MEKK3 is essential for lymphopenia-induced T cell proliferation and survival.
ABSTRACT T cell homeostasis is crucial for maintaining an efficient and balanced T cell immunity. The interaction between TCR and self peptide (sp) MHC ligands is known to be the key driving force in this process, and it is believed to be functionally and mechanistically different from that initiated by the antigenic TCR stimulation. Yet, very little is known about the downstream signaling events triggered by this TCR-spMHC interaction and how they differ from those triggered by antigenic TCR stimulation. In this study, we show that T cell conditional ablation of MEKK3, a Ser/Thr kinase in the MAPK cascade, causes a significant reduction in peripheral T cell numbers in the conditional knockout mice, but does not perturb thymic T cell development and maturation. Using an adoptive mixed transfer method, we show that MEKK3-deficient T cells are severely impaired in lymphopenia-induced cell proliferation and survival. Interestingly, the Ag-induced T cell proliferation proceeds normally in the absence of MEKK3. Finally, we found that the activity of ERK1/2, but not p38 MAPK, was attenuated during the lymphopenia-driven response in MEKK3-deficient T cells. Together, these data suggest that MEKK3 may play a crucial selective role for spMHC-mediated T cell homeostasis.
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ABSTRACT: Mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are important signal transducing enzymes, unique to eukaryotes, that are involved in many facets of cellular regulation. Initial research concentrated on defining the components and organization of MAPK signalling cascades, but recent studies have begun to shed light on the physiological functions of these cascades in the control of gene expression, cell proliferation and programmed cell death.Nature 04/2001; 410(6824):37-40. · 36.28 Impact Factor
Article: Molecular cloning of mitogen-activated protein/ERK kinase kinases (MEKK) 2 and 3. Regulation of sequential phosphorylation pathways involving mitogen-activated protein kinase and c-Jun kinase.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Mitogen-activated protein/ERK kinase kinases (MEKKs) phosphorylate and activate protein kinases which in turn phosphorylate and activate the p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK), c-Jun/stress-activated protein kinases (JNKs), and p38/Hog1 kinase. We have isolated the cDNAs for two novel mammalian MEKKs (MEKK 2 and 3). MEKK 2 and 3 encode proteins of 69.7 and 71 kDa, respectively. The kinase domains encoded in the COOH-terminal moiety are 94% conserved; the NH2-terminal moieties are approximately 65% homologous, suggesting this region may encode sequences conferring differential regulation of the two kinases. Expression of MEKK 2 or 3 in HEK293 cells results in activation of p42/44MAPK and JNK but not of p38/Hog1 kinase. Immunoprecipitated MEKK 2 phosphorylated the MAP kinase kinases, MEK 1, and JNK kinase. Titration of MEKK 2 and 3 expression in transfection assays indicated that MEKK 2 preferentially activated JNK while MEKK 3 preferentially activated p42/44MAPK. These findings define a family of MEKK proteins capable of regulating sequential protein kinase pathways involving MAPK members.Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/1996; 271(10):5361-8. · 4.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The overall size and the composition of the mature T cell pool are regulated by homeostatic mechanisms. Recent work has revealed that homeostatic signals are received from contact with two members of the common gamma chain family of cytokines, IL-7 and IL-15, and from self-MHC/peptide ligands. In essence, homeostasis of naïve T cells is regulated by IL-7 and self-MHC/peptide ligands and homeostasis of memory CD8 cells is controlled by IL-7 and IL-15. All of these signals also appear to be important to a varying degree for homeostasis of memory CD4 cells, but the details are less well understood than for other cell type.Seminars in Immunology 07/2005; 17(3):183-91. · 6.39 Impact Factor