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  • Oxidation by neutrophils-derived HOCl increases immunogenicity of proteins by converting them into ligands of several endocytic receptors involved in antigen uptake by dendritic cells and macrophages.

Oxidation by neutrophils-derived HOCl increases immunogenicity of proteins by converting them into ligands of several endocytic receptors involved in antigen uptake by dendritic cells and macrophages.

PloS one (2015-04-08)
Rafał Biedroń, Maciej K Konopiński, Janusz Marcinkiewicz, Szczepan Józefowski
ABSTRACT

The initiation of adaptive immune responses to protein antigens has to be preceded by their uptake by antigen presenting cells and intracellular proteolytic processing. Paradoxically, endocytic receptors involved in antigen uptake do not bind the majority of proteins, which may be the main reason why purified proteins stimulate at most weak immune responses. A shared feature of different types of adjuvants, capable of boosting immunogenicity of protein vaccines, is their ability to induce acute inflammation, characterized by early influx of activated neutrophils. Neutrophils are also rapidly recruited to sites of tissue injury or infection. These cells are the source of potent oxidants, including hypochlorous acid (HOCl), causing oxidation of proteins present in inflammatory foci. We demonstrate that oxidation of proteins by endogenous, neutrophils-derived HOCl increases their immunogenicity. Upon oxidation, different, randomly chosen simple proteins (yeast alcohol dehydrogenase, human and bovine serum albumin) and glycoproteins (human apo-transferrin, ovalbumin) gain the ability to bind with high affinity to several endocytic receptors on antigen presenting cells, which seems to be the major mechanism of their increased immunogenicity. The mannose receptor (CD206), scavenger receptors A (CD204) and CD36 were responsible for the uptake and presentation of HOCl-modified proteins by murine dendritic cells and macrophages. Other scavenger receptors, SREC-I and LOX-1, as well as RAGE were also able to bind HOCl-modified proteins, but they did not contribute significantly to these ligands uptake by dendritic cells because they were either not expressed or exhibited preference for more heavily oxidised proteins. Our results indicate that oxidation by neutrophils-derived HOCl may be a physiological mechanism of conferring immunogenicity on proteins which in their native forms do not bind to endocytic receptors. This mechanism might enable the immune system to detect infections caused by pathogens not recognized by pattern recognition receptors.

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