Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Microbiology & Immunology

First Advisor

Daniel Conrad


Proteolytic processing of transmembrane receptors and ligands can have dramatic effects on cell signaling and subsequent cellular responses. Previous studies demonstrated that a disintegrin and metalloproteinase 10 (ADAM10) may cleave numerous B cell-expressed receptors, including the low affinity IgE receptor (CD23). However, lethality of ADAM10-deficient embryos has limited examination of these cleavage events in lymphocytes. To investigate their role in B cell development and function, we generated B cell-specific ADAM10 knockout mice. Intriguingly, deletion prevented development of the entire marginal zone B cell (MZB) lineage. Further analysis revealed that ADAM10 is required for S2 cleavage of the Notch2 receptor and initiation of Notch2 signaling, which is required for MZB development. Additionally, cleavage of CD23 was dramatically impaired in ADAM10-deficient B cells. This finding and results of ex vivo cleavage assays demonstrated that ADAM10 is the principal in vivo sheddase of CD23. Previous studies have demonstrated that Notch signaling and CD23 cleavage regulate antibody production. Accordingly, deletion of ADAM10 profoundly inhibited germinal center formation, and T-dependent and T-independent antibody responses to immunization, implicating ADAM10 as a novel regulator of adaptive immunity. Additionally, to determine the role of ADAM10 activity in hematopoiesis, we generated transgenic mice (A10Tg) that overexpress the protease on lymphoid and myeloid progenitors. Surprisingly, this markedly suppressed B2 cell development and promoted dramatic expansion of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) via a cell intrinsic mechanism. A10Tg MDSCs inhibited T cell proliferation and adoptive immunotherapy of B16 melanoma, resulting in exacerbated metastatic progression that was prevented by MDSC depletion. Thus, A10Tg mice represent a novel model for the examination of MDSC development and MDSC-mediated immune suppression in a tumor-free environment. Finally, hematopoietic stem cell cultures revealed that ADAM10 overexpression directs myeloid development by dysregulating Notch signaling via uncoupling the highly regulated proteolysis of Notch receptors. Collectively, these findings demonstrate that ADAM10 is a critical regulator of Notch signaling, B cell development, and MDSC expansion. Moreover, they have important implications for the treatment of numerous CD23 and Notch mediated pathologies, ranging from allergy to cancer.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

September 2010