We report the characterization of a naturally occurring polymorphism in CD40 ligand (CD40L, CD154) expressed by activated T cells from a young female patient. This polymorphism encodes a nonconservative Gly → Arg substitution in amino acid 219 in the extracellular, CD40 binding domain of the molecule. Studies carried out with 293 epithelial cells ectopically expressing the polymorphic protein (CD154/G219R) revealed reduced levels of binding to different anti-CD154 monoclonal antibodies (mAb) and CD40-immunoglobulin (CD40-Ig). However, recognition of the polymorphic and wild-type CD154 molecules by a polyclonal antiserum was comparable, suggesting that the polymorphism affects the ability of the protein to interact with CD40 but does not significantly alter its surface expression. To determine if reduced cross-linking of CD40 mediated decreased functional effects, three CD40- dependent properties were measured. We found that pathways leading to the induction of surface CD23, CD80, and Iγ transcription were activated in response to CD154/G219R signalling. However, the decrease in affinity for CD40 by the mutated CD 154 affected the ability of CD40-Ig to efficiently interfere with the binding and effectively block induced CD80 expression. In contrast, we found that the 5c8 mAb, which recognized the polymorphic molecule to a similar extent as wild-type CD154, effectively blocked the interaction between CD154/G219R and CD40 as measured by CD80 expression. These findings suggest that naturally occurring polymorphisms in the CD 154 molecule may affect the ability of CD40-mediated functions to be blocked by soluble CD40 or anti-CD154 Mab in the therapeutic treatment of disease and graft rejection.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy