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1.
Nat Immunol ; 23(4): 632-642, 2022 Apr.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1751737

ABSTRACT

Although inhibition of T cell coinhibitory receptors has revolutionized cancer therapy, the mechanisms governing their expression on human T cells have not been elucidated. In the present study, we show that type 1 interferon (IFN-I) regulates coinhibitory receptor expression on human T cells, inducing PD-1/TIM-3/LAG-3 while inhibiting TIGIT expression. High-temporal-resolution mRNA profiling of IFN-I responses established the dynamic regulatory networks uncovering three temporal transcriptional waves. Perturbation of key transcription factors (TFs) and TF footprint analysis revealed two regulator modules with different temporal kinetics that control expression of coinhibitory receptors and IFN-I response genes, with SP140 highlighted as one of the key regulators that differentiates LAG-3 and TIGIT expression. Finally, we found that the dynamic IFN-I response in vitro closely mirrored T cell features in acute SARS-CoV-2 infection. The identification of unique TFs controlling coinhibitory receptor expression under IFN-I response may provide targets for enhancement of immunotherapy in cancer, infectious diseases and autoimmunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19 , Interferon Type I , Gene Regulatory Networks , Humans , Interferon Type I/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Receptors, Immunologic/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , T-Lymphocytes
2.
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
3.
J Exp Med ; 219(2)2022 02 07.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1594167

ABSTRACT

In rare instances, pediatric SARS-CoV-2 infection results in a novel immunodysregulation syndrome termed multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). We compared MIS-C immunopathology with severe COVID-19 in adults. MIS-C does not result in pneumocyte damage but is associated with vascular endotheliitis and gastrointestinal epithelial injury. In MIS-C, the cytokine release syndrome is characterized by IFNγ and not type I interferon. Persistence of patrolling monocytes differentiates MIS-C from severe COVID-19, which is dominated by HLA-DRlo classical monocytes. IFNγ levels correlate with granzyme B production in CD16+ NK cells and TIM3 expression on CD38+/HLA-DR+ T cells. Single-cell TCR profiling reveals a skewed TCRß repertoire enriched for TRBV11-2 and a superantigenic signature in TIM3+/CD38+/HLA-DR+ T cells. Using NicheNet, we confirm IFNγ as a central cytokine in the communication between TIM3+/CD38+/HLA-DR+ T cells, CD16+ NK cells, and patrolling monocytes. Normalization of IFNγ, loss of TIM3, quiescence of CD16+ NK cells, and contraction of patrolling monocytes upon clinical resolution highlight their potential role in MIS-C immunopathogenesis.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/complications , Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2/metabolism , Interferon-gamma/metabolism , Killer Cells, Natural/immunology , Monocytes/metabolism , Receptors, IgG/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adolescent , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/pathology , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Blood Vessels/pathology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Proliferation , Child , Cohort Studies , Complement Activation , Cytokines/metabolism , Enterocytes/pathology , Female , Humans , Immunity, Humoral , Inflammation/pathology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interleukin-15/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Male , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Superantigens/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology
4.
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
5.
Cell ; 185(4): 603-613.e15, 2022 02 17.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1588149

ABSTRACT

SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines induce robust anti-spike (S) antibody and CD4+ T cell responses. It is not yet clear whether vaccine-induced follicular helper CD4+ T (TFH) cell responses contribute to this outstanding immunogenicity. Using fine-needle aspiration of draining axillary lymph nodes from individuals who received the BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine, we evaluated the T cell receptor sequences and phenotype of lymph node TFH. Mining of the responding TFH T cell receptor repertoire revealed a strikingly immunodominant HLA-DPB1∗04-restricted response to S167-180 in individuals with this allele, which is among the most common HLA alleles in humans. Paired blood and lymph node specimens show that while circulating S-specific TFH cells peak one week after the second immunization, S-specific TFH persist at nearly constant frequencies for at least six months. Collectively, our results underscore the key role that robust TFH cell responses play in establishing long-term immunity by this efficacious human vaccine.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Immunity/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , T Follicular Helper Cells/immunology , Vaccination , Vaccines, Synthetic/immunology , /immunology , Adult , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/blood , Clone Cells , Cohort Studies , Cytokines/metabolism , Female , Germinal Center/immunology , HLA-DP beta-Chains/immunology , Humans , Immunodominant Epitopes/immunology , Jurkat Cells , Lymph Nodes/metabolism , Male , Middle Aged , Peptides/chemistry , Peptides/metabolism , Protein Multimerization , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism
6.
Nature ; 602(7895): 148-155, 2022 02.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1556858

ABSTRACT

Immunological memory is a hallmark of adaptive immunity and facilitates an accelerated and enhanced immune response upon re-infection with the same pathogen1,2. Since the outbreak of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, a key question has focused on which SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells stimulated during acute infection give rise to long-lived memory T cells3. Here, using spectral flow cytometry combined with cellular indexing of transcriptomes and T cell receptor sequencing, we longitudinally characterized individual SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells of patients with COVID-19 from acute infection to 1 year into recovery and found a distinct signature identifying long-lived memory CD8+ T cells. SARS-CoV-2-specific memory CD8+ T cells persisting 1 year after acute infection express CD45RA, IL-7 receptor-α and T cell factor 1, but they maintain low expression of CCR7, thus resembling CD45RA+ effector memory T cells. Tracking individual clones of SARS-CoV-2-specific CD8+ T cells, we reveal that an interferon signature marks clones that give rise to long-lived cells, whereas prolonged proliferation and mechanistic target of rapamycin signalling are associated with clonal disappearance from the blood. Collectively, we describe a transcriptional signature that marks long-lived, circulating human memory CD8+ T cells following an acute viral infection.


Subject(s)
Antigens, Viral/immunology , Biomarkers/metabolism , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/immunology , /metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Acute Disease , COVID-19/virology , Cell Proliferation , Clone Cells/cytology , Clone Cells/immunology , Humans , Interferons/immunology , Interleukin-7 Receptor alpha Subunit/metabolism , Leukocyte Common Antigens/metabolism , Longitudinal Studies , Mechanistic Target of Rapamycin Complex 1/metabolism , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Receptors, CCR7/metabolism , T Cell Transcription Factor 1/metabolism , Time Factors , Transcriptome
7.
J Biol Chem ; 297(3): 101065, 2021 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1347684

ABSTRACT

CD8+ T cells play an important role in vaccination and immunity against severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Although numerous SARS-CoV-2 CD8+ T cell epitopes have been identified, the molecular basis underpinning T cell receptor (TCR) recognition of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells remains unknown. The T cell response directed toward SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-derived S269-277 peptide presented by the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A∗02:01 allomorph (hereafter the HLA-A2S269-277 epitope) is, to date, the most immunodominant SARS-CoV-2 epitope found in individuals bearing this allele. As HLA-A2S269-277-specific CD8+ T cells utilize biased TRAV12 gene usage within the TCR α-chain, we sought to understand the molecular basis underpinning this TRAV12 dominance. We expressed four TRAV12+ TCRs which bound the HLA-A2S269-277 complex with low micromolar affinity and determined the crystal structure of the HLA-A2S269-277 binary complex, and subsequently a ternary structure of the TRAV12+ TCR complexed to HLA-A2S269-277. We found that the TCR made extensive contacts along the entire length of the S269-277 peptide, suggesting that the TRAV12+ TCRs would be sensitive to sequence variation within this epitope. To examine this, we investigated cross-reactivity toward analogous peptides from existing SARS-CoV-2 variants and closely related coronaviruses. We show via surface plasmon resonance and tetramer studies that the TRAV12+ T cell repertoire cross-reacts poorly with these analogous epitopes. Overall, we defined the structural basis underpinning biased TCR recognition of CD8+ T cells directed at an immunodominant epitope and provide a framework for understanding TCR cross-reactivity toward viral variants within the S269-277 peptide.


Subject(s)
Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/chemistry , HLA-A2 Antigen/metabolism , Immunodominant Epitopes/metabolism , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Humans , Protein Conformation , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry
8.
Biomolecules ; 11(7)2021 07 19.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1328091

ABSTRACT

Proteins of the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I, or human leukocyte antigen (HLA) in humans interact with endogenous peptides and present them to T cell receptors (TCR), which in turn tune the immune system to recognize and discriminate between self and foreign (non-self) peptides. Of especial importance are peptides derived from tumor-associated antigens. T cells recognizing these peptides are found in cancer patients, but not in cancer-free individuals. What stimulates this recognition, which is vital for the success of checkpoint based therapy? A peptide derived from the protein p53 (residues 161-169 or p161) was reported to show this behavior. T cells recognizing this unmodified peptide could be further stimulated in vitro to create effective cancer killing CTLs (cytotoxic T lymphocytes). We hypothesize that the underlying difference may arise from post-translational glycosylation of p161 in normal individuals, likely masking it against recognition by TCR. Defects in glycosylation in cancer cells may allow the presentation of the native peptide. We investigate the structural consequences of such peptide glycosylation by investigating the associated structural dynamics.


Subject(s)
HLA-A24 Antigen/chemistry , HLA-A24 Antigen/metabolism , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/metabolism , Acetylglucosamine/metabolism , Glycosylation , Human Immunodeficiency Virus Proteins/chemistry , Human Immunodeficiency Virus Proteins/metabolism , Humans , Hydrogen Bonding , Models, Molecular , Molecular Dynamics Simulation , Peptide Fragments/chemistry , Peptide Fragments/metabolism , Protein Conformation , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Tumor Suppressor Protein p53/chemistry
9.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4515, 2021 07 26.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1327196

ABSTRACT

The in vivo phenotypic profile of T cells reactive to severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS)-CoV-2 antigens remains poorly understood. Conventional methods to detect antigen-reactive T cells require in vitro antigenic re-stimulation or highly individualized peptide-human leukocyte antigen (pHLA) multimers. Here, we use single-cell RNA sequencing to identify and profile SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells from Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) patients. To do so, we induce transcriptional shifts by antigenic stimulation in vitro and take advantage of natural T cell receptor (TCR) sequences of clonally expanded T cells as barcodes for 'reverse phenotyping'. This allows identification of SARS-CoV-2-reactive TCRs and reveals phenotypic effects introduced by antigen-specific stimulation. We characterize transcriptional signatures of currently and previously activated SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells, and show correspondence with phenotypes of T cells from the respiratory tract of patients with severe disease in the presence or absence of virus in independent cohorts. Reverse phenotyping is a powerful tool to provide an integrated insight into cellular states of SARS-CoV-2-reactive T cells across tissues and activation states.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling/methods , Sequence Analysis, RNA/methods , Single-Cell Analysis/methods , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/virology , COVID-19/epidemiology , COVID-19/virology , Cells, Cultured , Cohort Studies , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/virology
10.
Eur J Immunol ; 51(8): 1992-2005, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1251932

ABSTRACT

The phenotype of infused cells is a major determinant of Adoptive T-cell therapy (ACT) efficacy. Yet, the difficulty in deciphering multiparametric cytometry data limited the fine characterization of cellular products. To allow the analysis of dynamic and complex flow cytometry samples, we developed cytoChain, a novel dataset mining tool and a new analytical workflow. CytoChain was challenged to compare state-of-the-art and innovative culture conditions to generate stem-like memory cells (TSCM ) suitable for ACT. Noticeably, the combination of IL-7/15 and superoxides scavenging sustained the emergence of a previously unidentified nonexhausted Fit-TSCM signature, overlooked by manual gating and endowed with superior expansion potential. CytoChain proficiently traced back this population in independent datasets, and in T-cell receptor engineered lymphocytes. CytoChain flexibility and function were then further validated on a published dataset from circulating T cells in COVID-19 patients. Collectively, our results support the use of cytoChain to identify novel, functionally critical immunophenotypes for ACT and patients immunomonitoring.


Subject(s)
Data Mining/methods , Flow Cytometry/methods , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/immunology , Receptors, Chimeric Antigen/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , COVID-19/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Cytokines/metabolism , Genetic Engineering , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Immunophenotyping , Immunotherapy, Adoptive , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Receptors, Chimeric Antigen/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology
11.
J Clin Immunol ; 41(6): 1131-1145, 2021 08.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1216234

ABSTRACT

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), has become a public health emergency. The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough, and fatigue. While most patients with COVID-19 present with mild illness, some patients develop pneumonia, an important risk factor for mortality, at early stage of viral infection, putting these patients at increased risk of death. So far, little has been known about differences in the T cell repertoires between COVID-19 patients with and without pneumonia during SARS-CoV-2 infection. Herein, we aimed to investigate T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire profiles and patient-specific SARS-CoV-2-associated TCR clusters between COVID-19 patients with mild disease (no sign of pneumonia) and pneumonia. The TCR sequencing was conducted to characterize the peripheral TCR repertoire profile and diversity. The TCR clustering and CDR3 annotation were exploited to further discover groups of patient-specific TCR clonotypes with potential SARS-CoV-2 antigen specificities. Our study indicated a slight decrease in the TCR repertoire diversity and a skewed CDR3 length usage in patients with pneumonia compared to those with mild disease. The SARS-CoV-2-associated TCR clusters enriched in patients with mild disease exhibited significantly higher TCR generation probabilities and most of which were highly shared among patients, compared with those from pneumonia patients. Importantly, using similarity network-based clustering followed by the sequence conservation analysis, we found different patterns of CDR3 sequence motifs between mild disease- and pneumonia-specific SARS-CoV-2-associated public TCR clusters. Our results showed that characteristics of overall TCR repertoire and SARS-CoV-2-associated TCR clusters/clonotypes were divergent between COVID-19 patients with mild disease and patients with pneumonia. These findings provide important insights into the correlation between the TCR repertoire and disease severity in COVID-19 patients.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Pneumonia/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Adult , Aged , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Sequence Analysis, DNA , Severity of Illness Index
12.
Immunity ; 54(1): 164-175.e6, 2021 01 12.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1065205

ABSTRACT

Patients suffering from Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) can develop neurological sequelae, such as headache and neuroinflammatory or cerebrovascular disease. These conditions-termed here as Neuro-COVID-are more frequent in patients with severe COVID-19. To understand the etiology of these neurological sequelae, we utilized single-cell sequencing and examined the immune cell profiles from the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of Neuro-COVID patients compared with patients with non-inflammatory and autoimmune neurological diseases or with viral encephalitis. The CSF of Neuro-COVID patients exhibited an expansion of dedifferentiated monocytes and of exhausted CD4+ T cells. Neuro-COVID CSF leukocytes featured an enriched interferon signature; however, this was less pronounced than in viral encephalitis. Repertoire analysis revealed broad clonal T cell expansion and curtailed interferon response in severe compared with mild Neuro-COVID patients. Collectively, our findings document the CSF immune compartment in Neuro-COVID patients and suggest compromised antiviral responses in this setting.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Monocytes/immunology , Nervous System Diseases/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/cerebrospinal fluid , COVID-19/complications , COVID-19/pathology , Cell Differentiation , Cerebrospinal Fluid/immunology , Encephalitis, Viral/cerebrospinal fluid , Encephalitis, Viral/immunology , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Interferons/genetics , Interferons/immunology , Leukocytes/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation , Nervous System Diseases/cerebrospinal fluid , Nervous System Diseases/etiology , Nervous System Diseases/pathology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Single-Cell Analysis
13.
Cell Rep Med ; 2(2): 100192, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1033386

ABSTRACT

The identification of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cell receptor (TCR) sequences is critical for understanding T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2. Accordingly, we reanalyze publicly available data from SARS-CoV-2-recovered patients who had low-severity disease (n = 17) and SARS-CoV-2 infection-naive (control) individuals (n = 39). Applying a machine learning approach to TCR beta (TRB) repertoire data, we can classify patient/control samples with a training sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 88.2%, 100%, and 96.4% and a testing sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of 82.4%, 97.4%, and 92.9%, respectively. Interestingly, the same machine learning approach cannot separate SARS-CoV-2 recovered from SARS-CoV-2 infection-naive individual samples on the basis of B cell receptor (immunoglobulin heavy chain; IGH) repertoire data, suggesting that the T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 may be more stereotyped and longer lived. Following validation in larger cohorts, our method may be useful in detecting protective immunity acquired through natural infection or in determining the longevity of vaccine-induced immunity.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Machine Learning , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Amino Acid Sequence , COVID-19/pathology , COVID-19/virology , Cluster Analysis , Complementarity Determining Regions/chemistry , Complementarity Determining Regions/genetics , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Principal Component Analysis , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, B-Cell/metabolism , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/isolation & purification , Sequence Analysis, DNA , T-Lymphocytes/immunology
14.
Immunity ; 53(6): 1258-1271.e5, 2020 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-988080

ABSTRACT

CD4+ T cells reactive against SARS-CoV-2 can be found in unexposed individuals, and these are suggested to arise in response to common cold coronavirus (CCCoV) infection. Here, we utilized SARS-CoV-2-reactive CD4+ T cell enrichment to examine the antigen avidity and clonality of these cells, as well as the relative contribution of CCCoV cross-reactivity. SARS-CoV-2-reactive CD4+ memory T cells were present in virtually all unexposed individuals examined, displaying low functional avidity and multiple, highly variable cross-reactivities that were not restricted to CCCoVs. SARS-CoV-2-reactive CD4+ T cells from COVID-19 patients lacked cross-reactivity to CCCoVs, irrespective of strong memory T cell responses against CCCoV in all donors analyzed. In severe but not mild COVID-19, SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells displayed low functional avidity and clonality, despite increased frequencies. Our findings identify low-avidity CD4+ T cell responses as a hallmark of severe COVID-19 and argue against a protective role for CCCoV-reactive T cells in SARS-CoV-2 infection.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Rhinovirus/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Antigens, Viral/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Cross Reactions , Disease Progression , Environmental Exposure , Humans , Immunologic Memory , Lymphocyte Activation , Protein Binding , Severity of Illness Index , T-Cell Antigen Receptor Specificity
15.
Immunity ; 53(6): 1245-1257.e5, 2020 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-922005

ABSTRACT

Understanding the hallmarks of the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 is critical for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. We assessed antibody and T cell reactivity in convalescent COVID-19 patients and healthy donors sampled both prior to and during the pandemic. Healthy donors examined during the pandemic exhibited increased numbers of SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells, but no humoral response. Their probable exposure to the virus resulted in either asymptomatic infection without antibody secretion or activation of preexisting immunity. In convalescent patients, we observed a public and diverse T cell response to SARS-CoV-2 epitopes, revealing T cell receptor (TCR) motifs with germline-encoded features. Bulk CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses to the spike protein were mediated by groups of homologous TCRs, some of them shared across multiple donors. Overall, our results demonstrate that the T cell response to SARS-CoV-2, including the identified set of TCRs, can serve as a useful biomarker for surveying antiviral immunity.


Subject(s)
CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , COVID-19/immunology , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Adolescent , Adult , Antibodies, Viral/metabolism , Asymptomatic Infections , Cells, Cultured , Convalescence , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte/immunology , Female , Humans , Immunity , Immunologic Memory , Lymphocyte Activation , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/immunology , Young Adult
16.
Front Immunol ; 11: 589380, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-909050

ABSTRACT

Severe COVID-19 patients show various immunological abnormalities including T-cell reduction and cytokine release syndrome, which can be fatal and is a major concern of the pandemic. However, it is poorly understood how T-cell dysregulation can contribute to the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19. Here we show single cell-level mechanisms for T-cell dysregulation in severe COVID-19, demonstrating new pathogenetic mechanisms of T-cell activation and differentiation underlying severe COVID-19. By in silico sorting CD4+ T-cells from a single cell RNA-seq dataset, we found that CD4+ T-cells were highly activated and showed unique differentiation pathways in the lung of severe COVID-19 patients. Notably, those T-cells in severe COVID-19 patients highly expressed immunoregulatory receptors and CD25, whilst repressing the expression of FOXP3. Furthermore, we show that CD25+ hyperactivated T-cells differentiate into multiple helper T-cell lineages, showing multifaceted effector T-cells with Th1 and Th2 characteristics. Lastly, we show that CD25-expressing hyperactivated T-cells produce the protease Furin, which facilitates the viral entry of SARS-CoV-2. Collectively, CD4+ T-cells from severe COVID-19 patients are hyperactivated and FOXP3-mediated negative feedback mechanisms are impaired in the lung, which may promote immunopathology. Therefore, our study proposes a new model of T-cell hyperactivation and paralysis that drives immunopathology in severe COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/immunology , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Paralysis/immunology , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Severity of Illness Index , Single-Cell Analysis/methods , T-Lymphocytes, Regulatory/immunology , COVID-19/virology , Databases, Genetic , Forkhead Transcription Factors/metabolism , Furin/metabolism , Humans , Interleukin-2 Receptor alpha Subunit/metabolism , RNA-Seq , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Transcriptome , Virus Internalization
17.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A ; 117(41): 25254-25262, 2020 10 13.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-809109

ABSTRACT

Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19 is a newly recognized condition in children with recent severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. These children and adult patients with severe hyperinflammation present with a constellation of symptoms that strongly resemble toxic shock syndrome, an escalation of the cytotoxic adaptive immune response triggered upon the binding of pathogenic superantigens to T cell receptors (TCRs) and/or major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII) molecules. Here, using structure-based computational models, we demonstrate that the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) glycoprotein exhibits a high-affinity motif for binding TCRs, and may form a ternary complex with MHCII. The binding epitope on S harbors a sequence motif unique to SARS-CoV-2 (not present in other SARS-related coronaviruses), which is highly similar in both sequence and structure to the bacterial superantigen staphylococcal enterotoxin B. This interaction between the virus and human T cells could be strengthened by a rare mutation (D839Y/N/E) from a European strain of SARS-CoV-2. Furthermore, the interfacial region includes selected residues from an intercellular adhesion molecule (ICAM)-like motif shared between the SARS viruses from the 2003 and 2019 pandemics. A neurotoxin-like sequence motif on the receptor-binding domain also exhibits a high tendency to bind TCRs. Analysis of the TCR repertoire in adult COVID-19 patients demonstrates that those with severe hyperinflammatory disease exhibit TCR skewing consistent with superantigen activation. These data suggest that SARS-CoV-2 S may act as a superantigen to trigger the development of MIS-C as well as cytokine storm in adult COVID-19 patients, with important implications for the development of therapeutic approaches.


Subject(s)
Betacoronavirus/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/metabolism , Superantigens/metabolism , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/immunology , Amino Acid Motifs , Betacoronavirus/chemistry , Betacoronavirus/genetics , Betacoronavirus/metabolism , COVID-19 , Coronavirus Infections/genetics , Coronavirus Infections/pathology , Enterotoxins/chemistry , Epitopes, T-Lymphocyte , Humans , Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1/chemistry , Models, Molecular , Mutation , Neurotoxins/chemistry , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/genetics , Pneumonia, Viral/pathology , Protein Binding , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/chemistry , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , SARS-CoV-2 , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/chemistry , Spike Glycoprotein, Coronavirus/genetics , Superantigens/chemistry , Superantigens/genetics , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/genetics , Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome/pathology
18.
Cell Rep Med ; 1(6): 100095, 2020 09 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-779772

ABSTRACT

Induction of protective mucosal T cell memory remains a formidable challenge to vaccinologists. Using a combination adjuvant strategy that elicits potent CD8 and CD4 T cell responses, we define the tenets of vaccine-induced pulmonary T cell immunity. An acrylic-acid-based adjuvant (ADJ), in combination with Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists glucopyranosyl lipid adjuvant (GLA) or CpG, promotes mucosal imprinting but engages distinct transcription programs to drive different degrees of terminal differentiation and disparate polarization of TH1/TC1/TH17/TC17 effector/memory T cells. Combination of ADJ with GLA, but not CpG, dampens T cell receptor (TCR) signaling, mitigates terminal differentiation of effectors, and enhances the development of CD4 and CD8 TRM cells that protect against H1N1 and H5N1 influenza viruses. Mechanistically, vaccine-elicited CD4 T cells play a vital role in optimal programming of CD8 TRM and viral control. Taken together, these findings provide further insights into vaccine-induced multifaceted mucosal T cell immunity with implications in the development of vaccines against respiratorypathogens, including influenza virus and SARS-CoV-2.


Subject(s)
/pharmacology , Lung/drug effects , T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , Acrylic Resins/administration & dosage , Acrylic Resins/pharmacology , Animals , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/drug effects , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Cell Differentiation/drug effects , Cell Differentiation/immunology , Inflammation , Influenza A virus/immunology , Influenza Vaccines/administration & dosage , Influenza Vaccines/pharmacology , Intraepithelial Lymphocytes/drug effects , Intraepithelial Lymphocytes/immunology , Lung/immunology , /immunology , Mice , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/immunology , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/prevention & control , Orthomyxoviridae Infections/virology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Signal Transduction/drug effects , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Toll-Like Receptors/agonists
19.
Front Immunol ; 11: 1870, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-776203

ABSTRACT

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which is caused by the novel SARS-CoV-2 virus is a severe flu-like illness which is associated with hyperinflammation and immune dysfunction. The virus induces a strong T and B cell response but little is known about the immune pathology of this viral infection. Acute Plasmodium falciparum malaria also causes acute clinical illness and is characterized by hyperinflammation due to the strong production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and a massive activation of T cells. In malaria, T cells express a variety of co-inhibitory receptors which might be a consequence of their activation but also might limit their overwhelming function. Thus, T cells are implicated in protection as well as in pathology. The outcome of malaria is thought to be a consequence of the balance between co-activation and co-inhibition of T cells. Following the hypothesis that T cells in COVID-19 might have a similar, dual function, we comprehensively characterized the differentiation (CCR7, CD45RO) and activation status (HLA-DR, CD38, CD69, CD226), the co-expression of co-inhibitory molecules (PD1, TIM-3, LAG-3, BTLA, TIGIT), as well as the expression pattern of the transcription factors T-bet and eomes of CD8+ and CD4+ T cells of PBMC of n = 20 SARS-CoV-2 patients compared to n = 10 P. falciparum infected patients and n = 13 healthy controls. Overall, acute COVID-19 and malaria infection resulted in a comparably elevated activation and altered differentiation status of the CD8+ and CD4+ T cell populations. T effector cells of COVID-19 and malaria patients showed higher frequencies of the inhibitory receptors T-cell immunoglobulin mucin-3 (TIM-3) and Lymphocyte-activation gene-3 (LAG-3) which was linked to increased activation levels and an upregulation of the transcription factors T-bet and eomes. COVID-19 patients with a more severe disease course showed higher levels of LAG-3 and TIM-3 than patients with a mild disease course. During recovery, a rapid normalization of these inhibitory receptors could be observed. In summary, comparing the expression of different co-inhibitory molecules in CD8+ and CD4+ T cells in COVID-19 vs. malaria, there is a transient increase of the expression of certain inhibitory receptors like LAG-3 and TIM-3 in COVID-19 in the overall context of acute immune activation.


Subject(s)
Antigens, CD/metabolism , Betacoronavirus/genetics , CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Coronavirus Infections/immunology , Hepatitis A Virus Cellular Receptor 2/metabolism , Lymphocyte Activation/immunology , Malaria, Falciparum/immunology , Plasmodium falciparum/isolation & purification , Pneumonia, Viral/immunology , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , Acute Disease , Adult , Aged , COVID-19 , Cells, Cultured , Cohort Studies , Coronavirus Infections/virology , Female , Humans , Malaria, Falciparum/parasitology , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Pneumonia, Viral/virology , Programmed Cell Death 1 Receptor/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2 , Severity of Illness Index
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