of the HLA Class I-Associated Peptidome of MVA.HIVconsv-Infected Cells. J Virol, 89 (11), pp. 5760-5771. | Show Abstract | Read more

UNLABELLED: Cytotoxic T cells substantially contribute to the control of intracellular pathogens such as human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1). Here, we evaluated the immunopeptidome of Jurkat cells infected with the vaccine candidate MVA.HIVconsv, which delivers HIV-1 conserved antigenic regions by using modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA). We employed liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to identify 6,358 unique peptides associated with the class I human leukocyte antigen (HLA), of which 98 peptides were derived from the MVA vector and 7 were derived from the HIVconsv immunogen. Human vaccine recipients responded to the peptide sequences identified by LC-MS/MS. Peptides derived from the conserved HIV-1 regions were readily detected as early as 1.5 h after MVA.HIVconsv infection. Four of the seven conserved peptides were monitored between 0 and 3.5 h of infection by using quantitative mass spectrometry (Q-MS), and their abundance in HLA class I associations reflected levels of the whole HIVconsv protein in the cell. While immunopeptides delivered by the incoming MVA vector proteins could be detected, all early HIVconsv-derived immunopeptides were likely synthesized de novo. MVA.HIVconsv infection generally altered the composition of HLA class I-associated human (self) peptides, but these changes corresponded only partially to changes in the whole cell host protein abundance. IMPORTANCE: The vast changes in cellular antigen presentation after infection of cells with a vectored vaccine, as shown here for MVA.HIVconsv, highlight the complexity of factors that need to be considered for efficient antigen delivery and presentation. Identification and quantitation of HLA class I-associated peptides by Q-MS will not only find broad application in T-cell epitope discovery but also inform vaccine design and allow evaluation of efficient epitope presentation using different delivery strategies.

Altun M, Walter TS, Kramer HB, Herr P, Iphöfer A, Boström J, David Y, Komsany A, Ternette N, Navon A et al. 2015. The human otubain2-ubiquitin structure provides insights into the cleavage specificity of poly-ubiquitin-linkages. PLoS One, 10 (1), pp. e0115344. | Show Abstract | Read more

Ovarian tumor domain containing proteases cleave ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like polypeptides from proteins. Here we report the crystal structure of human otubain 2 (OTUB2) in complex with a ubiquitin-based covalent inhibitor, Ub-Br2. The ubiquitin binding mode is oriented differently to how viral otubains (vOTUs) bind ubiquitin/ISG15, and more similar to yeast and mammalian OTUs. In contrast to OTUB1 which has exclusive specificity towards Lys48 poly-ubiquitin chains, OTUB2 cleaves different poly-Ub linked chains. N-terminal tail swapping experiments between OTUB1 and OTUB2 revealed how the N-terminal structural motifs in OTUB1 contribute to modulating enzyme activity and Ub-chain selectivity, a trait not observed in OTUB2, supporting the notion that OTUB2 may affect a different spectrum of substrates in Ub-dependent pathways.

Yang M, Ternette N, Su H, Dabiri R, Kessler BM, Adam J, Teh BT, Pollard PJ. 2014. The Succinated Proteome of FH-Mutant Tumours. Metabolites, 4 (3), pp. 640-654. | Show Abstract | Read more

Inherited mutations in the Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) predispose to hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC). Loss of FH activity in HLRCC tumours causes accumulation of the Krebs cycle intermediate fumarate to high levels, which may act as an oncometabolite through various, but not necessarily mutually exclusive, mechanisms. One such mechanism, succination, is an irreversible non-enzymatic modification of cysteine residues by fumarate, to form S-(2-succino)cysteine (2SC). Previous studies have demonstrated that succination of proteins including glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1) and mitochondrial aconitase (ACO2) can have profound effects on cellular metabolism. Furthermore, immunostaining for 2SC is a sensitive and specific biomarker for HLRCC tumours. Here, we performed a proteomic screen on an FH-mutant tumour and two HLRCC-derived cancer cell lines and identified 60 proteins where one or more cysteine residues were succinated; 10 of which were succinated at cysteine residues either predicted, or experimentally proven, to be functionally significant. Bioinformatic enrichment analyses identified most succinated targets to be involved in redox signaling. To our knowledge, this is the first proteomic-based succination screen performed in human tumours and cancer-derived cells and has identified novel 2SC targets that may be relevant to the pathogenesis of HLRCC.

Chen L, Fischer R, Peng Y, Reeves E, McHugh K, Ternette N, Hanke T, Dong T, Elliott T, Shastri N et al. 2014. Critical role of endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 in determining the length and sequence of peptides bound and presented by HLA-B27. Arthritis Rheumatol, 66 (2), pp. 284-294. | Show Abstract | Read more

OBJECTIVE: HLA-B27 and endoplasmic reticulum aminopeptidase 1 (ERAP1) are the two strongest genetic factors predisposing to ankylosing spondylitis (AS). A key aminopeptidase in class I major histocompatibility complex presentation, ERAP1 potentially contributes to the pathogenesis of AS by altering HLA-B27 peptide presentation. The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of ERAP1 on the HLA-B27 peptide repertoire and peptide presentation to cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). METHODS: ERAP1-silenced and -competent HeLa.B27 and C1R.B27 cells were isotope-labeled, mixed, lysed, and then immunoprecipitated using W6/32 or ME1 antibodies. Peptides bound to HLA-B27 were eluted and analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry. Selected peptides were synthesized and tested for HLA-B27 binding ability. The effect of ERAP1 silencing/mutation on presentation of an immunodominant viral HLA-B27 epitope, KK10, to CTLs was also studied. RESULTS: In both HeLa.B27 and C1R.B27 cells, the proportion of 9-mer HLA-B27-bound peptides was decreased by ERAP1 silencing, whereas the percentages of longer peptides (11-13 mer) were increased. Surprisingly, following ERAP1 silencing, C-terminally extended peptides were readily identified. These were better able to bind to HLA-B27 than were N-terminally extended peptides lacking an arginine at position 2. In both HeLa.B27 cells and mouse fibroblasts expressing HLA-B27, the absence of ERAP1 reduced peptide recognition by HLA-B27-restricted KK10-specific CTLs following infection with recombinant vaccinia virus or transfection with minigenes expressing KK10 precursors. Presence of an AS-protective variant of ERAP1, K528R, as compared to wild-type ERAP1, reduced the peptide recognition by KK10 CTLs following transfection with extended KK10 minigenes. CONCLUSION: These results show that ERAP1 directly alters peptide binding and presentation by HLA-B27, thus demonstrating a potential pathogenic mechanism in AS. Inhibition of ERAP1 could potentially be used for treatment of AS and other ERAP1-associated diseases.

Ternette N, Yang M, Laroyia M, Kitagawa M, O'Flaherty L, Wolhulter K, Igarashi K, Saito K, Kato K, Fischer R et al. 2013. Inhibition of mitochondrial aconitase by succination in fumarate hydratase deficiency. Cell Rep, 3 (3), pp. 689-700. | Show Abstract | Read more

The gene encoding the Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) is mutated in hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC). Loss of FH activity causes accumulation of intracellular fumarate, which can directly modify cysteine residues to form 2-succinocysteine through succination. We undertook a proteomic-based screen in cells and renal cysts from Fh1 (murine FH)-deficient mice and identified 94 protein succination targets. Notably, we identified the succination of three cysteine residues in mitochondrial Aconitase2 (ACO2) crucial for iron-sulfur cluster binding. We show that fumarate exerts a dose-dependent inhibition of ACO2 activity, which correlates with increased succination as determined by mass spectrometry, possibly by interfering with iron chelation. Importantly, we show that aconitase activity is impaired in FH-deficient cells. Our data provide evidence that succination, resulting from FH deficiency, targets and potentially alters the function of multiple proteins and may contribute to the dysregulated metabolism observed in HLRCC.

Konietzny R, Fischer R, Ternette N, Wright CA, Turney BW, Chakera A, Hughes D, Kessler BM, Pugh CW. 2012. Detection of BK virus in urine from renal transplant subjects by mass spectrometry. Clin Proteomics, 9 (1), pp. 4. | Show Abstract | Read more

BACKGROUND: The diagnosis and management of BK virus (BKV) reactivation following renal transplantation continues to be a significant clinical problem. Following reactivation of latent virus, impaired cellular immunity enables sustained viral replication to occur in urothelial cells, which potentially leads to the development of BKV-associated nephropathy (BKVAN). Current guidelines recommend regular surveillance for BKV reactivation through the detection of infected urothelial cells in urine (decoy cells) or viral nucleic acid in urine or blood. However, these methods have variable sensitivity and cannot routinely distinguish between different viral subtypes. We therefore asked whether mass spectrometry might be able to overcome these limitations and provide an additional non-invasive technique for the surveillance of BKV and identification of recipients at increased risk of BKVAN. RESULTS: Here we describe a mass spectrometry (MS)-based method for the detection of BKV derived proteins directly isolated from clinical urine samples. Peptides detected by MS derived from Viral Protein 1 (VP1) allowed differentiation between subtypes I and IV. Using this approach, we observed an association between higher decoy cell numbers and the presence of the VP1 subtype Ib-2 in urine samples derived from a cohort of 20 renal transplant recipients, consistent with the hypothesis that certain viral subtypes may be associated with more severe BKVAN. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to identify BK virus proteins in clinical samples by MS and that this approach makes it possible to distinguish between different viral subtypes. Further studies are required to establish whether this information could lead to stratification of patients at risk of BKVAN, facilitate distinction between BKVAN and acute rejection (AR), and ultimately improve patient treatment and outcomes.

Adam J, Hatipoglu E, O'Flaherty L, Ternette N, Sahgal N, Lockstone H, Baban D, Nye E, Stamp GW, Wolhuter K et al. 2011. Renal cyst formation in Fh1-deficient mice is independent of the Hif/Phd pathway: roles for fumarate in KEAP1 succination and Nrf2 signaling. Cancer Cell, 20 (4), pp. 524-537. | Show Abstract | Read more

The Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase (FH) is a human tumor suppressor whose inactivation is associated with the development of leiomyomata, renal cysts, and tumors. It has been proposed that activation of hypoxia inducible factor (HIF) by fumarate-mediated inhibition of HIF prolyl hydroxylases drives oncogenesis. Using a mouse model, we provide genetic evidence that Fh1-associated cyst formation is Hif independent, as is striking upregulation of antioxidant signaling pathways revealed by gene expression profiling. Mechanistic analysis revealed that fumarate modifies cysteine residues within the Kelch-like ECH-associated protein 1 (KEAP1), abrogating its ability to repress the Nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2 (Nrf2)-mediated antioxidant response pathway, suggesting a role for Nrf2 dysregulation in FH-associated cysts and tumors.

Trudgian DC, Ridlova G, Fischer R, Mackeen MM, Ternette N, Acuto O, Kessler BM, Thomas B. 2011. Comparative evaluation of label-free SINQ normalized spectral index quantitation in the central proteomics facilities pipeline. Proteomics, 11 (14), pp. 2790-2797. | Show Abstract | Read more

Normalized spectral index quantification was recently presented as an accurate method of label-free quantitation, which improved spectral counting by incorporating the intensities of peptide MS/MS fragment ions into the calculation of protein abundance. We present SINQ, a tool implementing this method within the framework of existing analysis software, our freely available central proteomics facilities pipeline (CPFP). We demonstrate, using data sets of protein standards acquired on a variety of mass spectrometers, that SINQ can rapidly provide useful estimates of the absolute quantity of proteins present in a medium-complexity sample. In addition, relative quantitation of standard proteins spiked into a complex lysate background and run without pre-fractionation produces accurate results at amounts above 1 fmol on column. We compare quantitation performance to various precursor intensity- and identification-based methods, including the normalized spectral abundance factor (NSAF), exponentially modified protein abundance index (emPAI), MaxQuant, and Progenesis LC-MS. We anticipate that the SINQ tool will be a useful asset for core facilities and individual laboratories that wish to produce quantitative MS data, but lack the necessary manpower to routinely support more complicated software workflows. SINQ is freely available to obtain and use as part of the central proteomics facilities pipeline, which is released under an open-source license.

Ternette N, Wright C, Kramer HB, Altun M, Kessler BM. 2011. Label-free quantitative proteomics reveals regulation of interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 3 (IFIT3) and 5'-3'-exoribonuclease 2 (XRN2) during respiratory syncytial virus infection. Virol J, 8 (1), pp. 442. | Show Abstract | Read more

ABSTRACT: A large quantitative study was carried out to compare the proteome of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infected versus uninfected cells in order to determine novel pathways regulated during viral infection. RSV infected and mock-infected HEp2 cells were lysed and proteins separated by preparative isoelectric focussing using offgel fractionation. Following tryptic digestion, purified peptides were characterized using label-free quantitative expression profiling by nano-ultra performance liquid chromatography coupled to electrospray ionisation mass spectrometry with collision energy ramping for all-ion fragmentation (UPLC-MSE). A total of 1352 unique cellular proteins were identified and their abundance compared between infected and non-infected cells. Ingenuity pathway analysis revealed regulation of several central cellular metabolic and signalling pathways during infection. Selected proteins that were found regulated in RSV infected cells were screened by quantitative real-time PCR for their regulation on the transcriptional level. Synthesis of interferon-induced protein with tetratricopeptide repeats 3 (IFIT3) and 5'-3'-exoribonuclease 2 (XRN2) mRNAs were found to be highly induced upon RSV infection in a time dependent manner. Accordingly, IFIT3 protein levels accumulated during the time course of infection. In contrast, little variation was observed in XRN2 protein levels, but different forms were present in infected versus non-infected cells. This suggests a role of these proteins in viral infection, and analysis of their function will shed further light on mechanisms of RNA virus replication and the host cell defence machinery.

Bardella C, El-Bahrawy M, Frizzell N, Adam J, Ternette N, Hatipoglu E, Howarth K, O'Flaherty L, Roberts I, Turner G et al. 2011. Aberrant succination of proteins in fumarate hydratase-deficient mice and HLRCC patients is a robust biomarker of mutation status. J Pathol, 225 (1), pp. 4-11. | Show Abstract | Read more

Germline mutations in the FH gene encoding the Krebs cycle enzyme fumarate hydratase predispose to hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC) syndrome. FH-deficient cells and tissues accumulate high levels of fumarate, which may act as an oncometabolite and contribute to tumourigenesis. A recently proposed role for fumarate in the covalent modification of cysteine residues to S-(2-succinyl) cysteine (2SC) (termed protein succination) prompted us to assess 2SC levels in our existing models of HLRCC. Herein, using a previously characterized antibody against 2SC, we show that genetic ablation of FH causes high levels of protein succination. We next hypothesized that immunohistochemistry for 2SC would serve as a metabolic biomarker for the in situ detection of FH-deficient tissues. Robust detection of 2SC was observed in Fh1 (murine FH)-deficient renal cysts and in a retrospective series of HLRCC tumours (n = 16) with established FH mutations. Importantly, 2SC was undetectable in normal tissues (n = 200) and tumour types not associated with HLRCC (n = 1342). In a prospective evaluation of cases referred for genetic testing for HLRCC, the presence of 2SC-modified proteins (2SCP) correctly predicted genetic alterations in FH in every case. In two series of unselected type II papillary renal cancer (PRCC), prospectively analysed by 2SCP staining followed by genetic analysis, the biomarker accurately identified previously unsuspected FH mutations (2/33 and 1/36). The investigation of whether metabolites in other tumour types produce protein modification signature(s) that can be assayed using similar strategies will be of interest in future studies of cancer.

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