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Eur J Immunol. 2000 Sep;30(9):2445-54.

Mitogen-activated kinase kinase kinase 1 regulates T cell receptor- and CD28-mediated signaling events which lead to NF-kappaB activation.

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1
Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of Rome La Sapienza, Italy. tuosto@axcasp.caspur.it

Abstract

Optimal activation of Rel/NF-kappaB transcription factors in T lymphocytes requires a CD28-delivered co-stimulatory signal in addition to TCR engagement. Although, Rel/NF-kappaB transcription factors are critical regulators of many T cell functions, the mechanisms and molecules, which link the surface receptors to their activation, are poorly characterized. Using Jurkat T cells stimulated with superantigen presented on B7-positive APC, we showed that CD28- and TCR-stimulated NF-kappaB-dependent transcription is associated to the activation of IkappaB kinase beta (IKKbeta) and, to a lesser extent, of IkappaB kinase alpha (IKKalpha). A dominant negative mutant of the MAP3 kinase MEKK1, a kinase known to regulate the JNK pathway and to activate NF-kappaB-dependent transcription in many cell types, strongly inhibits CD28- and TCR-induced IKK activity, whereas the dominant negative mutants of the NF-kappaB-inducing kinase (NIK) did not exert any significant effects. In addition, TCR/CD28 stimulation results in the recruitment and autophosphorylation of endogenous MEKK1, whereas endogenous NIK was not detectably activated. Our data identify MEKK1 as a critical step in coupling signals initiated by TCR and CD28 to the downstream pathways which lead to both AP-1 and NF-kappaB activation in T lymphocytes.

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