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Blood. 2008 Dec 1;112(12):4565-73. doi: 10.1182/blood-2008-06-164517. Epub 2008 Sep 18.

Essential role of Rap signal in pre-TCR-mediated beta-selection checkpoint in alphabeta T-cell development.

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  • 1Department of Immunology and Cell Biology, Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan.

Abstract

We demonstrate that lck promoter-driven conditional expression of transgenic SPA-1, a Rap GTPase-activation protein, causes a profound defect of alphabeta T-cell development at the CD4/CD8 double-negative (DN) stage due to enhanced cell death without affecting gammadelta T-cell development. The effect was specific to the DN stage, because CD4 promoter-driven SPA-1 expression hardly affected T-cell development. Rap1A17, a dominant-negative Rap mutant, interfered with the generation of double-positive (DP) cells from Rag2(-/-) fetal thymocytes in vitro in the presence of anti-CD3epsilon antibody and Notch ligand. Rap GTPases were activated in a DN cell line by the expression of self-oligomerizing CD3 (CD8:CD3epsilon chimera), which substituted autonomous pre-T-cell receptor (TCR) signal, inducing CD69 expression and CD25 down-regulation. Reciprocally, expression of C3G, a Rap guanine nucleotide exchange factor, in both normal and Rag2(-/-) DN cells markedly enhanced Notch-dependent generation and expansion of DP cells without additional anti-CD3epsilon antibody, thus bypassing pre-TCR. Defective alphabeta T-cell development in the conditional SPA-1-transgenic mice was restored completely by introducing a p53(-/-) mutation. These results suggest that endogenous Rap GTPases downstream of pre-TCR play an essential role in rescuing pre-T cells from the p53-mediated checkpoint response, thus allowing Notch-mediated expansion and differentiation.

PMID:
18802005
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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