CD147 (Basigin/Emmprin) identifies FoxP3+CD45RO+CTLA4+-activated human regulatory T cells.
ABSTRACT Human CD4(+)FoxP3(+) T cells are functionally and phenotypically heterogeneous providing plasticity to immune activation and regulation. To better understand the functional dynamics within this subset, we first used a combined strategy of subcellular fractionation and proteomics to describe differences at the protein level between highly purified human CD4(+)CD25(+) and CD4(+)CD25(-) T-cell populations. This identified a set of membrane proteins highly expressed on the cell surface of human regulatory T cells (Tregs), including CD71, CD95, CD147, and CD148. CD147 (Basigin or Emmprin) divided CD4(+)CD25(+) cells into distinct subsets. Furthermore, CD147, CD25, FoxP3, and in particular CTLA-4 expression correlated. Phenotypical and functional analyses suggested that CD147 marks the switch between resting (CD45RA(+)) and activated (CD45RO(+)) subsets within the FoxP3(+) T-cell population. Sorting of regulatory T cells into CD147(-) and CD147(+) populations demonstrated that CD147 identifies an activated and highly suppressive CD45RO(+) Treg subset. When analyzing CD4(+) T cells for their cytokine producing potential, CD147 levels grouped the FoxP3(+) subset into 3 categories with different ability to produce IL-2, TNF-α, IFN-γ, and IL-17. Together, this suggests that CD147 is a direct marker for activated Tregs within the CD4(+)FoxP3(+) subset and may provide means to manipulate cells important for immune homeostasis.
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ABSTRACT: Regulatory T cells (Tregs) are essential for controlling peripheral tolerance by the active suppression of various immune cells including conventional T effector cells (Teffs). Downstream of the T cell receptor (TCR), more than 500 protein kinases encoded by the human genome have to be considered in signaling cascades regulating the activation of Tregs and Teffs, respectively. Following TCR engagement, Tregs posses a number of unique attributes, such as constitutive expression of Foxp3, hyporesponsiveness and poor cytokine production. Furthermore, recent studies showed that altered regulation of protein kinases is important for Treg function. These data indicate that signaling pathways in Tregs are distinctly organized and alterations at the level of protein kinases contribute to the unique Treg phenotype. However, kinase-based signaling networks in Tregs are poorly understood and necessitate further systematic characterization. In this study, we analyzed the differential expression of kinases in Tregs and Teffs by using a kinase-selective proteome strategy. In total, we revealed quantitative information on 185 kinases expressed in the human CD4(+) T cell subsets. The majority of kinases was equally abundant in both T cell subsets, but 11 kinases were differentially expressed in Tregs. Most strikingly, Tregs showed an altered expression of cell cycle kinases including CDK6. Quantitative proteomics generates first comparative insight into the kinase complements of the CD4(+) Teff and Treg subset. Treg-specific expression pattern of 11 protein kinases substantiate the current opinion that TCR-mediated signaling cascades are altered in Tregs and further suggests that Tregs exhibit significant specificities in cell-cycle control and progression.PLoS ONE 01/2012; 7(7):e40896. · 3.73 Impact Factor