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J Biol Chem. 2002 Jan 11;277(2):912-21. Epub 2001 Oct 25.

Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase p85 adaptor function in T-cells. Co-stimulation and regulation of cytokine transcription independent of associated p110.

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  • 1Department of Cancer Immunology and AIDS, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA.


Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) is a key regulator of a variety of cellular functions from cytoskeletal organization, vesicular trafficking, and cell proliferation to apoptosis. The enzyme complex is comprised of an 85-kDa adaptor (p85) coupled to a 110-kDa catalytic subunit (p110). While the function of PI3K has been largely attributed to the generation of D-3 lipids, an unanswered question has been whether p85 with a number of motifs (SH2, SH3, BcR homology (BH) region) can generate independent intracellular signals. In this study, we demonstrate that p85 lacking p110 (Deltap85) can activate NFAT transcription in T-cell hybridomas and normal splenocytes. This up-regulatory effect was unaffected by inhibition of PI 3-kinase, and cooperated specifically with Rac1, but not related family members. Stimulation correlated with Rac1 binding and was lost with the deletion of the BH domain. Lastly, the CD28-Deltap85 chimera also cooperated with TcR/CD3 to provide co-signals that enhanced IL-2 transcription. Our findings identify for the first time p85 as an adaptor that operates independently of the classic PI 3-kinase catalytic pathway and further shows that this pathway can provide co-signals in the regulation of T-cell function.

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