Hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 supports apoptosis of T lymphocytes

Department of Molecular Pathology, Institute of Pathology, D-97080 Wuerzburg, Germany.
Blood (Impact Factor: 10.45). 09/2002; 100(3):954-60. DOI: 10.1182/blood-2002-01-0089
Source: PubMed


Hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 (HPK1) is a member of germinal center kinases that is predominantly expressed in hematopoietic cells and transiently activated by T-cell receptor (TCR) triggering. We show here that HPK1 supports apoptosis of T cells. When HPK1 was overexpressed in murine CD4(+) T cells, a substantial increase was observed in spontaneous and TCR/CD3-mediated apoptosis as well as in Fas ligand (FasL) expression. In H2O2-treated EL-4 thymoma cells, which show an increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and apoptosis, overexpression of HPK1 enhanced ROS-mediated apoptosis, whereas expression of HPK1 antisense (AS) RNA impaired apoptosis. HPK1 expression also led to a sustained increase in c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) activity, suggesting that JNK activation contributes to the HPK1-mediated apoptosis in H2O2-treated EL-4 cells. Under the same conditions, a rapid cleavage of HPK1 was observed, and overexpression of N- and C-terminal cleavage products in CD4(+) T cells resulted in, similar to full-length HPK1, an increase in apoptosis. In agreement with published data, we show that the C-terminal portion of HPK1 suppresses IkappaBalpha degradation, thereby inhibiting nuclear factor (NF)-kappaB activation. These findings suggest that by inhibiting the antiapoptotic action of NF-kappaB and inducing the proapoptotic activity of JNK, OHPK1 supports apoptosis in T cells.

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