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J Immunol. 2002 Mar 15;168(6):2729-36.

CD28 costimulation mediates down-regulation of p27kip1 and cell cycle progression by activation of the PI3K/PKB signaling pathway in primary human T cells.

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  • 1Department of Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Division of Medical Oncology, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


CD28 provides a costimulatory signal that cooperates with the TCR/CD3 complex to induce T cell activation, cytokine production, and clonal expansion. We have recently shown that CD28 directly regulates progression of T lymphocytes through the cell cycle. Although a number of signaling pathways have been linked to the TCR/CD3 and to CD28, it is not known how these two receptors cooperate to induce cell cycle progression. Here, using cell-permeable pharmacologic inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol 3-hydroxykinase (PI3K) and mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK1/2), we show that cell cycle progression of primary T lymphocytes requires simultaneous activation of PI3K- and MEK1/2-dependent pathways. Decreased abundance of cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p27(kip1), which requires simultaneous TCR/CD3 and CD28 ligation, was dependent upon both MEK and PI3K activity. Ligation of TCR/CD3, but not CD28 alone, resulted in activation of MEK targets extracellular signal-related kinase 1/2, whereas ligation of CD28 alone was sufficient for activation of PI3K target protein kinase B (PKB; c-Akt). CD28 ligation alone was also sufficient to mediate inactivating phosphorylation of PKB target glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3). Moreover, direct inactivation of GSK-3 by LiCl in the presence of anti-CD3, but not in the presence of anti-CD28, resulted in down-regulation of p27(kip1), hyperphosphorylation of retinoblastoma tumor suppressor gene product, and cellular proliferation. Thus, inactivation of the PI3K-PKB target GSK-3 could substitute for CD28 but not for CD3 signals. These results show that the PI3K-PKB pathway links CD28 to cell cycle progression and suggest that p27(kip1) integrates mitogenic MEK- and PI3K-dependent signals from TCR and CD28 in primary T lymphocytes.

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