All Publications

  • A distinct subset of plasmacytoid dendritic cells induces activation and differentiation of B and T lymphocytes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America Zhang, H., Gregorio, J. D., Iwahori, T., Zhang, X., Choi, O., Tolentino, L. L., Prestwood, T., Carmi, Y., Engleman, E. G. 2017; 114 (8): 1988-1993


    Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are known mainly for their secretion of type I IFN upon viral encounter. We describe a CD2(hi)CD5(+)CD81(+) pDC subset, distinguished by prominent dendrites and a mature phenotype, in human blood, bone marrow, and tonsil, which can be generated from CD34(+) progenitors. These CD2(hi)CD5(+)CD81(+) cells express classical pDC markers, as well as the toll-like receptors that enable conventional pDCs to respond to viral infection. However, their gene expression profile is distinct, and they produce little or no type I IFN upon stimulation with CpG oligonucleotides, likely due to their diminished expression of IFN regulatory factor 7. A similar population of CD5(+)CD81(+) pDCs is present in mice and also does not produce type I IFN after CpG stimulation. In contrast to conventional CD5(-)CD81(-) pDCs, human CD5(+)CD81(+) pDCs are potent stimulators of B-cell activation and antibody production and strong inducers of T-cell proliferation and Treg formation. These findings reveal the presence of a discrete pDC population that does not produce type I IFN and yet mediates important immune functions previously attributed to all pDCs.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1610630114

    View details for PubMedID 28167780

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5338447

  • Systemic Immunity Is Required for Effective Cancer Immunotherapy. Cell Spitzer, M. H., Carmi, Y., Reticker-Flynn, N. E., Kwek, S. S., Madhireddy, D., Martins, M. M., Gherardini, P. F., Prestwood, T. R., Chabon, J., Bendall, S. C., Fong, L., Nolan, G. P., Engleman, E. G. 2017; 168 (3): 487-502 e15


    Immune responses involve coordination across cell types and tissues. However, studies in cancer immunotherapy have focused heavily on local immune responses in the tumor microenvironment. To investigate immune activity more broadly, we performed an organism-wide study in genetically engineered cancer models using mass cytometry. We analyzed immune responses in several tissues after immunotherapy by developing intuitive models for visualizing single-cell data with statistical inference. Immune activation was evident in the tumor and systemically shortly after effective therapy was administered. However, during tumor rejection, only peripheral immune cells sustained their proliferation. This systemic response was coordinated across tissues and required for tumor eradication in several immunotherapy models. An emergent population of peripheral CD4 T cells conferred protection against new tumors and was significantly expanded in patients responding to immunotherapy. These studies demonstrate the critical impact of systemic immune responses that drive tumor rejection.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2016.12.022

    View details for PubMedID 28111070

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5312823

  • Akt and SHP-1 are DC-intrinsic checkpoints for tumor immunity. JCI insight Carmi, Y., Prestwood, T. R., Spitzer, M. H., Linde, I. L., Chabon, J., Reticker-Flynn, N. E., Bhattacharya, N., Zhang, H., Zhang, X., Basto, P. A., Burt, B. M., Alonso, M. N., Engleman, E. G. 2016; 1 (18)


    BM-derived DC (BMDC) are powerful antigen-presenting cells. When loaded with immune complexes (IC), consisting of tumor antigens bound to antitumor antibody, BMDC induce powerful antitumor immunity in mice. However, attempts to employ this strategy clinically with either tumor-associated DC (TADC) or monocyte-derived DC (MoDC) have been disappointing. To investigate the basis for this phenomenon, we compared the response of BMDC, TADC, and MoDC to tumor IgG-IC. Our findings revealed, in both mice and humans, that upon exposure to IgG-IC, BMDC internalized the IC, increased costimulatory molecule expression, and stimulated autologous T cells. In contrast, TADC and, surprisingly, MoDC remained inert upon contact with IC due to dysfunctional signaling following engagement of Fcγ receptors. Such dysfunction is associated with elevated levels of the Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (SHP-1) and phosphatases regulating Akt activation. Indeed, concomitant inhibition of both SHP-1 and phosphatases that regulate Akt activation conferred upon TADC and MoDC the capacity to take up and process IC and induce antitumor immunity in vivo. This work identifies the molecular checkpoints that govern activation of MoDC and TADC and their capacity to elicit T cell immunity.

    View details for PubMedID 27812544

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5085602

  • Restoring Retinoic Acid Attenuates Intestinal Inflammation and Tumorigenesis in APCMin/+ Mice. Cancer immunology research Penny, H. L., Prestwood, T. R., Bhattacharya, N., Sun, F., Kenkel, J. A., Davidson, M. G., Shen, L., Zuniga, L. A., Seeley, E. S., Pai, R., Choi, O., Tolentino, L., Wang, J., Napoli, J. L., Engleman, E. G. 2016; 4 (11): 917-926


    Chronic intestinal inflammation accompanies familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP) and is a major risk factor for colorectal cancer in patients with this disease, but the cause of such inflammation is unknown. Because retinoic acid (RA) plays a critical role in maintaining immune homeostasis in the intestine, we hypothesized that altered RA metabolism contributes to inflammation and tumorigenesis in FAP. To assess this hypothesis, we analyzed RA metabolism in the intestines of patients with FAP as well as APC(Min/+) mice, a model that recapitulates FAP in most respects. We also investigated the impact of intestinal RA repletion and depletion on tumorigenesis and inflammation in APC(Min/+) mice. Tumors from both FAP patients and APC(Min/+) mice displayed striking alterations in RA metabolism that resulted in reduced intestinal RA. APC(Min/+) mice placed on a vitamin A-deficient diet exhibited further reductions in intestinal RA with concomitant increases in inflammation and tumor burden. Conversely, restoration of RA by pharmacologic blockade of the RA-catabolizing enzyme CYP26A1 attenuated inflammation and diminished tumor burden. To investigate the effect of RA deficiency on the gut immune system, we studied lamina propria dendritic cells (LPDC) because these cells play a central role in promoting tolerance. APC(Min/+) LPDCs preferentially induced Th17 cells, but reverted to inducing Tregs following restoration of intestinal RA in vivo or direct treatment of LPDCs with RA in vitro These findings demonstrate the importance of intestinal RA deficiency in tumorigenesis and suggest that pharmacologic repletion of RA could reduce tumorigenesis in FAP patients. Cancer Immunol Res; 4(11); 917-26. ©2016 AACR.

    View details for PubMedID 27638841

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5378314

  • Normalizing Microbiota-Induced Retinoic Acid Deficiency Stimulates Protective CD8(+) T Cell-Mediated Immunity in Colorectal Cancer. Immunity Bhattacharya, N., Yuan, R., Prestwood, T. R., Penny, H. L., DiMaio, M. A., Reticker-Flynn, N. E., Krois, C. R., Kenkel, J. A., Pham, T. D., Carmi, Y., Tolentino, L., Choi, O., Hulett, R., Wang, J., Winer, D. A., Napoli, J. L., Engleman, E. G. 2016; 45 (3): 641-655


    Although all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) is a key regulator of intestinal immunity, its role in colorectal cancer (CRC) is unknown. We found that mice with colitis-associated CRC had a marked deficiency in colonic atRA due to alterations in atRA metabolism mediated by microbiota-induced intestinal inflammation. Human ulcerative colitis (UC), UC-associated CRC, and sporadic CRC specimens have similar alterations in atRA metabolic enzymes, consistent with reduced colonic atRA. Inhibition of atRA signaling promoted tumorigenesis, whereas atRA supplementation reduced tumor burden. The benefit of atRA treatment was mediated by cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells, which were activated due to MHCI upregulation on tumor cells. Consistent with these findings, increased colonic expression of the atRA-catabolizing enzyme, CYP26A1, correlated with reduced frequencies of tumoral cytotoxic CD8(+) T cells and with worse disease prognosis in human CRC. These results reveal a mechanism by which microbiota drive colon carcinogenesis and highlight atRA metabolism as a therapeutic target for CRC.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.immuni.2016.08.008

    View details for PubMedID 27590114

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC5132405

  • Design of Protease Activated Optical Contrast Agents That Exploit a Latent Lysosomotropic Effect for Use in Fluorescence-Guided Surgery. ACS chemical biology Ofori, L. O., Withana, N. P., Prestwood, T. R., Verdoes, M., Brady, J. J., Winslow, M. M., Sorger, J., Bogyo, M. 2015; 10 (9): 1977-1988


    There is a need for new molecular-guided contrast agents to enhance surgical procedures such as tumor resection that require a high degree of precision. Cysteine cathepsins are highly up-regulated in a wide variety of cancers, both in tumor cells and in the tumor-supporting cells of the surrounding stroma. Therefore, tools that can be used to dynamically monitor their activity in vivo could be used as imaging contrast agents for intraoperative fluorescence image guided surgery (FGS). Although multiple classes of cathepsin-targeted substrate probes have been reported, most suffer from overall fast clearance from sites of protease activation, leading to reduced signal intensity and duration in vivo. Here we describe the design and synthesis of a series of near-infrared fluorogenic probes that exploit a latent cationic lysosomotropic effect (LLE) to promote cellular retention upon protease activation. These probes show tumor-specific retention, fast activation kinetics, and rapid systemic distribution. We demonstrate that they are suitable for detection of diverse cancer types including breast, colon and lung tumors. Most importantly, the agents are compatible with the existing, FDA approved, da Vinci surgical system for fluorescence guided tumor resection. Therefore, our data suggest that the probes reported here can be used with existing clinical instrumentation to detect tumors and potentially other types of inflammatory lesions to guide surgical decision making in real time.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acschembio.5b00205

    View details for PubMedID 26039341

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4577961

  • Allogeneic IgG combined with dendritic cell stimuli induce antitumour T-cell immunity. Nature Carmi, Y., Spitzer, M. H., Linde, I. L., Burt, B. M., Prestwood, T. R., Perlman, N., Davidson, M. G., Kenkel, J. A., Segal, E., Pusapati, G. V., Bhattacharya, N., Engleman, E. G. 2015; 521 (7550): 99-104


    Whereas cancers grow within host tissues and evade host immunity through immune-editing and immunosuppression, tumours are rarely transmissible between individuals. Much like transplanted allogeneic organs, allogeneic tumours are reliably rejected by host T cells, even when the tumour and host share the same major histocompatibility complex alleles, the most potent determinants of transplant rejection. How such tumour-eradicating immunity is initiated remains unknown, although elucidating this process could provide the basis for inducing similar responses against naturally arising tumours. Here we find that allogeneic tumour rejection is initiated in mice by naturally occurring tumour-binding IgG antibodies, which enable dendritic cells (DCs) to internalize tumour antigens and subsequently activate tumour-reactive T cells. We exploited this mechanism to treat autologous and autochthonous tumours successfully. Either systemic administration of DCs loaded with allogeneic-IgG-coated tumour cells or intratumoral injection of allogeneic IgG in combination with DC stimuli induced potent T-cell-mediated antitumour immune responses, resulting in tumour eradication in mouse models of melanoma, pancreas, lung and breast cancer. Moreover, this strategy led to eradication of distant tumours and metastases, as well as the injected primary tumours. To assess the clinical relevance of these findings, we studied antibodies and cells from patients with lung cancer. T cells from these patients responded vigorously to autologous tumour antigens after culture with allogeneic-IgG-loaded DCs, recapitulating our findings in mice. These results reveal that tumour-binding allogeneic IgG can induce powerful antitumour immunity that can be exploited for cancer immunotherapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature14424

    View details for PubMedID 25924063

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4877172

  • Detection of intestinal cancer by local, topical application of a quenched fluorescence probe for cysteine cathepsins. Chemistry & biology Segal, E., Prestwood, T. R., van der Linden, W. A., Carmi, Y., Bhattacharya, N., Withana, N., Verdoes, M., Habtezion, A., Engleman, E. G., Bogyo, M. 2015; 22 (1): 148-158


    Early detection of colonic polyps can prevent up to 90% of colorectal cancer deaths. Conventional colonoscopy readily detects the majority of premalignant lesions, which exhibit raised morphology. However, lesions that are flat and depressed are often undetected using this method. Therefore, there is a need for molecular-based contrast agents to improve detection rates over conventional colonoscopy. We evaluated a quenched fluorescent activity-based probe (qABP; BMV109) that targets multiple cysteine cathepsins that are overexpressed in intestinal dysplasia in a genetic model of spontaneous intestinal polyp formation and in a chemically induced model of colorectal carcinoma. We found that the qABP selectively targets cysteine cathepsins, resulting in high sensitivity and specificity for intestinal tumors in mice and humans. Additionally, the qABP can be administered by either intravenous injection or by local delivery to the colon, making it a highly valuable tool for improved detection of colorectal lesions using fluorescence-guided colonoscopy.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chembiol.2014.11.008

    View details for PubMedID 25579207

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4353655

  • Gamma Interferon (IFN-gamma) Receptor Restricts Systemic Dengue Virus Replication and Prevents Paralysis in IFN-alpha/beta Receptor-Deficient Mice JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY Prestwood, T. R., Morar, M. M., Zellweger, R. M., Miller, R., May, M. M., Yauch, L. E., Lada, S. M., Shresta, S. 2012; 86 (23): 12561-12570
  • Trafficking and Replication Patterns Reveal Splenic Macrophages as Major Targets of Dengue Virus in Mice JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY Prestwood, T. R., May, M. M., Plummer, E. M., Morar, M. M., Yauch, L. E., Shresta, S. 2012; 86 (22): 12138-12147


    Human postmortem studies of natural dengue virus (DENV) infection have reported systemically distributed viral antigen. Although it is widely accepted that DENV infects mononuclear phagocytes, the sequence in which specific tissues and cell types are targeted remains uncharacterized. We previously reported that mice lacking alpha/beta and gamma interferon receptors permit high levels of DENV replication and show signs of systemic disease (T. R. Prestwood et al., J. Virol. 82:8411-8421, 2008). Here we demonstrate that within 6 h, DENV traffics to and replicates in both CD169(+) and SIGN-R1(+) macrophages of the splenic marginal zone or draining lymph node, respectively, following intravenous or intrafootpad inoculation. Subsequently, high levels of replication are detected in F4/80(+) splenic red pulp macrophages and in the bone marrow, lymph nodes, and Peyer's patches. Intravenously inoculated mice begin to succumb to dengue disease 72 h after infection, at which time viral replication occurs systemically, except in lymphoid tissues. In particular, high levels of replication occur in CD68(+) macrophages of the kidneys, heart, thymus, and gastrointestinal tract. Over the course of infection, proportionately large quantities of DENV traffic to the liver and spleen. However, late during infection, viral trafficking to the spleen decreases, while trafficking to the liver, thymus, and kidneys increases. The present study demonstrates that macrophage populations, initially in the spleen and other lymphoid tissues and later in nonlymphoid tissues, are major targets of DENV infection in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/JVI.00375-12

    View details for Web of Science ID 000310356400016

    View details for PubMedID 22933295

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3486461

  • CD4(+) T Cells Are Not Required for the Induction of Dengue Virus-Specific CD8(+) T Cell or Antibody Responses but Contribute to Protection after Vaccination JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Yauch, L. E., Prestwood, T. R., May, M. M., Morar, M. M., Zellweger, R. M., Peters, B., Sette, A., Shresta, S. 2010; 185 (9): 5405-5416


    The contribution of T cells to the host response to dengue virus (DENV) infection is not well understood. We previously demonstrated a protective role for CD8(+) T cells during primary DENV infection using a mouse-passaged DENV strain and IFN-α/βR(-/-) C57BL/6 mice, which are susceptible to DENV infection. In this study, we examine the role of CD4(+) T cells during primary DENV infection. Four I-A(b)-restricted epitopes derived from three of the nonstructural DENV proteins were identified. CD4(+) T cells expanded and were activated after DENV infection, with peak activation occurring on day 7. The DENV-specific CD4(+) T cells expressed intracellular IFN-γ, TNF, IL-2, and CD40L, and killed peptide-pulsed target cells in vivo. Surprisingly, depletion of CD4(+) T cells before DENV infection had no effect on viral loads. Consistent with this observation, CD4(+) T cell depletion did not affect the DENV-specific IgG or IgM Ab titers or their neutralizing activity, or the DENV-specific CD8(+) T cell response. However, immunization with the CD4(+) T cell epitopes before infection resulted in significantly lower viral loads. Thus, we conclude that whereas CD4(+) T cells are not required for controlling primary DENV infection, their induction by immunization can contribute to viral clearance. These findings suggest inducing anti-DENV CD4(+) T cell responses by vaccination may be beneficial.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1001709

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283248700053

    View details for PubMedID 20870934

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2962919

  • Enhanced Infection of Liver Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells in a Mouse Model of Antibody-Induced Severe Dengue Disease CELL HOST & MICROBE Zellweger, R. M., Prestwood, T. R., Shresta, S. 2010; 7 (2): 128-139


    Dengue virus (DENV) causes disease ranging from dengue fever (DF), a self-limited febrile illness, to the potentially lethal dengue hemorrhagic fever and dengue shock syndrome (DHF/DSS). DHF/DSS usually occurs in patients who have acquired DENV-reactive antibodies prior to infection, either from a previous infection with a heterologous DENV serotype or from an immune mother. Hence, it has been hypothesized that subneutralizing levels of antibodies exacerbate disease, a phenomenon termed antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE). However, given the lack of suitable animal models for DENV infection, the mechanism of ADE and its contribution to pathology remain elusive. Here we demonstrate in mice that DENV-specific antibodies can sufficiently increase severity of disease so that a mostly nonlethal illness becomes a fatal disease resembling human DHF/DSS. Antibodies promote massive infection of liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs), resulting in increased systemic levels of virus. Thus, a subprotective humoral response may, under some circumstances, have pathological consequences.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.chom.2010.01.004

    View details for Web of Science ID 000276593200009

    View details for PubMedID 20153282

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2824513

  • Cardif-Mediated Signaling Controls the Initial Innate Response to Dengue Virus In Vivo JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY Perry, S. T., Prestwood, T. R., Lada, S. M., Benedict, C. A., Shresta, S. 2009; 83 (16): 8276-8281


    The role of Cardif-dependent signaling in controlling dengue virus (DENV) infection and regulating type I interferon (IFN) production in vivo was examined in Cardif-deficient mice. DENV RNA levels were significantly elevated in both the serum and lymphoid tissues of Cardif(-/-) mice at early times compared to those in wild-type animals. Type I IFN production was delayed in these locales of Cardif(-/-) mice until 18 h postinfection, indicating that Cardif regulates the initial type I IFN response in lymphoid tissues. In contrast, DENV viral loads in nonlymphoid tissues were similar between Cardif(-/-) and wild-type mice. These results reveal that RNA helicase-mediated sensing acts as a first line of innate defense against DENV infection in vivo and functions in a tissue-dependent manner.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/JVI.00365-09

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268208700047

    View details for PubMedID 19494017

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2715757

  • A Protective Role for Dengue Virus-Specific CD8(+) T Cells JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Yauch, L. E., Zellweger, R. M., Kotturi, M. F., Qutubuddin, A., Sidney, J., Peters, B., Prestwood, T. R., Sette, A., Shresta, S. 2009; 182 (8): 4865-4873


    Infection with one of the four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV1-4) can result in a range of clinical manifestations in humans, from dengue fever to the more serious dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome. Although T cells have been implicated in the immunopathogenesis of secondary infections with heterologous DENV serotypes, the role of T cells in protection against DENV is unknown. In this study, we used a mouse-passaged DENV2 strain, S221, to investigate the role of CD8(+) T cells in the immune response to primary DENV infection. S221 did not replicate well in wild-type mice, but did induce a CD8(+) T cell response, whereas viral replication and a robust CD8(+) T cell response were observed after infection of IFN-alpha/betaR(-/-) mice. Depletion of CD8(+) T cells from IFN-alpha/betaR(-/-) mice before infection resulted in significantly higher viral loads compared with undepleted mice. Mapping the specificity of the CD8(+) T cell response led to the identification of 12 epitopes derived from 6 of the 10 DENV proteins, with a similar immunodominance hierarchy observed in wild-type and IFN-alpha/betaR(-/-) mice. DENV-specific CD8(+) T cells produced IFN-gamma, TNF-alpha, expressed cell surface CD107a, and exhibited cytotoxic activity in vivo. Finally, immunization with four of the immunodominant CD8(+) T cell epitopes enhanced viral clearance. Collectively, our results reveal an important role for CD8(+) T cells in the host defense against DENV and demonstrate that the anti-DENV CD8(+) T cell response can be enhanced by immunization, providing rationale for designing DENV-specific vaccines that induce cell-mediated immunity.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.0801974

    View details for Web of Science ID 000265004700048

    View details for PubMedID 19342665

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2674070

  • A mouse-passaged dengue virus strain with reduced affinity for heparan sulfate causes severe disease in mice by establishing increased systemic viral loads JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY Prestwood, T. R., Prigozhin, D. M., Sharar, K. L., Zellweger, R. M., Shresta, S. 2008; 82 (17): 8411-8421


    The four serotypes of dengue virus (DENV1 to DENV4) cause extensive morbidity and mortality. A major obstacle to studying disease pathogenesis and developing therapies has been the lack of a small-animal model. We previously reported isolation of a DENV2 strain, obtained by passaging a clinical isolate between mosquito cells and mice, that caused severe DENV disease in mice and contained multiple mutations, including many in domain II of the envelope (E) protein. Here, we describe a recombinant virus, differing from the non-mouse-passaged virus by two mutations in the E protein, that induces vascular leakage and tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha)-mediated lethality, while the non-mouse-passaged virus causes paralysis. This recombinant virus has a weaker affinity for heparan sulfate, resulting in an increased serum half-life, higher systemic viral loads, and high levels of TNF-alpha in the serum of infected mice. These results exemplify the role of the E protein in modulating virion clearance and connect the effect of clearance on the systemic viral loads responsible for severe disease manifestations.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/JVI.00611-08

    View details for Web of Science ID 000258603600017

    View details for PubMedID 18562532

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC2519668