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1.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(37)2021 09 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1768982

ABSTRACT

Adaptive immune recognition is mediated by the binding of peptide-human leukocyte antigen complexes by T cells. Positive selection of T cells in the thymus is a fundamental step in the generation of a responding T cell repertoire: only those T cells survive that recognize human peptides presented on the surface of cortical thymic epithelial cells. We propose that while this step is essential for optimal immune function, the process results in a defective T cell repertoire because it is mediated by self-peptides. To test our hypothesis, we focused on amino acid motifs of peptides in contact with T cell receptors. We found that motifs rarely or not found in the human proteome are unlikely to be recognized by the immune system just like the ones that are not expressed in cortical thymic epithelial cells or not presented on their surface. Peptides carrying such motifs were especially dissimilar to human proteins. Importantly, we present our main findings on two independent T cell activation datasets and directly demonstrate the absence of naïve T cells in the repertoire of healthy individuals. We also show that T cell cross-reactivity is unable to compensate for the absence of positively selected T cells. Additionally, we show that the proposed mechanism could influence the risk for different infectious diseases. In sum, our results suggest a side effect of T cell positive selection, which could explain the nonresponsiveness to many nonself peptides and could improve the understanding of adaptive immune recognition.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Self Tolerance/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Databases, Factual , Humans , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Peptides/immunology , Peptides/metabolism , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
2.
Front Immunol ; 13: 833715, 2022.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1731782

ABSTRACT

2020 will be marked in history for the dreadful implications of the COVID-19 pandemic that shook the world globally. The pandemic has reshaped the normality of life and affected mankind in the aspects of mental and physical health, financial, economy, growth, and development. The focus shift to COVID-19 has indirectly impacted an existing air-borne disease, Tuberculosis. In addition to the decrease in TB diagnosis, the emergence of the TB/COVID-19 syndemic and its serious implications (possible reactivation of latent TB post-COVID-19, aggravation of an existing active TB condition, or escalation of the severity of a COVID-19 during TB-COVID-19 coinfection), serve as primary reasons to equally prioritize TB. On a different note, the valuable lessons learnt for the COVID-19 pandemic provide useful knowledge for enhancing TB diagnostics and therapeutics. In this review, the crucial need to focus on TB amid the COVID-19 pandemic has been discussed. Besides, a general comparison between COVID-19 and TB in the aspects of pathogenesis, diagnostics, symptoms, and treatment options with importance given to antibody therapy were presented. Lastly, the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic and how it is applicable to enhance the antibody-based immunotherapy for TB have been presented.


Subject(s)
Antibodies/therapeutic use , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/therapy , Coinfection/therapy , Tuberculosis/epidemiology , Tuberculosis/therapy , Antibodies/immunology , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Coinfection/diagnosis , Coinfection/epidemiology , Coinfection/immunology , Humans , Immunotherapy , Mycobacterium tuberculosis , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Tuberculosis/diagnosis , Tuberculosis/immunology
3.
Front Immunol ; 12: 769442, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1686473

ABSTRACT

The prevention of the COVID-19 pandemic is highly complicated by the prevalence of asymptomatic and recurrent infection. Many previous immunological studies have focused on symptomatic and convalescent patients, while the immune responses in asymptomatic patients and re-detectable positive cases remain unclear. Here we comprehensively analyzed the peripheral T-cell receptor (TCR) repertoire of 54 COVID-19 patients in different courses, including asymptomatic, symptomatic, convalescent, and re-detectable positive cases. We identified a set of V-J gene combinations characterizing the upward immune responses through asymptomatic and symptomatic courses. Furthermore, some of these V-J combinations could be awakened in the re-detectable positive cases, which may help predict the risk of recurrent infection. Therefore, TCR repertoire examination has the potential to strengthen the clinical surveillance and the immunotherapy development for COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/pathology , Immunoglobulin J-Chains/genetics , Immunoglobulin Variable Region/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Adaptive Immunity/immunology , Adult , Aged , Asymptomatic Infections , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Gene Expression/genetics , Histocompatibility Antigens Class I/genetics , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Young Adult
4.
J Clin Invest ; 132(5)2022 03 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1642991

ABSTRACT

Recent studies have shown that vaccinated individuals harbor T cells that can cross-recognize SARS-CoV-2 and endemic human common cold coronaviruses. However, it is still unknown whether CD4+ T cells from vaccinated individuals recognize peptides from bat coronaviruses that may have the potential of causing future pandemics. In this study, we identified a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein epitope (S815-827) that is conserved in coronaviruses from different genera and subgenera, including SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, multiple bat coronaviruses, and a feline coronavirus. Our results showed that S815-827 was recognized by 42% of vaccinated participants in our study who received the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) or Moderna (mRNA-1273) COVID-19 vaccines. Using T cell expansion and T cell receptor sequencing assays, we demonstrated that S815-827-reactive CD4+ T cells from the majority of responders cross-recognized homologous peptides from at least 6 other diverse coronaviruses. Our results support the hypothesis that the current mRNA vaccines elicit T cell responses that can cross-recognize bat coronaviruses and thus might induce some protection against potential zoonotic outbreaks. Furthermore, our data provide important insights that inform the development of T cell-based pan-coronavirus vaccine strategies.


Subject(s)
/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , /administration & dosage , COVID-19/prevention & control , Female , Humans , Male , Peptides/immunology
5.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 440, 2022 01 21.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1641960

ABSTRACT

Dysregulated immune responses against the SARS-CoV-2 virus are instrumental in severe COVID-19. However, the immune signatures associated with immunopathology are poorly understood. Here we use multi-omics single-cell analysis to probe the dynamic immune responses in hospitalized patients with stable or progressive course of COVID-19, explore V(D)J repertoires, and assess the cellular effects of tocilizumab. Coordinated profiling of gene expression and cell lineage protein markers shows that S100Ahi/HLA-DRlo classical monocytes and activated LAG-3hi T cells are hallmarks of progressive disease and highlights the abnormal MHC-II/LAG-3 interaction on myeloid and T cells, respectively. We also find skewed T cell receptor repertories in expanded effector CD8+ clones, unmutated IGHG+ B cell clones, and mutated B cell clones with stable somatic hypermutation frequency over time. In conclusion, our in-depth immune profiling reveals dyssynchrony of the innate and adaptive immune interaction in progressive COVID-19.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Immunity, Innate/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis/methods , Adaptive Immunity/drug effects , Adaptive Immunity/genetics , Aged , Antibodies, Monoclonal, Humanized/therapeutic use , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/drug therapy , COVID-19/genetics , Cells, Cultured , Female , Gene Expression Regulation/drug effects , Gene Expression Regulation/immunology , Humans , Immunity, Innate/drug effects , Immunity, Innate/genetics , Male , RNA-Seq/methods , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/drug effects , SARS-CoV-2/physiology
6.
Nat Commun ; 13(1): 19, 2022 01 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1616981

ABSTRACT

T cells play a vital role in combatting SARS-CoV-2 and forming long-term memory responses. Whereas extensive structural information is available on neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, such information on SARS-CoV-2-specific T-cell receptors (TCRs) bound to their peptide-MHC targets is lacking. Here we determine the structures of a public and a private TCR from COVID-19 convalescent patients in complex with HLA-A2 and two SARS-CoV-2 spike protein epitopes (YLQ and RLQ). The structures reveal the basis for selection of particular TRAV and TRBV germline genes by the public but not the private TCR, and for the ability of the TCRs to recognize natural variants of RLQ but not YLQ. Neither TCR recognizes homologous epitopes from human seasonal coronaviruses. By elucidating the mechanism for TCR recognition of an immunodominant yet variable epitope (YLQ) and a conserved but less commonly targeted epitope (RLQ), this study can inform prospective efforts to design vaccines to elicit pan-coronavirus immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , HLA-A2 Antigen/chemistry , HLA-A2 Antigen/metabolism , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/metabolism , Jurkat Cells , K562 Cells , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/immunology , Peptides/metabolism , Protein Binding , Protein Conformation , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Surface Plasmon Resonance/methods
7.
Cell Rep ; 37(13): 110167, 2021 12 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1596401

ABSTRACT

Cross-reactivity and direct killing of target cells remain underexplored for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2)-specific CD8+ T cells. Isolation of T cell receptors (TCRs) and overexpression in allogeneic cells allows for extensive T cell reactivity profiling. We identify SARS-CoV-2 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp/NSP12) as highly conserved, likely due to its critical role in the virus life cycle. We perform single-cell TCRαß sequencing in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A∗02:01-restricted, RdRp-specific T cells from SARS-CoV-2-unexposed individuals. Human T cells expressing these TCRαß constructs kill target cell lines engineered to express full-length RdRp. Three TCR constructs recognize homologous epitopes from common cold coronaviruses, indicating CD8+ T cells can recognize evolutionarily diverse coronaviruses. Analysis of individual TCR clones may help define vaccine epitopes that can induce long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2 and other coronaviruses.


Subject(s)
Coronavirus RNA-Dependent RNA Polymerase/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/therapy , Cell Culture Techniques , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , HLA-A Antigens/immunology , HLA-A2 Antigen/genetics , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/metabolism , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , RNA, Viral/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
8.
Cells ; 11(1)2021 12 27.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1580992

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a global infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. T cells play an essential role in the body's fighting against the virus invasion, and the T cell receptor (TCR) is crucial in T cell-mediated virus recognition and clearance. However, little has been known about the features of T cell response in convalescent COVID-19 patients. In this study, using 5'RACE technology and PacBio sequencing, we analyzed the TCR repertoire of COVID-19 patients after recovery for 2 weeks and 6 months compared with the healthy donors. The TCR clustering and CDR3 annotation were exploited to discover groups of patient-specific TCR clonotypes with potential SARS-CoV-2 antigen specificities. We first identified CD4+ and CD8+ T cell clones with certain clonal expansion after infection, and then observed the preferential recombination usage of V(D) J gene segments in CD4+ and CD8+ T cells of COVID-19 patients with different convalescent stages. More important, the TRBV6-5-TRBD2-TRBJ2-7 combination with high frequency was shared between CD4+ T and CD8+ T cells of different COVID-19 patients. Finally, we found the dominant characteristic motifs of the CDR3 sequence between recovered COVID-19 and healthy control. Our study provides novel insights on TCR in COVID-19 with different convalescent phases, contributing to our understanding of the immune response induced by SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing/methods , Immunity/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Aged , Amino Acid Sequence , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/metabolism , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Complementarity Determining Regions/genetics , Complementarity Determining Regions/immunology , Convalescence , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Patient Acuity , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, alpha-beta/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/virology
9.
Cell Rep ; 38(2): 110214, 2022 01 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588141

ABSTRACT

T cell immunity is crucial for control of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and has been studied widely on a quantitative level. However, the quality of responses, in particular of CD8+ T cells, has only been investigated marginally so far. Here, we isolate T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires specific for immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 epitopes restricted to common human Leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I molecules in convalescent individuals. SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells are detected up to 12 months after infection. TCR repertoires are diverse, with heterogeneous functional avidity and cytotoxicity toward virus-infected cells, as demonstrated for TCR-engineered T cells. High TCR functionality correlates with gene signatures that, remarkably, could be retrieved for each epitope:HLA combination analyzed. Overall, our data demonstrate that polyclonal and highly functional CD8+ TCRs-classic features of protective immunity-are recruited upon mild SARS-CoV-2 infection, providing tools to assess the quality of and potentially restore functional CD8+ T cell immunity.


Subject(s)
CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Adult , Cells, Cultured , Cross Reactions/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/immunology , Leukocytes, Mononuclear/virology , Male , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology
10.
Commun Biol ; 4(1): 1365, 2021 12 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1550353

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells are scarce but detectable in unexposed healthy donors (UHDs). It remains unclear whether pre-existing human coronavirus (HCoV)-specific CD8+ T cells are converted to functionally competent T cells cross-reactive to SARS-CoV-2. Here, we identified the HLA-A24-high binding, immunodominant epitopes in SARS-CoV-2 spike region that can be recognized by seasonal coronavirus-specific CD8+ T cells from HLA-A24+ UHDs. Cross-reactive CD8+ T cells were clearly reduced in patients with hematological malignancy, who are usually immunosuppressed, compared to those in UHDs. Furthermore, we showed that CD8+ T cells in response to a selected dominant epitope display multifunctionality and cross-functionality across HCoVs in HLA-A24+ donors. Cross-reactivity of T-cell receptors isolated from them exhibited selective diversity at the single-cell level. Taken together, when stimulated well by immunodominant epitopes, selective pre-existing CD8+ T cells with high functional avidity may be cross-reactive against SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Cross Reactions , Humans
11.
Nat Immunol ; 23(1): 50-61, 2022 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1545628

ABSTRACT

NP105-113-B*07:02-specific CD8+ T cell responses are considered among the most dominant in SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals. We found strong association of this response with mild disease. Analysis of NP105-113-B*07:02-specific T cell clones and single-cell sequencing were performed concurrently, with functional avidity and antiviral efficacy assessed using an in vitro SARS-CoV-2 infection system, and were correlated with T cell receptor usage, transcriptome signature and disease severity (acute n = 77, convalescent n = 52). We demonstrated a beneficial association of NP105-113-B*07:02-specific T cells in COVID-19 disease progression, linked with expansion of T cell precursors, high functional avidity and antiviral effector function. Broad immune memory pools were narrowed postinfection but NP105-113-B*07:02-specific T cells were maintained 6 months after infection with preserved antiviral efficacy to the SARS-CoV-2 Victoria strain, as well as Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants. Our data show that NP105-113-B*07:02-specific T cell responses associate with mild disease and high antiviral efficacy, pointing to inclusion for future vaccine design.


Subject(s)
HLA-B7 Antigen/immunology , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Nucleocapsid Proteins/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology , Aged , Amino Acid Sequence , Antibodies, Viral/immunology , Antibody Affinity/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Line, Transformed , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Immunologic Memory/immunology , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Vaccinia virus/genetics , Vaccinia virus/immunology , Vaccinia virus/metabolism
12.
Elife ; 102021 11 30.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1542951

ABSTRACT

T-cell receptors (TCRs) encode clinically valuable information that reflects prior antigen exposure and potential future response. However, despite advances in deep repertoire sequencing, enormous TCR diversity complicates the use of TCR clonotypes as clinical biomarkers. We propose a new framework that leverages experimentally inferred antigen-associated TCRs to form meta-clonotypes - groups of biochemically similar TCRs - that can be used to robustly quantify functionally similar TCRs in bulk repertoires across individuals. We apply the framework to TCR data from COVID-19 patients, generating 1831 public TCR meta-clonotypes from the SARS-CoV-2 antigen-associated TCRs that have strong evidence of restriction to patients with a specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genotype. Applied to independent cohorts, meta-clonotypes targeting these specific epitopes were more frequently detected in bulk repertoires compared to exact amino acid matches, and 59.7% (1093/1831) were more abundant among COVID-19 patients that expressed the putative restricting HLA allele (false discovery rate [FDR]<0.01), demonstrating the potential utility of meta-clonotypes as antigen-specific features for biomarker development. To enable further applications, we developed an open-source software package, tcrdist3, that implements this framework and facilitates flexible workflows for distance-based TCR repertoire analysis.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , HLA Antigens/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers , COVID-19/genetics , Complementarity Determining Regions/immunology , Computational Biology/methods , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes/immunology , Genotype , HLA Antigens/immunology , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology
13.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 118(46)2021 11 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1493347

ABSTRACT

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infections elicit both humoral and cellular immune responses. For the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, the disease caused by SARS-CoV-2, it has become increasingly apparent that T cell responses are equally if not more important than humoral responses in mediating recovery and immune protection. One major challenge in developing T cell-based therapies for infectious and malignant diseases has been the identification of immunogenic epitopes that can elicit a meaningful T cell response. Traditionally, this has been achieved using sophisticated in silico methods to predict putative epitopes deduced from binding affinities. Our studies find that, in contrast to current convention, "immunodominant" SARS-CoV-2 peptides defined by such in silico methods often fail to elicit T cell responses recognizing naturally presented SARS-CoV-2 epitopes. We postulated that immunogenic epitopes for SARS-CoV-2 are best defined empirically by directly analyzing peptides eluted from the naturally processed peptide-major histocompatibility complex (MHC) and then validating immunogenicity by determining whether such peptides can elicit T cells recognizing SARS-CoV-2 antigen-expressing cells. Using a tandem mass spectrometry approach, we identified epitopes derived from not only structural but also nonstructural genes in regions highly conserved among SARS-CoV-2 strains, including recently recognized variants. Finally, there are no reported T cell receptor-engineered T cell technology that can redirect T cell specificity to recognize and kill SARS-CoV-2 target cells. We report here several SARS-CoV-2 epitopes defined by mass spectrometric analysis of MHC-eluted peptides, provide empiric evidence for their immunogenicity, and demonstrate engineered TCR-redirected killing.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/isolation & purification , Epitopes/isolation & purification , Mass Spectrometry/methods , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes , Cell Line , Epitopes/genetics , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Major Histocompatibility Complex , Peptides , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology
14.
Cells ; 10(10)2021 10 03.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1444119

ABSTRACT

The data currently available on how the immune system recognises the SARS-CoV-2 virus is growing rapidly. While there are structures of some SARS-CoV-2 proteins in complex with antibodies, which helps us understand how the immune system is able to recognise this new virus; however, we lack data on how T cells are able to recognise this virus. T cells, especially the cytotoxic CD8+ T cells, are critical for viral recognition and clearance. Here we report the X-ray crystallography structure of a T cell receptor, shared among unrelated individuals (public TCR) in complex with a dominant spike-derived CD8+ T cell epitope (YLQ peptide). We show that YLQ activates a polyfunctional CD8+ T cell response in COVID-19 recovered patients. We detail the molecular basis for the shared TCR gene usage observed in HLA-A*02:01+ individuals, providing an understanding of TCR recognition towards a SARS-CoV-2 epitope. Interestingly, the YLQ peptide conformation did not change upon TCR binding, facilitating the high-affinity interaction observed.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , HLA-A2 Antigen/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/cytology , Crystallography, X-Ray , Cytokines/metabolism , Epitopes/chemistry , HLA-A2 Antigen/chemistry , Humans , Mutation , Peptides/chemistry , Protein Binding , Protein Denaturation , Protein Folding , Surface Plasmon Resonance , T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic/immunology
15.
Signal Transduct Target Ther ; 6(1): 342, 2021 09 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1415923

ABSTRACT

While some individuals infected by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) present mild-to-severe disease, many SARS-CoV-2-infected individuals are asymptomatic. We sought to identify the distinction of immune response between asymptomatic and moderate patients. We performed single-cell transcriptome and T-cell/B-cell receptor (TCR/BCR) sequencing in 37 longitudinal collected peripheral blood mononuclear cell samples from asymptomatic, moderate, and severe patients with healthy controls. Asymptomatic patients displayed increased CD56briCD16- natural killer (NK) cells and upregulation of interferon-gamma in effector CD4+ and CD8+ T cells and NK cells. They showed more robust TCR clonal expansion, especially in effector CD4+ T cells, but lack strong BCR clonal expansion compared to moderate patients. Moreover, asymptomatic patients have lower interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) expression in general but large interpatient variability, whereas moderate patients showed various magnitude and temporal dynamics of the ISGs expression across multiple cell populations but lower than a patient with severe disease. Our data provide evidence of different immune signatures to SARS-CoV-2 in asymptomatic infections.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Carrier State/immunology , Lymphocytes/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis , Transcriptome/immunology , Adolescent , Adult , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/genetics
16.
Sci Rep ; 11(1): 14275, 2021 07 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1387486

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 infection is characterized by a highly variable clinical course with patients experiencing asymptomatic infection all the way to requiring critical care support. This variation in clinical course has led physicians and scientists to study factors that may predispose certain individuals to more severe clinical presentations in hopes of either identifying these individuals early in their illness or improving their medical management. We sought to understand immunogenomic differences that may result in varied clinical outcomes through analysis of T-cell receptor sequencing (TCR-Seq) data in the open access ImmuneCODE database. We identified two cohorts within the database that had clinical outcomes data reflecting severity of illness and utilized DeepTCR, a multiple-instance deep learning repertoire classifier, to predict patients with severe SARS-CoV-2 infection from their repertoire sequencing. We demonstrate that patients with severe infection have repertoires with higher T-cell responses associated with SARS-CoV-2 epitopes and identify the epitopes that result in these responses. Our results provide evidence that the highly variable clinical course seen in SARS-CoV-2 infection is associated to certain antigen-specific responses.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Asymptomatic Infections/epidemiology , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Deep Learning , Humans , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/virology
17.
PLoS One ; 16(8): e0249484, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1379827

ABSTRACT

The human adaptive immune system must generate extraordinary diversity to be able to respond to all possible pathogens. The T-cell repertoire derives this high diversity through somatic recombination of the T-cell receptor (TCR) locus, a random process that results in repertoires that are largely private to each individual. However, factors such as thymic selection and T-cell proliferation upon antigen exposure can affect TCR sharing among individuals. By immunosequencing the TCRß variable region of 426 healthy individuals, we find that, on average, fewer than 1% of TCRß clones are shared between individuals, consistent with largely private TCRß repertoires. However, we detect a significant correlation between increased HLA allele sharing and increased number of shared TCRß clones, with each additional shared HLA allele contributing to an increase in ~0.01% of the total shared TCRß clones, supporting a key role for HLA type in shaping the immune repertoire. Surprisingly, we find that shared antigen exposure to CMV leads to fewer shared TCRß clones, even after controlling for HLA, indicative of a largely private response to major viral antigenic exposure. Consistent with this hypothesis, we find that increased age is correlated with decreased overall TCRß clone sharing, indicating that the pattern of private TCRß clonal expansion is a general feature of the T-cell response to other infectious antigens as well. However, increased age also correlates with increased sharing among the lowest frequency clones, consistent with decreased repertoire diversity in older individuals. Together, all of these factors contribute to shaping the TCRß repertoire, and understanding their interplay has important implications for the use of T cells for therapeutics and diagnostics.


Subject(s)
HLA Antigens/immunology , Histocompatibility Testing , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Virus Diseases/immunology , Adult , Age Factors , Chronic Disease , Cytomegalovirus Infections/immunology , Histocompatibility Testing/methods , Humans
18.
Brief Bioinform ; 22(6)2021 11 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1367012

ABSTRACT

Accurate prediction of immunogenic peptide recognized by T cell receptor (TCR) can greatly benefit vaccine development and cancer immunotherapy. However, identifying immunogenic peptides accurately is still a huge challenge. Most of the antigen peptides predicted in silico fail to elicit immune responses in vivo without considering TCR as a key factor. This inevitably causes costly and time-consuming experimental validation test for predicted antigens. Therefore, it is necessary to develop novel computational methods for precisely and effectively predicting immunogenic peptide recognized by TCR. Here, we described DLpTCR, a multimodal ensemble deep learning framework for predicting the likelihood of interaction between single/paired chain(s) of TCR and peptide presented by major histocompatibility complex molecules. To investigate the generality and robustness of the proposed model, COVID-19 data and IEDB data were constructed for independent evaluation. The DLpTCR model exhibited high predictive power with area under the curve up to 0.91 on COVID-19 data while predicting the interaction between peptide and single TCR chain. Additionally, the DLpTCR model achieved the overall accuracy of 81.03% on IEDB data while predicting the interaction between peptide and paired TCR chains. The results demonstrate that DLpTCR has the ability to learn general interaction rules and generalize to antigen peptide recognition by TCR. A user-friendly webserver is available at http://jianglab.org.cn/DLpTCR/. Additionally, a stand-alone software package that can be downloaded from https://github.com/jiangBiolab/DLpTCR.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/drug therapy , Epitopes/immunology , Peptides/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Amino Acid Sequence/genetics , COVID-19/genetics , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Computer Simulation , Deep Learning , Epitopes/genetics , Humans , Peptides/genetics , Peptides/therapeutic use , Protein Binding/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/pathogenicity , Software
19.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(11): 2651-2664, 2021 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1366229

ABSTRACT

Both B cells and T cells are involved in an effective immune response to SARS-CoV-2, the disease-causing virus of COVID-19. While B cells-with the indispensable help of CD4+ T cells-are essential to generate neutralizing antibodies, T cells on their own have been recognized as another major player in effective anti-SARS-CoV-2 immunity. In this report, we provide insights into the characteristics of individual HLA-A*02:01- and HLA-A*24:02-restricted SARS-CoV-2-reactive TCRs, isolated from convalescent COVID-19 patients. We observed that SARS-CoV-2-reactive T-cell populations were clearly detectable in convalescent samples and that TCRs isolated from these T cell clones were highly functional upon ectopic re-expression. The SARS-CoV-2-reactive TCRs described in this report mediated potent TCR signaling in reporter assays with low nanomolar EC50 values. We further demonstrate that these SARS-CoV-2-reactive TCRs conferred powerful T-cell effector function to primary CD8+ T cells as evident by a robust anti-SARS-CoV-2 IFN-γ response and in vitro cytotoxicity. We also provide an example of a long-lasting anti-SARS-CoV-2 memory response by reisolation of one of the retrieved TCRs 5 months after initial sampling. Taken together, these findings contribute to a better understanding of anti-SARS-CoV-2 T-cell immunity and may contribute to paving the way toward immunotherapeutics approaches targeting SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology
20.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4699, 2021 08 04.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1358351

ABSTRACT

Similarity in T-cell receptor (TCR) sequences implies shared antigen specificity between receptors, and could be used to discover novel therapeutic targets. However, existing methods that cluster T-cell receptor sequences by similarity are computationally inefficient, making them impractical to use on the ever-expanding datasets of the immune repertoire. Here, we developed GIANA (Geometric Isometry-based TCR AligNment Algorithm) a computationally efficient tool for this task that provides the same level of clustering specificity as TCRdist at 600 times its speed, and without sacrificing accuracy. GIANA also allows the rapid query of large reference cohorts within minutes. Using GIANA to cluster large-scale TCR datasets provides candidate disease-specific receptors, and provides a new solution to repertoire classification. Querying unseen TCR-seq samples against an existing reference differentiates samples from patients across various cohorts associated with cancer, infectious and autoimmune disease. Our results demonstrate how GIANA could be used as the basis for a TCR-based non-invasive multi-disease diagnostic platform.


Subject(s)
Algorithms , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/classification , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/immunology , Cluster Analysis , Complementarity Determining Regions/chemistry , Complementarity Determining Regions/immunology , Diagnosis, Differential , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Humans , Multiple Sclerosis/diagnosis , Multiple Sclerosis/immunology , Neoplasms/diagnosis , Neoplasms/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , SARS-CoV-2 , Sequence Alignment
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