HACS1 is a SH3 (Src homology 3) and SAM (sterile alpha motif) domain containing adaptor protein that is expressed in activated B and dendritic cells, is up-regulated by Interleukin 4 in the process of B cell activation and likely serves to dampen the immune response. To elucidate the function of HACS1, we generated HACS1 gene knockout mice by deletion of the SH3 and SAM domains. HACS1−/− mice were viable and fertile and had normal bone marrow B cell development and normal splenic T and B cell populations. However, adult HACS1−/− mice had increased numbers of peritoneal B1 cells (IgM+CD5+). Upon LPS plus BCR or TCR stimulations, splenic cells from HACS1−/− mice demonstrated an upregulation of activation markers with increased intensity of CD23 expression or increased population of CD69 positive cells. Purified B220+ splenic B cells from HACS1−/− mice showed increased cell proliferation upon BCR stimulation. Both T helper type 1 (Th1) and T helper type 2 (Th2) humoral responses were enhanced in HACS1−/− mice upon immunization with T cell-dependent antigen NP-KLH, which resulted in increased production of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), anti-NP IgG2a and IL-4, as well as anti-NP IgG1 and IgE. Upon immunization with T cell-independent antigens such as TNP-LPS and TNP-Ficoll, HACS1−/− mice had increased production of anti-TNP IgM and IgG3 as compared to normal controls. The in vitro maturation of bone marrow-derived dentritic cells from HACS1−/− mice was similar to wild-type mice but HACS1−/− dentritic cells showed increased IL-12 production upon stimulation with anti-CD40 or LPS. There was no significant difference in antigen uptake by cultured dentritic cells from non-immunized wild-type or knockout mice. However, in immunized mice, an increase in antigen uptake in HACS1−/− dentritic cells was observed. We further demonstrate that the HACS1−/− B cells had increased tyrosine phosphorylation in the resting state. As deletion of the SH3 & SAM domains of HACS1 appears to generate a hypersensitive immune response, our results collectively support that HACS1 negatively regulates adaptive immunity.

Author notes

Disclosure: No relevant conflicts of interest to declare.