Proteasome Immunosubunits Protect against the Development of CD8 T Cell-Mediated Autoimmune Diseases

D.M.W. Zaiss, C.P.J. Bekker, A.J.A.M. Sijts, A. Gröne, B.A. Lie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exposure of cells to inflammatory cytokines induces the expression of three proteasome immunosubunits, two of which are encoded in the MHC class II region. The induced subunits replace their constitutive homologs in newly formed "so-called"immunoproteasomes. Immunosubunit incorporation enhances the proteasome's proteolytic activity and modifies the proteasome's cleavage-site preferences, which improves the generation of many MHC class I-presented peptides and shapes the fine specificity of pathogen-specific CD8 T cell responses. In this article, we report on a second effect of immunoproteasome formation on CD8 T cell responses. We show that mice deficient for the immunosubunits β5i/low molecular mass polypeptide (LMP7) and β2i/multicatalytic endopeptidase complex-like-1 develop early-stage multiorgan autoimmunity following irradiation and bone marrow transplantation. Disease symptoms are caused by CD8 T cells and are transferable into immunosubunit-deficient, RAG1-deficient mice. Moreover, using the human Type 1 Diabetes Genetics Consortium MHC dataset, we identified two single nucleotide polymorphisms within the β5i/LMP7-encoding gene sequences, which were in strong linkage disequilibrium, as independent genetic risk factors for type 1 diabetes development in humans. Strikingly, these single nucleotide polymorphisms significantly enhanced the risk conferred by HLA haplotypes that were previously shown to predispose for type 1 diabetes. These data suggested that inflammation-induced immunosubunit expression in peripheral tissues constitutes a mechanism that prevents the development of CD8 T cell-mediated autoimmune diseases.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2302-2309
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


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