Academic Appointments


All Publications

  • In vivo clonal expansion and phenotypes of hypocretin-specific CD4+ T cells in narcolepsy patients and controls. Nature communications Jiang, W., Birtley, J. R., Hung, S., Wang, W., Chiou, S., Macaubas, C., Kornum, B., Tian, L., Huang, H., Adler, L., Weaver, G., Lu, L., Ilstad-Minnihan, A., Somasundaram, S., Ayyangar, S., Davis, M. M., Stern, L. J., Mellins, E. D. 2019; 10 (1): 5247


    Individuals with narcolepsy suffer from abnormal sleep patterns due to loss of neurons that uniquely supply hypocretin (HCRT). Previous studies found associations of narcolepsy with thehuman leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DQ6 allele and T-cell receptor alpha (TRA) J24 gene segment and also suggested that in vitro-stimulated T cells can target HCRT. Here, we present evidence of in vivo expansion of DQ6-HCRT tetramer+/TRAJ24+/CD4+ T cells in DQ6+ individuals with and without narcolepsy. We identify related TRAJ24+ TCRalphabeta clonotypes encoded by identical alpha/beta gene regions from two patients and two controls. TRAJ24-G allele+ clonotypes only expand in the two patients, whereas a TRAJ24-C allele+ clonotype expands in a control. A representative tetramer+/G-allele+ TCR shows signaling reactivity to the epitope HCRT87-97. Clonally expanded G-allele+ T cells exhibit an unconventional effector phenotype. Our analysis of in vivo expansion of HCRT-reactive TRAJ24+ cells opens an avenue for further investigation of the autoimmune contribution to narcolepsy development.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41467-019-13234-x

    View details for PubMedID 31748512

  • Synergy between B cell receptor/antigen uptake and MHCII peptide editing relies on HLA-DO tuning. Scientific reports Jiang, W., Adler, L. N., Macmillan, H., Mellins, E. D. 2019; 9 (1): 13877


    B cell receptors and surface-displayed peptide/MHCII complexes constitute two key components of the B-cell machinery to sense signals and communicate with other cell types during antigen-triggered activation. However, critical pathways synergizing antigen-BCR interaction and antigenic peptide-MHCII presentation remain elusive. Here, we report the discovery of factors involved in establishing such synergy. We applied a single-cell measure coupled with super-resolution microscopy to investigate the integrated function of two lysosomal regulators for peptide loading, HLA-DM and HLA-DO. In model cell lines and human tonsillar B cells, we found that tunable DM/DO stoichiometry governs DMfree activity for exchange of placeholder CLIP peptides with high affinity MHCII ligands. Compared to their naive counterparts, memory B cells with less DMfree concentrate a higher proportion of CLIP/MHCII in lysosomal compartments. Upon activation mediated by high affinity BCR, DO tuning is synchronized with antigen internalization and rapidly potentiates DMfree activity to optimize antigen presentation for T-cell recruitment.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-019-50455-y

    View details for PubMedID 31554902

  • Human Intestinal Enteroids Model MHC-II in the Gut Epithelium FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY Wosen, J. E., Ilstad-Minnihan, A., Co, J. Y., Jiang, W., Mukhopadhyay, D., Fernandez-Becker, N. Q., Kuo, C. J., Amieva, M. R., Mellins, E. D. 2019; 10
  • Epitope Selection for HLA-DQ2 Presentation: Implications for Celiac Disease and Viral Defense JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Hung, S., Hou, T., Jiang, W., Wang, N., Qiao, S., Chow, I., Liu, X., van der Burg, S. H., Koelle, D. M., Kwok, W. W., Sollid, L. M., Mellins, E. D. 2019; 202 (9): 2558–69
  • DO:DM tunes antigen presentation in a BCR affinity-dependent manner Jiang, W., Adler, L. N., Macmillan, H., Mellins, E. AMER ASSOC IMMUNOLOGISTS. 2018
  • The Other Function: Class II-Restricted Antigen Presentation by B Cells FRONTIERS IN IMMUNOLOGY Adler, L. N., Jiang, W., Bhamidipati, K., Millican, M., Macaubas, C., Hung, S., Mellins, E. D. 2017; 8


    Mature B lymphocytes (B cells) recognize antigens using their B cell receptor (BCR) and are activated to become antibody-producing cells. In addition, and integral to the development of a high-affinity antibodies, B cells utilize the specialized major histocompatibility complex class II (MHCII) antigen presentation pathway to process BCR-bound and internalized protein antigens and present selected peptides in complex with MHCII to CD4+ T cells. This interaction influences the fate of both types of lymphocytes and shapes immune outcomes. Specific, effective, and optimally timed antigen presentation by B cells requires well-controlled intracellular machinery, often regulated by the combined effects of several molecular events. Here, we delineate and summarize these events in four steps along the antigen presentation pathway: (1) antigen capture and uptake by B cells; (2) intersection of internalized antigen/BCRs complexes with MHCII in peptide-loading compartments; (3) generation and regulation of MHCII/peptide complexes; and (4) exocytic transport for presentation of MHCII/peptide complexes at the surface of B cells. Finally, we discuss modulation of the MHCII presentation pathway across B cell development and maturation to effector cells, with an emphasis on the shaping of the MHCII/peptide repertoire by two key antigen presentation regulators in B cells: HLA-DM and HLA-DO.

    View details for DOI 10.3389/fimmu.2017.00319

    View details for Web of Science ID 000397144900001

    View details for PubMedID 28386257

  • Optimized purification strategies for the elimination of non-specific products in the isolation of GAD65-specific monoclonal autoantibodies. F1000Research Jiang, W., Macmillan, H., Madec, A. M., Mellins, E. D. 2015; 4: 135


    Autoantibodies against antigens expressed by insulin-producing β cells are circulating in both healthy individuals and patients at risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. Recent studies suggest that another set of antibodies (anti-idiotypic antibodies) exists in this antibody/antigen interacting network to regulate auto-reactive responses. Anti-idiotypic antibodies may block the antigen-binding site of autoantibodies or inhibit autoantibody expression and secretion. The equilibrium between autoantibodies and anti-idiotypic antibodies plays a critical role in mediating or preventing autoimmunity. In order to investigate the molecular mechanisms underlying such a network in autoimmunity and potentially develop neutralizing reagents to prevent or treat Type 1 diabetes, we need to produce autoantibodies and autoantigens with high quality and purity. Herein, using GAD65/anti-GAD65 autoantibodies as a model system, we aimed to establish reliable approaches for the preparation of highly pure autoantibodies suitable for downstream investigation.

    View details for PubMedID 29167731

  • pH-susceptibility of HLA-DO tunes DO/DM ratios to regulate HLA-DM catalytic activity. Scientific reports Jiang, W., Strohman, M. J., Somasundaram, S., Ayyangar, S., Hou, T., Wang, N., Mellins, E. D. 2015; 5: 17333-?

    View details for DOI 10.1038/srep17333

    View details for PubMedID 26610428

  • The MHC Class II Cofactor HLA-DM Interacts with Ig in B Cells. Journal of immunology Macmillan, H., Strohman, M. J., Ayyangar, S., Jiang, W., Rajasekaran, N., Spura, A., Hessell, A. J., Madec, A., Mellins, E. D. 2014; 193 (6): 2641-2650


    B cells internalize extracellular Ag into endosomes using the Ig component of the BCR. In endosomes, Ag-derived peptides are loaded onto MHC class II proteins. How these pathways intersect remains unclear. We find that HLA-DM (DM), a catalyst for MHC class II peptide loading, coprecipitates with Ig in lysates from human tonsillar B cells and B cell lines. The molecules in the Ig/DM complexes have mature glycans, and the complexes colocalize with endosomal markers in intact cells. A larger fraction of Ig precipitates with DM after BCR crosslinking, implying that complexes can form when DM meets endocytosed Ig. In vitro, in the endosomal pH range, soluble DM directly binds the Ig Fab domain and increases levels of free Ag released from immune complexes. Taken together, these results argue that DM and Ig intersect in the endocytic pathway of B cells with potential functional consequences.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1400075

    View details for PubMedID 25098292

  • Susceptibility to HLA-DM Protein Is Determined by a Dynamic Conformation of Major Histocompatibility Complex Class II Molecule Bound with Peptide. journal of biological chemistry Yin, L., Trenh, P., Guce, A., Wieczorek, M., Lange, S., Sticht, J., Jiang, W., Bylsma, M., Mellins, E. D., Freund, C., Stern, L. J. 2014; 289 (34): 23449-23464


    HLA-DM mediates the exchange of peptides loaded onto MHCII molecules during antigen presentation by a mechanism that remains unclear and controversial. Here, we investigated the sequence and structural determinants of HLA-DM interaction. Peptides interacting nonoptimally in the P1 pocket exhibited low MHCII binding affinity and kinetic instability and were highly susceptible to HLA-DM-mediated peptide exchange. These changes were accompanied by conformational alterations detected by surface plasmon resonance, SDS resistance assay, antibody binding assay, gel filtration, dynamic light scattering, small angle x-ray scattering, and NMR spectroscopy. Surprisingly, all of those changes could be reversed by substitution of the P9 pocket anchor residue. Moreover, MHCII mutations outside the P1 pocket and the HLA-DM interaction site increased HLA-DM susceptibility. These results indicate that a dynamic MHCII conformational determinant rather than P1 pocket occupancy is the key factor determining susceptibility to HLA-DM-mediated peptide exchange and provide a molecular mechanism for HLA-DM to efficiently target unstable MHCII-peptide complexes for editing and exchange those for more stable ones.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M114.585539

    View details for PubMedID 25002586

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4156084

  • Assembly and Architecture of the EBV B Cell Entry Triggering Complex. PLoS pathogens Sathiyamoorthy, K., Jiang, J., Hu, Y. X., Rowe, C. L., Möhl, B. S., Chen, J., Jiang, W., Mellins, E. D., Longnecker, R., Zhou, Z. H., Jardetzky, T. S. 2014; 10 (8): e1004309


    Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) is an enveloped double-stranded DNA virus of the gammaherpesvirinae sub-family that predominantly infects humans through epithelial cells and B cells. Three EBV glycoproteins, gH, gL and gp42, form a complex that targets EBV infection of B cells. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class II molecules expressed on B cells serve as the receptor for gp42, triggering membrane fusion and virus entry. The mechanistic role of gHgL in herpesvirus entry has been largely unresolved, but it is thought to regulate the activation of the virally-encoded gB protein, which acts as the primary fusogen. Here we study the assembly and function of the reconstituted B cell entry complex comprised of gHgL, gp42 and HLA class II. The structure from negative-stain electron microscopy provides a detailed snapshot of an intermediate state in EBV entry and highlights the potential for the triggering complex to bring the two membrane bilayers into proximity. Furthermore, gHgL interacts with a previously identified, functionally important hydrophobic pocket on gp42, defining the overall architecture of the complex and playing a critical role in membrane fusion activation. We propose a macroscopic model of the initiating events in EBV B cell fusion centered on the formation of the triggering complex in the context of both viral and host membranes. This model suggests how the triggering complex may bridge the two membrane bilayers, orienting critical regions of the N- and C- terminal ends of gHgL to promote the activation of gB and efficient membrane fusion.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004309

    View details for PubMedID 25144748

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4140853

  • HLA-DO acts as a substrate mimic to inhibit HLA-DM by a competitive mechanism NATURE STRUCTURAL & MOLECULAR BIOLOGY Guce, A. I., Mortimer, S. E., Yoon, T., Painter, C. A., Jiang, W., Mellins, E. D., Stern, L. J. 2013; 20 (1): 90-U118


    Mammalian class II major histocompatibility (MHCII) proteins bind peptide antigens in endosomal compartments of antigen-presenting cells. The nonclassical MHCII protein HLA-DM chaperones peptide-free MHCII, protecting it against inactivation, and catalyzes peptide exchange on loaded MHCII. Another nonclassical MHCII protein, HLA-DO, binds HLA-DM and influences the repertoire of peptides presented by MHCII proteins. However, the mechanism by which HLA-DO functions is unclear. Here we have used X-ray crystallography, enzyme kinetics and mutagenesis approaches to investigate human HLA-DO structure and function. In complex with HLA-DM, HLA-DO adopts a classical MHCII structure, with alterations near the α subunit's 3₁₀ helix. HLA-DO binds to HLA-DM at the same sites implicated in MHCII interaction, and kinetic analysis showed that HLA-DO acts as a competitive inhibitor. These results show that HLA-DO inhibits HLA-DM function by acting as a substrate mimic, and the findings also limit the possible functional roles for HLA-DO in antigen presentation.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nsmb.2460

    View details for Web of Science ID 000313072400015

    View details for PubMedID 23222639

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3537886

  • Mapping the HLA-DO/HLA-DM complex by FRET and mutagenesis PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Yoon, T., Macmillan, H., Mortimer, S. E., Jiang, W., Rinderknecht, C. H., Stern, L. J., Mellins, E. D. 2012; 109 (28): 11276-11281


    HLA-DO (DO) is a nonclassic class II heterodimer that inhibits the action of the class II peptide exchange catalyst, HLA-DM (DM), and influences DM localization within late endosomes and exosomes. In addition, DM acts as a chaperone for DO and is required for its egress from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). These reciprocal functions are based on direct DO/DM binding, but the topology of DO/DM complexes is not known, in part, because of technical limitations stemming from DO instability. We generated two variants of recombinant soluble DO with increased stability [zippered DOαP11A (szDOv) and chimeric sDO-Fc] and confirmed their conformational integrity and ability to inhibit DM. Notably, we found that our constructs, as well as wild-type sDO, are inhibitory in the full pH range where DM is active (4.7 to ∼6.0). To probe the nature of DO/DM complexes, we used intermolecular fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) and mutagenesis and identified a lateral surface spanning the α1 and α2 domains of szDO as the apparent binding site for sDM. We also analyzed several sDM mutants for binding to szDOv and susceptibility to DO inhibition. Results of these assays identified a region of DM important for interaction with DO. Collectively, our data define a putative binding surface and an overall orientation of the szDOv/sDM complex and have implications for the mechanism of DO inhibition of DM.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1113966109

    View details for Web of Science ID 000306642100053

    View details for PubMedID 22733780

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC3396517

  • On the perils of poor editing: regulation of peptide loading by HLA-DQ and H2-A molecules associated with celiac disease and type 1 diabetes EXPERT REVIEWS IN MOLECULAR MEDICINE Busch, R., De Riva, A., Hadjinicolaou, A. V., Jiang, W., Hou, T., Mellins, E. D. 2012; 14


    This review discusses mechanisms that link allelic variants of major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class II molecules (MHCII) to immune pathology. We focus on HLA (human leukocyte antigen)-DQ (DQ) alleles associated with celiac disease (CD) and type 1 diabetes (T1D) and the role of the murine DQ-like allele, H2-Ag7 (I-Ag7 or Ag7), in murine T1D. MHCII molecules bind peptides, and alleles vary in their peptide-binding specificity. Disease-associated alleles permit binding of disease-inducing peptides, such as gluten-derived, Glu-/Pro-rich gliadin peptides in CD and peptides from islet autoantigens, including insulin, in T1D. In addition, the CD-associated DQ2.5 and DQ8 alleles are unusual in their interactions with factors that regulate their peptide loading, invariant chain (Ii) and HLA-DM (DM). The same alleles, as well as other T1D DQ risk alleles (and Ag7), share nonpolar residues in place of Asp at β57 and prefer peptides that place acidic side chains in a pocket in the MHCII groove (P9). Antigen-presenting cells from T1D-susceptible mice and humans retain CLIP because of poor DM editing, although underlying mechanisms differ between species. We propose that these effects on peptide presentation make key contributions to CD and T1D pathogenesis.

    View details for DOI 10.1017/erm.2012.9

    View details for Web of Science ID 000307169300001

    View details for PubMedID 22805744

  • Engineering Antibodies for Cancer Therapy ANNUAL REVIEW OF CHEMICAL AND BIOMOLECULAR ENGINEERING, VOL 2 Boder, E. T., Jiang, W. 2011; 2: 53-75


    The advent of modern antibody engineering has led to numerous successes in the application of these proteins for cancer therapy in the 13 years since the first Food and Drug Administration approval, which has stimulated active interest in developing more and better drugs based on these molecules. A wide range of tools for discovering and engineering antibodies has been brought to bear on this challenge in the past two decades. Here, we summarize mechanisms of monoclonal antibody therapeutic activity, challenges to effective antibody-based treatment, existing technologies for antibody engineering, and current concepts for engineering new antibody formats and antibody alternatives as next generation biopharmaceuticals for cancer treatment.

    View details for DOI 10.1146/annurev-chembioeng-061010-114142

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292859600004

    View details for PubMedID 22432610

  • High-throughput engineering and analysis of peptide binding to class II MHC PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Jiang, W., Boder, E. T. 2010; 107 (30): 13258-13263


    Class II major histocompatibility complex (MHC-II) proteins govern stimulation of adaptive immunity by presenting antigenic peptides to CD4+ T lymphocytes. Many allelic variants of MHC-II exist with implications in peptide presentation and immunity; thus, high-throughput experimental tools for rapid and quantitative analysis of peptide binding to MHC-II are needed. Here, we present an expression system wherein peptide and MHC-II are codisplayed on the surface of yeast in an intracellular association-dependent manner and assayed by flow cytometry. Accordingly, the relative binding of different peptides and/or MHC-II variants can be assayed by genetically manipulating either partner, enabling the application of directed evolution approaches for high-throughput characterization or engineering. We demonstrate the application of this tool to map the side-chain preference for peptides binding to HLA-DR1 and to evolve novel HLA-DR1 mutants with altered peptide-binding specificity.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1006344107

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280602800016

    View details for PubMedID 20622157