Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Oct 2;109(40):16264-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1207528109. Epub 2012 Sep 17.

Development of promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger-expressing innate CD4 T cells requires stronger T-cell receptor signals than conventional CD4 T cells.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA.


MHC class II-expressing thymocytes and thymic epithelial cells can mediate CD4 T-cell selection resulting in functionally distinct thymocyte-selected CD4 (T-CD4) and epithelial-selected CD4 (E-CD4) T cells, respectively. However, little is known about how T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling influences the development of these two CD4 T-cell subsets. To study TCR signaling for T-CD4 T-cell development, we used a GFP reporter system of Nur77 in which GFP intensity directly correlates with TCR signaling strength. T-CD4 T cells expressed higher levels of GFP than E-CD4 T cells, suggesting that T-CD4 T cells received stronger TCR signaling than E-CD4 T cells during selection. Elimination of Ras GTPase-activating protein enhanced E-CD4 but decreased T-CD4 T-cell selection efficiency, suggesting a shift to negative selection. Conversely, the absence of IL-2-inducible T-cell kinase that causes poor E-CD4 T-cell selection due to insufficient TCR signaling improved T-CD4 T-cell generation, consistent with rescue from negative selection. Strong TCR signaling during T-CD4 T-cell development correlates with the expression of the transcription factor promyelocytic leukemia zinc finger protein. However, although modulation of the signaling strength affected the efficiency of T-CD4 T-cell development during positive and negative selection, the signaling strength is not as important for the effector function of T-CD4 T cells. These findings indicate that innate T-CD4 T cells, together with invariant natural killer T cells and γδ T cells, receive strong TCR signals during their development and that signaling requirements for the development and the effector functions are distinct.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk