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Blood. 2000 May 15;95(10):3199-203.

RasGRP links T-cell receptor signaling to Ras.

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Departments of Biochemistry and Immunobiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.


Stimulation of the T-cell receptor (TCR) alters a number of intracellular signaling pathways including one that involves protein tyrosine kinases, phospholipase C-gamma1 (PLC-gamma1), diacylglycerol (DAG), and calcium messengers. By a divergent pathway, TCR-stimulated protein tyrosine kinase activity is thought to result independently in recruitment of the Ras activator Sos to the plasma membrane, leading to Ras activation. Here we show that RasGRP, a Ras activator that contains calcium-binding EF hands and a DAG-binding domain, is expressed in T cells. A PLC-gamma1 inhibitor diminished activation of Ras following TCR stimulation. Membranes from TCR-stimulated Jurkat T cells exhibited increased RasGRP and increased Ras-guanyl nucleotide association activity that was inhibited by antibodies directed against RasGRP. Overexpression of RasGRP in T cells enhanced TCR-Ras-Erk signaling and augmented interleukin-2 secretion in response to calcium ionophore plus DAG analogues phorbol ester myristate or bryostatin-1. Thus, RasGRP links TCR and PLC-gamma1 to Ras-Erk signaling, a pathway amenable to pharmacologic manipulation.

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