Mice expressing a germline mutation in the phospholipase C-γ1-binding site of linker for activation of T cells (LAT) show progressive lymphoproliferation and ultimately die at 4-6 mo age. The hyperactivated T cells in these mice show defective TCR-induced calcium flux but enhanced Ras/ERK activation, which is critical for disease progression. Despite the loss of LAT-dependent phospholipase C-γ1 binding and activation, genetic analysis revealed RasGRP1, and not Sos1 or Sos2, to be the major Ras guanine exchange factor responsible for ERK activation and the lymphoproliferative phenotype in these mice. Analysis of isolated CD4(+) T cells from LAT-Y136F mice showed altered proximal TCR-dependent kinase signaling, which activated a Zap70- and LAT-independent pathway. Moreover, LAT-Y136F T cells showed ERK activation that was dependent on Lck and/or Fyn, protein kinase C-θ, and RasGRP1. These data demonstrate a novel route to Ras activation in vivo in a pathological setting.
"The mutation that gives rise to this phenotype is a tyrosine to phenylalanine substitution in the Linker for Activation of T cells gene (LAT Y136F) , . This mutation prevents binding of PLC-γ1 to LAT, which is needed for downstream TCR-induced calcium flux and normal T cell activation ,  but paradoxically activates signaling pathways upstream of the MAP kinase Erk , , . "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Helper T cells from a mutant mouse model, LAT Y136F, hyper-proliferate and cause a severe lymphoproliferative disease that kills the mice by six months of age. LAT Y136F mice carry a tyrosine to phenylalanine mutation in the Linker for Activation of T cells (LAT) gene. This mutation leads to a number of changes in T cells that result in altered cytokine production including increased IL-4 production, increased proliferation, and decreased apoptosis. Hyper-proliferation of the mutant T cells contributes to lymphadenopathy, splenomegaly, and multi-organ T cell infiltration. miRNAs are short non-coding RNAs that regulate expression of cohorts of genes. This study investigates which miRNAs are expressed in LAT Y136F T cells and compares these to miRNAs expressed in wild type T cells that are undergoing proliferation in two other settings. The first setting is homeostatic proliferation, which was modeled by adoptive transfer of wild type T cells into T cell-deficient mice. The second setting is proliferation in response to infection, which was modeled by infection of wild type mice with the nematode H. polygyrus. By comparing miRNA expression in these three proliferative states (LAT Y136F hyper-proliferation, homeostatic proliferation and proliferation in response to H. polygyrus infection) to expression in wild type naïve CD4(+) T cells, we found miRNAs that were highly regulated in all three proliferative states (miR-21 and miR-146a) and some that were more specific to individual settings of proliferation such as those more specific for LAT Y136F lymphoproliferative disease (miR-669f, miR-155 and miR-466a/b). Future experiments that modulate levels of the miRNAs identified in this study may reveal the roles of these miRNAs in T cell proliferation and/or lymphoproliferative disease.
PLoS ONE 06/2013; 8(6):e66709. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0066709 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) activation is important for both thymocyte development and T cell function. Classically, signal transduction from the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) to ERK is thought to be regulated by signaling from Ras guanine nucleotide exchange factors (GEFs), through the small G protein Ras, to the three-tiered Raf-MAPK/ERK kinase (MEK)-ERK kinase cascade. Developing and mature T cells express four members of two RasGEF families, RasGRP1, RasGRP4, son of sevenless 1 (Sos1), and Sos2, and several models describing combined signaling from these RasGEFs have been proposed. However, recent studies suggest that existing models need revision to include both distinct and overlapping roles of multiple RasGEFs during thymocyte development and novel, Ras-independent signals to ERK that have been identified in peripheral T cells.
Trends in Immunology 03/2013; 34(6). DOI:10.1016/j.it.2013.02.004 · 10.40 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Signaling via the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) is initiated by Src-family kinases (SFKs). To understand how the kinase Csk, a negative regulator of SFKs, controls the basal state and the initiation of TCR signaling, we generated mice that express a Csk variant sensitive to an analog of the common kinase inhibitor PP1 (Csk(AS)). Inhibition of Csk(AS) in thymocytes, without engagement of the TCR, induced potent activation of SFKs and proximal TCR signaling up to phospholipase C-γ1 (PLC-γ1). Unexpectedly, increases in inositol phosphates, intracellular calcium and phosphorylation of the kinase Erk were impaired. Altering the actin cytoskeleton pharmacologically or providing costimulation via CD28 'rescued' those defects. Thus, Csk has a critical role in preventing TCR signaling. However, our studies also revealed a requirement for actin remodeling, initiated by costimulation, for full TCR signaling.
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