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J Immunol. 2000 Oct 1;165(7):3722-9.

Galectin-1 induces partial TCR zeta-chain phosphorylation and antagonizes processive TCR signal transduction.

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  • 1Department of Biological Chemistry, University of California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90095, USA.


Galectin-1 is an endogenous lectin with known T cell immunoregulatory activity, though the molecular basis by which galectin-1 influences Ag specific T cell responses has not been elucidated. Here, we characterize the ability of galectin-1 to modulate TCR signals and responses by T cells with well defined hierarchies of threshold requirements for signaling distinct functional responses. We demonstrate that galectin-1 antagonizes TCR responses known to require costimulation and processive protein tyrosine phosphorylation, such as IL-2 production, but is permissive for TCR responses that only require partial TCR signals, such as IFN-gamma production, CD69 up-regulation, and apoptosis. Galectin-1 binding alone or together with Ag stimulation induces partial phosphorylation of TCR-zeta and the generation of inhibitory pp21zeta. Galectin-1 antagonizes Ag induced signals and TCR/costimulator dependent lipid raft clustering at the TCR contact site. We propose that galectin-1 functions as a T cell "counterstimulator" to limit required protein segregation and lipid raft reorganization at the TCR contact site and, thus, processive and sustained TCR signal transduction. These findings support the concept that TCR antagonism can arise from the generation of an inhibitory pp21zeta-based TCR signaling complex. Moreover, they demonstrate that TCR antagonism can result from T cell interactions with a ligand other than peptide/MHC.

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