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PLoS One. 2018 Dec 14;13(12):e0208940. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0208940. eCollection 2018.

Toll-like receptor chaperone HSP90B1 and the immune response to Mycobacteria.

Author information

1
University of Washington, Seattle, WA, United States of America.
2
South African Tuberculosis Vaccine Initiative, Institute of Infectious Disease & Molecular Medicine and Division of Immunology, Department of Pathology, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.
3
Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System, Seattle, WA, United States of America.
4
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, WA, United States of America.

Abstract

RATIONALE:

HSP90B1, also known as gp96, is a chaperone for multiple Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and is necessary for TLR-mediated inflammatory responses in murine myeloid cells. The molecule is also expressed in T-cells though its specific role is unknown. We hypothesized that human HSP90B1 regulates monocyte and T-cell responses to Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) and bacilli Calmette-Guerin (BCG) and that its variants are associated with susceptibility to TB disease.

METHODS:

We screened 17 haplotype-tagging SNPs in the HSP90B1 gene region for association with BCG-induced T-cell cytokine responses using both an ex-vivo whole blood assay (N = 295) and an intracellular cytokine staining assay (N = 180) on samples collected 10 weeks after birth. Using a case-control study design, we evaluated the same SNPs for association with TB disease in a South African pediatric cohort (N = 217 cases, 604 controls). A subset of these SNPs was evaluated for association with HSP90B1 expression in human monocytes, monocyte-derived dendritic cells, and T-cells using RT-PCR. Lastly, we used CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing to knock down HSP90B1 expression in a human monocyte cell line (U937). Knockdown and control cell lines were tested for TLR surface expression and control of Mtb replication.

RESULTS:

We identified three SNPs, rs10507172, rs10507173 and rs1920413, that were associated with BCG-induced IL-2 secretion (p = 0.017 for rs10507172 and p = 0.03 for rs10507173 and rs1920413, Mann-Whitney, dominant model). SNPs rs10507172 and rs10507173 were associated with TB disease in an unadjusted analysis (p = 0.036 and 0.025, respectively, dominant model) that strengthened with sensitivity analysis of the definite TB cases, which included only those patients with microbiologically confirmed Mtb (p = 0.007 and 0.012, respectively). Knockdowns of HSP90B1 in monocyte cell lines with CRISPR did not alter TLR2 surface expression nor influence Mtb replication relative to controls.

CONCLUSION:

Among infants, an HSP90B1 gene-region variant is associated with BCG-induced IL-2 production and may be associated with protection from TB disease. HSP90B1 knockdown in human monocyte-like cell lines did not influence TLR2 surface localization nor Mtb replication. Together, these data suggest that HSP90B1 regulates T-cell, but not monocyte, responses to mycobacteria in humans.

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