MAPPIT: a cytokine receptor-based two-hybrid method in mammalian cells
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
Clinical and experimental allergy. - Oxford
, p. 1397-1404
Therapy of allergic disease currently relies on pharmacological manipulation of mediators or immunotherapy. Drugs have been developed to target specific mediators and their receptors: for example antihistamines blocking the H1 receptor have been refined to maximize antagonism and reduce central side-effects or adverse effects of activity on other receptors such as muscarinic cholinergic receptors. Traditional pharmacological approaches identify new surface receptors against which chemists will then design or screen compounds for activity: examples are H3 or H4 histamine receptors. With the advent of the sequenced human genome we are faced with a vast array of genes and proteins that interact to define normal physiology or indeed pathology. A major challenge to biotechnology is to evolve novel techniques to understand the function and interaction of these myriad proteins. One particular area of current interest is the signalling cascades downstream of surface receptors. For many years pathways have appeared overlapping and to offer little chance of specific intervention. However, greater understanding of the complexity and integration of signalling, together with the possibility of directing drugs to specific cells has aroused considerable interest in this area for novel therapeutics. Indeed, targeting events within the cell has been done for many years with steroids. Here, Jan Tavernier and colleagues describe some signalling pathways relevant to allergic disease and potential methods for understanding protein interactions that allow mapping of the cascades. In particular they describe an elegant new system of analysis of proteinprotein interactions in a mammalian system, which they have developed, termed MAPPIT. The basis of the system is an engineered receptor with JAK kinase but which lacks STAT activation sites. To the cytoplasmic end of the receptor is added a bait protein of interest, and the cell line can then be transduced with plasmid containing 'prey' cDNA from a library of interest linked to an active STAT binding site. If this cDNA encodes a protein which, upon expression, is activated and recruited to the membrane complex, it will bind to the receptor via the bait, then STAT activation will occur and activate a reporter gene system such as luciferase or puromycin resistance. This novel system allows study of known proteinprotein interactions by targeted mutagenesis, or screening for novel interactions. It has the advantage over existing systems such as yeast 2 hybrid that it uses mammalian cells and thus can reproduce the physiological conditions for protein processing or activation. As new genes and proteins are linked to the atopic phenotypes, systems such as this hold promise of rapidly defining their function and interacting proteins and may be important in linking genomics and proteomics with function and pharmacology in the future.