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J Exp Med. 2000 Oct 2;192(7):1047-58.

Recruitment of SLP-76 to the membrane and glycolipid-enriched membrane microdomains replaces the requirement for linker for activation of T cells in T cell receptor signaling.

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Signal Transduction Program, The Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, 19104-6160, USA.


Two hematopoietic-specific adapters, src homology 2 domain-containing leukocyte phosphoprotein of 76 kD (SLP-76) and linker for activation of T cells (LAT), are critical for T cell development and T cell receptor (TCR) signaling. Several studies have suggested that SLP-76 and LAT function coordinately to promote downstream signaling. In support of this hypothesis, we find that a fraction of SLP-76 localizes to glycolipid-enriched membrane microdomains (GEMs) after TCR stimulation. This recruitment of SLP-76 requires amino acids 224-244. The functional consequences of targeting SLP-76 to GEMs for TCR signaling are demonstrated using a LAT/SLP-76 chimeric protein. Expression of this construct reconstitutes TCR-inducted phospholipase Cgamma1 phosphorylation, extracellular signal-regulated kinase activation, and nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) promoter activity in LAT-deficient Jurkat T cells (J.CaM2). Mutation of the chimeric construct precluding its recruitment to GEMs diminishes but does not eliminate its ability to support TCR signaling. Expression of a chimera that lacks SLP-76 amino acids 224-244 restores NFAT promoter activity, suggesting that if localized, SLP-76 does not require an association with Gads to promote T cell activation. In contrast, mutation of the protein tyrosine kinase phosphorylation sites of SLP-76 in the context of the LAT/SLP-76 chimera abolishes reconstitution of TCR function. Collectively, these experiments show that optimal TCR signaling relies on the compartmentalization of SLP-76 and that one critical function of LAT is to bring SLP-76 and its associated proteins to the membrane.

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