Listeria monocytogenes-infected human monocytic derived dendritic cells activate Vγ9Vδ2 T cells independently of HMBPP production.

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Sci Rep


oregon; portland; ppmc; chiles


Gamma-delta (γδ) T cells express T cell receptors (TCR) that are preconfigured to recognize signs of pathogen infection. In primates, γδ T cells expressing the Vγ9Vδ2 TCR innately recognize (E)-4-hydroxy-3-methyl-but- 2-enyl pyrophosphate (HMBPP), a product of the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4- phosphate (MEP) pathway in bacteria that is presented in infected cells via interaction with members of the B7 family of costimulatory molecules butyrophilin (BTN) 3A1 and BTN2A1. In humans, Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) vaccine platforms have the potential to generate potent Vγ9Vδ2 T cell recognition. To evaluate the activation of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells by Lm-infected human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (Mo-DC) we engineered Lm strains that lack components of the MEP pathway. Direct infection of Mo-DC with these bacteria were unchanged in their ability to activate CD107a expression in Vγ9Vδ2 T cells despite an inability to synthesize HMBPP. Importantly, functional BTN3A1 was essential for this activation. Unexpectedly, we found that cytoplasmic entry of Lm into human dendritic cells resulted in upregulation of cholesterol metabolism in these cells, and the effect of pathway regulatory drugs suggest this occurs via increased synthesis of the alternative endogenous Vγ9Vδ2 ligand isoprenyl pyrophosphate (IPP) and/or its isomer dimethylallyl pyrophosphate (DMAPP). Thus, following direct infection, host pathways regulated by cytoplasmic entry of Lm can trigger Vγ9Vδ2 T cell recognition of infected cells without production of the unique bacterial ligand HMBPP.

Clinical Institute



Infectious Diseases


Earle A. Chiles Research Institute