CTL-mediated killing of virally infected or malignant cells is orchestrated at the immune synapse (IS). We hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 may target lytic IS assembly to escape elimination. We show that human CD8+ T cells upregulate the expression of ACE2, the Spike receptor, during differentiation to CTLs. CTL preincubation with the Wuhan or Omicron Spike variants inhibits IS assembly and function, as shown by defective synaptic accumulation of TCRs and tyrosine phosphoproteins as well as defective centrosome and lytic granule polarization to the IS, resulting in impaired target cell killing and cytokine production. These defects were reversed by anti-Spike antibodies interfering with ACE2 binding and reproduced by ACE2 engagement by angiotensin II or anti-ACE2 antibodies, but not by the ACE2 product Ang (1-7). IS defects were also observed ex vivo in CTLs from COVID-19 patients. These results highlight a new strategy of immune evasion by SARS-CoV-2 based on the Spike-dependent, ACE2-mediated targeting of the lytic IS to prevent elimination of infected cells.

Onnis, A., Andreano, E., Cassioli, C., Finetti, F., Della Bella, C., Staufer, O., et al. (2023). SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein suppresses CTL-mediated killing by inhibiting immune synapse assembly. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE, 220(2) [10.1084/jem.20220906].

SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein suppresses CTL-mediated killing by inhibiting immune synapse assembly

Onnis, Anna;Cassioli, Chiara;Finetti, Francesca;D’Elios, Mario Milco;Rappuoli, Rino;Baldari, Cosima T.
2023-01-01

Abstract

CTL-mediated killing of virally infected or malignant cells is orchestrated at the immune synapse (IS). We hypothesized that SARS-CoV-2 may target lytic IS assembly to escape elimination. We show that human CD8+ T cells upregulate the expression of ACE2, the Spike receptor, during differentiation to CTLs. CTL preincubation with the Wuhan or Omicron Spike variants inhibits IS assembly and function, as shown by defective synaptic accumulation of TCRs and tyrosine phosphoproteins as well as defective centrosome and lytic granule polarization to the IS, resulting in impaired target cell killing and cytokine production. These defects were reversed by anti-Spike antibodies interfering with ACE2 binding and reproduced by ACE2 engagement by angiotensin II or anti-ACE2 antibodies, but not by the ACE2 product Ang (1-7). IS defects were also observed ex vivo in CTLs from COVID-19 patients. These results highlight a new strategy of immune evasion by SARS-CoV-2 based on the Spike-dependent, ACE2-mediated targeting of the lytic IS to prevent elimination of infected cells.
Onnis, A., Andreano, E., Cassioli, C., Finetti, F., Della Bella, C., Staufer, O., et al. (2023). SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein suppresses CTL-mediated killing by inhibiting immune synapse assembly. JOURNAL OF EXPERIMENTAL MEDICINE, 220(2) [10.1084/jem.20220906].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11365/1220416