Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
EMBO J. 1998 Jun 1;17(11):3101-11.

Calcineurin preferentially synergizes with PKC-theta to activate JNK and IL-2 promoter in T lymphocytes.

Author information

  • 1Laboratory of Gene Regulation and Signal Transduction, Department of Pharmacology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093-0636, USA.


Costimulation of the T cell receptor (TCR) and CD28 is required for optimal interleukin-2 (IL-2) induction. These signals, which can be replaced by the pharmacological agents phorbol ester (PMA) and Ca2+ ionophore, synergistically activate the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) JNK. Cyclosporin A, an inhibitor of the Ca2+-dependent phosphatase calcineurin which blocks IL-2 induction, abrogates Ca2+-triggered synergistic JNK activation. As protein kinase C (PKC) downregulation inhibits PMA+ionophore-induced JNK activation, we examined whether a particular PKC isoform is preferentially involved in this response. We found that PKC-theta but neither PKC-alpha nor PKC-epsilon participates in JNK activation, whereas all three PKCs lead to ERK MAPK activation. PKC-theta specifically cooperates with calcineurin, and together their signals converge on (or upstream of) Rac leading to potent JNK activation. Similarly, calcineurin and PKC-theta specifically synergize to induce transcription of reporters driven by the c-jun and IL-2 promoters. PKC-theta and calcineurin are also partially responsible for the synergistic activation of JNK following TCR and CD28 ligation. Preferential cooperation between PKC-theta and calcineurin is observed in Jurkat T cells but not in HeLa cells. These results indicate that PKC isozymes have distinct biological functions and suggest that synergistic JNK activation is an important function for PKC-theta in T-cell activation.

[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