T-cell development: a new marker of differentiation state.
Differentiation of T cells is a complicated affair and there has been a dearth of markers that faithfully reflect thymocyte phenotype. A new strategy based on T-cell receptor gene sequencing has revealed a marker that can be used to monitor thymocyte differentiation with fidelity and without perturbation. (+info
The hematopoietic-specific adaptor protein gads functions in T-cell signaling via interactions with the SLP-76 and LAT adaptors.
BACKGROUND: The adaptor protein Gads is a Grb2-related protein originally identified on the basis of its interaction with the tyrosine-phosphorylated form of the docking protein Shc. Gads protein expression is restricted to hematopoietic tissues and cell lines. Gads contains a Src homology 2 (SH2) domain, which has previously been shown to have a similar binding specificity to that of Grb2. Gads also possesses two SH3 domains, but these have a distinct binding specificity to those of Grb2, as Gads does not bind to known Grb2 SH3 domain targets. Here, we investigated whether Gads is involved in T-cell signaling. RESULTS: We found that Gads is highly expressed in T cells and that the SLP-76 adaptor protein is a major Gads-associated protein in vivo. The constitutive interaction between Gads and SLP-76 was mediated by the carboxy-terminal SH3 domain of Gads and a 20 amino-acid proline-rich region in SLP-76. Gads also coimmunoprecipitated the tyrosine-phosphorylated form of the linker for activated T cells (LAT) adaptor protein following cross-linking of the T-cell receptor; this interaction was mediated by the Gads SH2 domain. Overexpression of Gads and SLP-76 resulted in a synergistic augmentation of T-cell signaling, as measured by activation of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT), and this cooperation required a functional Gads SH2 domain. CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate that Gads plays an important role in T-cell signaling via its association with SLP-76 and LAT. Gads may promote cross-talk between the LAT and SLP-76 signaling complexes, thereby coupling membrane-proximal events to downstream signaling pathways. (+info
JNK2 is required for efficient T-cell activation and apoptosis but not for normal lymphocyte development.
BACKGROUND: The Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway has been implicated in cell proliferation and apoptosis, but its function seems to depend on the cell type and inducing signal. In T cells, JNK has been implicated in both antigen-induced activation and apoptosis. RESULTS: We generated mice lacking the JNK2 isozymes. The mutant mice were healthy and fertile but defective in peripheral T-cell activation induced by antibody to the CD3 component of the T-cell receptor (TCR) complex - proliferation and production of interleukin-2 (IL-2), IL-4 and interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) were reduced. The proliferation defect was restored by exogenous IL-2. B-cell activation was normal in the absence of JNK2. Activation-induced peripheral T-cell apoptosis was comparable between mutant and wild-type mice, but immature (CD4(+) CD8(+)) thymocytes lacking JNK2 were resistant to apoptosis induced by administration of anti-CD3 antibody in vivo. The lack of JNK2 also resulted in partial resistance of thymocytes to anti-CD3 antibody in vitro, but had little or no effect on apoptosis induced by anti-Fas antibody, dexamethasone or ultraviolet-C (UVC) radiation. CONCLUSIONS: JNK2 is essential for efficient activation of peripheral T cells but not B cells. Peripheral T-cell activation is probably required indirectly for induction of thymocyte apoptosis resulting from administration of anti-CD3 antibody in vivo. JNK2 functions in a cell-type-specific and stimulus-dependent manner, being required for apoptosis of immature thymocytes induced by anti-CD3 antibody but not for apoptosis induced by anti-Fas antibody, UVC or dexamethasone. JNK2 is not required for activation-induced cell death of mature T cells. (+info
Hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation for the treatment of severe combined immunodeficiency.
BACKGROUND: Since 1968 it has been known that bone marrow transplantation can ameliorate severe combined immunodeficiency, but data on the long-term efficacy of this treatment are limited. We prospectively studied immunologic function in 89 consecutive infants with severe combined immunodeficiency who received hematopoietic stem-cell transplants at Duke University Medical Center between May 1982 and September 1998. METHODS: Serum immunoglobulin levels and lymphocyte phenotypes and function were assessed and genetic analyses performed according to standard methods. Bone marrow was depleted of T cells by agglutination with soybean lectin and by sheep-erythrocyte rosetting before transplantation. RESULTS: Seventy-seven of the infants received T-cell-depleted, HLA-haploidentical parental marrow, and 12 received HLA-identical marrow from a related donor; 3 of the recipients of haploidentical marrow also received placental-blood transplants from unrelated donors. Except for two patients who received placental blood, none of the recipients received chemotherapy before transplantation or prophylaxis against graft-versus-host disease. Of the 89 infants, 72 (81 percent) were still alive 3 months to 16.5 years after transplantation, including all of the 12 who received HLA-identical marrow, 60 of the 77 (78 percent) who were given haploidentical marrow, and 2 of the 3 (67 percent) who received both haploidentical marrow and placental blood. T-cell function became normal within two weeks after transplantation in the patients who received unfractionated HLA-identical marrow but usually not until three to four months after transplantation in those who received T-cell-depleted marrow. At the time of the most recent evaluation, all but 4 of the 72 survivors had normal T-cell function, and all the T cells in their blood were of donor origin. B-cell function remained abnormal in many of the recipients of haploidentical marrow. In 26 children (5 recipients of HLA-identical marrow and 21 recipients of haploidentical marrow) between 2 percent and 100 percent of B cells were of donor origin. Forty-five of the 72 children were receiving intravenous immune globulin. CONCLUSIONS: Transplantation of marrow from a related donor is a life-saving and life-sustaining treatment for patients with any type of severe combined immunodeficiency, even when there is no HLA-identical donor. (+info
Tyrosine phosphorylation and complex formation of Cbl-b upon T cell receptor stimulation.
Cbl-b, a mammalian homolog of Cbl, consists of an N-terminal region (Cbl-b-N) highly homologous to oncogenic v-Cbl, a Ring finger, and a C-terminal region containing multiple proline-rich stretches and potential tyrosine phosphorylation sites. In the present study, we demonstrate that upon engagement of the T cell receptor (TCR), endogenous Cbl-b becomes rapidly tyrosine-phosphorylated. In heterogeneous COS-1 cells, Cbl-b was phosphorylated on tyrosine residues by both Syk- (Syk/Zap-70) and Src- (Fyn/Lck) family kinases, with Syk kinase inducing the most prominent effect. Syk associates and phosphorylates Cbl-b in Jurkat T cells. A Tyr-316 Cbl-binding site in Syk was required for the association with and for the maximal tyrosine phosphorylation of Cbl-b. Mutation at a loss-of-function site (Gly-298) in Cbl-b-N disrupts its interaction with Syk. Cbl-b constitutively binds Grb2 and becomes associated with Crk-L upon TCR stimulation. The Grb2- and the Crk-L-binding regions were mapped to the C-terminus of Cbl-b. The Crk-L-binding sites were further determined to be Y655DVP and Y709KIP, with the latter being the primary binding site. Taken together, these results implicate that Cbl-b is involved in TCR-mediated intracellular signaling pathways. (+info
Vascular endothelial growth factor activates nuclear factor of activated T cells in human endothelial cells: a role for tissue factor gene expression.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a potent angiogenic inducer that stimulates the expression of tissue factor (TF), the major cellular initiator of blood coagulation. Here we show that signaling triggered by VEGF induced DNA-binding and transcriptional activities of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) and AP-1 in human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). VEGF also induced TF mRNA expression and gene promoter activation by a cyclosporin A (CsA)-sensitive mechanism. As in lymphoid cells, NFAT was dephosphorylated and translocated to the nucleus upon activation of HUVECs, and these processes were blocked by CsA. NFAT was involved in the VEGF-mediated TF promoter activation as evidenced by cotransfection experiments with a dominant negative version of NFAT and site-directed mutagenesis of a newly identified NFAT site within the TF promoter that overlaps with a previously identified kappaB-like site. Strikingly, this site bound exclusively NFAT not only from nuclear extracts of HUVECs activated by VEGF, a stimulus that failed to induce NF-kappaB-binding activity, but also from extracts of cells activated with phorbol esters and calcium ionophore, a combination of stimuli that triggered the simultaneous activation of NFAT and NF-kappaB. These results implicate NFAT in the regulation of endothelial genes by physiological means and shed light on the mechanisms that switch on the gene expression program induced by VEGF and those regulating TF gene expression. (+info
Activation-dependent transcriptional regulation of the human Fas promoter requires NF-kappaB p50-p65 recruitment.
Fas (CD95) and Fas ligand (CD95L) are an interacting receptor-ligand pair required for immune homeostasis. Lymphocyte activation results in the upregulation of Fas expression and the acquisition of sensitivity to FasL-mediated apoptosis. Although Fas upregulation is central to the preservation of immunologic tolerance, little is known about the molecular machinery underlying this process. To investigate the events involved in activation-induced Fas upregulation, we have examined mRNA accumulation, fas promoter activity, and protein expression in the Jurkat T-cell line treated with phorbol myristate acetate and ionomycin (P/I), pharmacological mimics of T-cell receptor activation. Although resting Jurkat cells express Fas, Fas mRNA was induced approximately 10-fold in 2 h upon P/I stimulation. Using sequential deletion mutants of the human fas promoter in transient transfection assays, we identified a 47-bp sequence (positions -306 to -260 relative to the ATG) required for activation-driven fas upregulation. Sequence analysis revealed the presence of a previously unrecognized composite binding site for both the Sp1 and NF-kappaB transcription factors at positions -295 to -286. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) and supershift analyses of this region documented constitutive binding of Sp1 in unactivated nuclear extracts and inducible binding of p50-p65 NF-kappaB heterodimers after P/I activation. Sp1 and NF-kappaB transcription factor binding was shown to be mutually exclusive by EMSA displacement studies with purified recombinant Sp1 and recombinant p50. The functional contribution of the kappaB-Sp1 composite site in P/I-inducible fas promoter activation was verified by using kappaB-Sp1 concatamers (-295 to -286) in a thymidine kinase promoter-driven reporter construct and native promoter constructs in Jurkat cells overexpressing IkappaB-alpha. Site-directed mutagenesis of the critical guanine nucleotides in the kappaB-Sp1 element documented the essential role of this site in activation-dependent fas promoter induction. (+info
RFLAT-1: a new zinc finger transcription factor that activates RANTES gene expression in T lymphocytes.
RANTES (Regulated upon Activation, Normal T cell Expressed and Secreted) is a chemoattractant cytokine (chemokine) important in the generation of inflammatory infiltrate and human immunodeficiency virus entry into immune cells. RANTES is expressed late (3-5 days) after activation in T lymphocytes. Using expression cloning, we identified the first "late" T lymphocyte associated transcription factor and named it "RANTES Factor of Late Activated T Lymphocytes-1" (RFLAT-1). RFLAT-1 is a novel, phosphorylated, zinc finger transcription factor that is expressed in T cells 3 days after activation, coincident with RANTES expression. While Rel proteins play the dominant role in RANTES gene expression in fibroblasts, RFLAT-1 is a strong transactivator for RANTES in T cells. (+info