All Publications

  • Granzyme F: Exhaustion Marker and Modulator of Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cell-Mediated Cytotoxicity. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) Hay, Z. L., Kim, D. D., Cimons, J. M., Knapp, J. R., Kohler, M. E., Quansah, M., Zúñiga, T. M., Camp, F. A., Fujita, M., Wang, X. J., O'Connor, B. P., Slansky, J. E. 2024


    Granzymes are a family of proteases used by CD8 T cells to mediate cytotoxicity and other less-defined activities. The substrate and mechanism of action of many granzymes are unknown, although they diverge among the family members. In this study, we show that mouse CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) express a unique array of granzymes relative to CD8 T cells outside the tumor microenvironment in multiple tumor models. Granzyme F was one of the most highly upregulated genes in TILs and was exclusively detected in PD1/TIM3 double-positive CD8 TILs. To determine the function of granzyme F and to improve the cytotoxic response to leukemia, we constructed chimeric Ag receptor T cells to overexpress a single granzyme, granzyme F or the better-characterized granzyme A or B. Using these doubly recombinant T cells, we demonstrated that granzyme F expression improved T cell-mediated cytotoxicity against target leukemia cells and induced a form of cell death other than chimeric Ag receptor T cells expressing only endogenous granzymes or exogenous granzyme A or B. However, increasing expression of granzyme F also had a detrimental impact on the viability of the host T cells, decreasing their persistence in circulation in vivo. These results suggest a unique role for granzyme F as a marker of terminally differentiated CD8 T cells with increased cytotoxicity, but also increased self-directed cytotoxicity, suggesting a potential mechanism for the end of the terminal exhaustion pathway.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.2300334

    View details for PubMedID 38416029

  • c-Myc uses Cul4b to preserve genome integrity and promote antiviral CD8+T cell immunity. Nature communications Dar, A. A., Kim, D. D., Gordon, S. M., Klinzing, K., Rosen, S., Guha, I., Porter, N., Ortega, Y., Forsyth, K. S., Roof, J., Fazelinia, H., Spruce, L. A., Eisenlohr, L. C., Behrens, E. M., Oliver, P. M. 2023; 14 (1): 7098


    During infection, virus-specific CD8+ T cells undergo rapid bursts of proliferation and differentiate into effector cells that kill virus-infected cells and reduce viral load. This rapid clonal expansion can put T cells at significant risk for replication-induced DNA damage. Here, we find that c-Myc links CD8+ T cell expansion to DNA damage response pathways though the E3 ubiquitin ligase, Cullin 4b (Cul4b). Following activation, c-Myc increases the levels of Cul4b and other members of the Cullin RING Ligase 4 (CRL4) complex. Despite expressing c-Myc at high levels, Cul4b-deficient CD8+ T cells do not expand and clear the Armstrong strain of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) in vivo. Cul4b-deficient CD8+ T cells accrue DNA damage and succumb to proliferative catastrophe early after antigen encounter. Mechanistically, Cul4b knockout induces an accumulation of p21 and Cyclin E2, resulting in replication stress. Our data show that c-Myc supports cell proliferation by maintaining genome stability via Cul4b, thereby directly coupling these two interdependent pathways. These data clarify how CD8+ T cells use c-Myc and Cul4b to sustain their potential for extraordinary population expansion, longevity and antiviral responses.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-023-42765-7

    View details for PubMedID 37925424

  • The ubiquitin ligase Cul5 regulates CD4<SUP>+</SUP> T cell fate choice and allergic inflammation NATURE COMMUNICATIONS Kumar, B., Field, N. S., Kim, D. D., Dar, A. A., Chen, Y., Suresh, A., Pastore, C. F., Hung, L., Porter, N., Sawada, K., Shah, P., Elbulok, O., Moser, E. K., Herbert, D. R., Oliver, P. M. 2022; 13 (1): 2786


    Antigen encounter directs CD4+ T cells to differentiate into T helper or regulatory cells. This process focuses the immune response on the invading pathogen and limits tissue damage. Mechanisms that govern T helper cell versus T regulatory cell fate remain poorly understood. Here, we show that the E3 ubiquitin ligase Cul5 determines fate selection in CD4+ T cells by regulating IL-4 receptor signaling. Mice lacking Cul5 in T cells develop Th2 and Th9 inflammation and show pathophysiological features of atopic asthma. Following T cell activation, Cul5 forms a complex with CIS and pJak1. Cul5 deletion reduces ubiquitination and subsequent degradation of pJak1, leading to an increase in pJak1 and pSTAT6 levels and reducing the threshold of IL-4 receptor signaling. As a consequence, Cul5 deficient CD4+ T cells deviate from Treg to Th9 differentiation in low IL-4 conditions. These data support the notion that Cul5 promotes a tolerogenic T cell fate choice and reduces susceptibility to allergic asthma.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-022-30437-x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000798347800015

    View details for PubMedID 35589717

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC9120070

  • The impact of the tumor microenvironment on granzyme production by CD8 T cells Hay, Z., Kim, D., Silva, A., Slansky, J. E. AMER ASSOC IMMUNOLOGISTS. 2020