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Immunity. 1999 Apr;10(4):409-20.

Crippling of CD3-zeta ITAMs does not impair T cell receptor signaling.

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Centre d'Immunologie, INSERM-CNRS de Marseille-Luminy, France.


We evaluated the importance of CD3-zeta ITAMs in T cell responses by breeding the P14 transgenic TCR into mice in which CD3-zeta chains lacking all or part of their ITAMs were genetically substituted for wild-type CD3-zeta chains. In contrast to the H-Y TCR, the P14 TCR permitted the development of peripheral CD8+ T cells harboring signaling-defective CD3-zeta subunits. The absence of functional CD3-zeta ITAMs did not reduce the spectrum of activation events and effector functions that constitute the normal attributes of mature CD8+ T cells. The only detectable differences were quantitative and noted only when T cells were challenged with suboptimal peptide concentrations. Therefore, the ITAMs present in the CD3-gammadeltaepsilon module are sufficient for qualitatively normal TCR signaling and those present in CD3-zeta have no exclusive role during T cell activation.

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