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Sep 2012 Blood

Key implication of CD277/butyrophilin-3 (BTN3A) in cellular stress sensing by a major human γδ T-cell subset.


Harly C, Guillaume Y, Nedellec S, Peigné CM, Mönkkönen H, Mönkkönen J, Li J, Kuball J, Adams EJ, Netzer S, Déchanet-Merville J, Léger A, Herrmann T, Breathnach R, Olive D, Bonneville M, Scotet E


Human peripheral Vγ9Vδ2 T cells are activated by phosphorylated metabolites (phosphoagonists [PAg]) of the mammalian mevalonate or the microbial desoxyxylulose-phosphate pathways accumulated by infected or metabolically distressed cells. The underlying mechanisms are unknown. We show that treatment of nonsusceptible target cells with antibody 20.1 against CD277, a member of the extended B7 superfamily related to butyrophilin, mimics PAg-induced Vγ9Vδ2 T-cell activation and that the Vγ9Vδ2 T-cell receptor is implicated in this effect. Vγ9Vδ2 T-cell activation can be abrogated by exposing susceptible cells (tumor and mycobacteria-infected cells, or aminobisphosphonate-treated cells with up-regulated PAg levels) to antibody 103.2 against CD277. CD277 knockdown and domain-shuffling approaches confirm the key implication of the CD277 isoform BTN3A1 in PAg sensing by Vγ9Vδ2 T cells. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) experiments support a causal link between intracellular PAg accumulation, decreased BTN3A1 membrane mobility, and ensuing Vγ9Vδ2 T-cell activation. This study demonstrates a novel role played by B7-like molecules in human γδ T-cell antigenic activation and paves the way for new strategies to improve the efficiency of immunotherapies using Vγ9Vδ2 T cells.

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