|Direct evidence that the N-terminal extensions of the TAP complex act as autonomous interaction scaffolds for the assembly of the MHC I peptide-loading complex. |
Hulpke, Sabine, et al.
Cell. Mol. Life Sci., 69: 3317-27 (2012)
The loading of antigenic peptides onto major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC I) molecules is an essential step in the adaptive immune response against virally or malignantly transformed cells. The ER-resident peptide-loading complex (PLC) consists of the transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP1 and TAP2), assembled with the auxiliary factors tapasin and MHC I. Here, we demonstrated that the N-terminal extension of each TAP subunit represents an autonomous domain, named TMD(0), which is correctly targeted to and inserted into the ER membrane. In the absence of coreTAP, each TMD(0) recruits tapasin in a 1:1 stoichiometry. Although the TMD(0)s lack known ER retention/retrieval signals, they are localized to the ER membrane even in tapasin-deficient cells. We conclude that the TMD(0)s of TAP form autonomous interaction hubs linking antigen translocation into the ER with peptide loading onto MHC I, hence ensuring a major function in the integrity of the antigen-processing machinery.
|Specific targeting of the EBV lytic phase protein BNLF2a to the transporter associated with antigen processing results in impairment of HLA class I-restricted antigen presentation. |
Horst, Daniëlle, et al.
J. Immunol., 182: 2313-24 (2009)
EBV persists for life in the human host while facing vigorous antiviral responses that are induced upon primary infection. This persistence supports the idea that herpesviruses have acquired dedicated functions to avoid immune elimination. The recently identified EBV gene product BNLF2a blocks TAP. As a result, reduced amounts of peptides are transported by TAP from the cytoplasm into the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen for binding to newly synthesized HLA class I molecules. Thus, BNLF2a perturbs detection by cytotoxic T cells. The 60-aa-long BNLF2a protein prevents the binding of both peptides and ATP to TAP, yet further mechanistic insight is, to date, lacking. In this study, we report that EBV BNLF2a represents a membrane-associated protein that colocalizes with its target TAP in subcellular compartments, primarily the ER. In cells devoid of TAP, expression levels of BNLF2a protein are greatly diminished, while ER localization of the remaining BNLF2a is retained. For interactions of BNLF2a with the HLA class I peptide-loading complex, the presence of TAP2 is essential, whereas tapasin is dispensible. Importantly, we now show that in B cells supporting EBV lytic replication, the BNLF2a protein is expressed early in infection, colocalizing and associating with the peptide-loading complex. These results imply that, during productive EBV infection, BNLF2a contributes to TAP inhibition and surface HLA class I down-regulation. In this way, EBV BNLF2a-mediated evasion from HLA class I-restricted T cell immunity contributes to creating a window for undetected virus production.
|A CD8+ T cell immune evasion protein specific to Epstein-Barr virus and its close relatives in Old World primates. |
Hislop, Andrew D, et al.
J. Exp. Med., 204: 1863-73 (2007)
gamma 1-Herpesviruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) have a unique ability to amplify virus loads in vivo through latent growth-transforming infection. Whether they, like alpha- and beta-herpesviruses, have been driven to actively evade immune detection of replicative (lytic) infection remains a moot point. We were prompted to readdress this question by recent work (Pudney, V.A., A.M. Leese, A.B. Rickinson, and A.D. Hislop. 2005. J. Exp. Med. 201:349-360; Ressing, M.E., S.E. Keating, D. van Leeuwen, D. Koppers-Lalic, I.Y. Pappworth, E.J.H.J. Wiertz, and M. Rowe. 2005. J. Immunol. 174:6829-6838) showing that, as EBV-infected cells move through the lytic cycle, their susceptibility to EBV-specific CD8(+) T cell recognition falls dramatically, concomitant with a reductions in transporter associated with antigen processing (TAP) function and surface human histocompatibility leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I expression. Screening of genes that are unique to EBV and closely related gamma 1-herpesviruses of Old World primates identified an early EBV lytic cycle gene, BNLF2a, which efficiently blocks antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell recognition through HLA-A-, HLA-B-, and HLA-C-restricting alleles when expressed in target cells in vitro. The small (60-amino acid) BNLF2a protein mediated its effects through interacting with the TAP complex and inhibiting both its peptide- and ATP-binding functions. Furthermore, this targeting of the major histocompatibility complex class I pathway appears to be conserved among the BNLF2a homologues of Old World primate gamma 1-herpesviruses. Thus, even the acquisition of latent cycle genes endowing unique growth-transforming ability has not liberated these agents from evolutionary pressure to evade CD8(+) T cell control over virus replicative foci.
|The first N-terminal transmembrane helix of each subunit of the antigenic peptide transporter TAP is essential for independent tapasin binding. |
Koch, Joachim, et al.
FEBS Lett., 580: 4091-6 (2006)
The heterodimeric ABC transporter TAP translocates proteasomal degradation products from the cytosol into the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum, where these peptides are loaded onto MHC class I molecules by a macromolecular peptide-loading complex (PLC) and subsequently shuttled to the cell surface for inspection by cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Tapasin recruits, as a central adapter protein, other components of the PLC at the unique N-terminal domains of TAP. We found that the N-terminal domains of human TAP1 and TAP2 can independently bind to tapasin, thus providing two separate loading platforms for PLC assembly. Moreover, tapasin binding is dependent on the first N-terminal transmembrane helix of TAP1 and TAP2, demonstrating that these two helices contribute independently to the recruitment of tapasin and associated factors.