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Nat Immunol. 2001 Jan;2(1):37-44.

Akt provides the CD28 costimulatory signal for up-regulation of IL-2 and IFN-gamma but not TH2 cytokines.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.


A region of the interleukin-2 (IL-2) promoter known as the RE/AP element is activated in concert by signals that originate from the T cell antigen receptor and the CD28 coreceptor. We show here that the serine-threonine kinase Akt can provide a costimulatory signal for RE/AP activation that is indistinguishable from the signal provided by CD28. This includes the ability of Akt, like antibodies to CD28, to synergize with protein kinase C theta (PKC-theta) in the induction of RE/AP. Retrovirus-mediated expression of activated Akt in primary T cells from CD28-deficient mice is capable of selectively restoring production of IL-2 and interferon gamma, but not IL-4 or IL-5. Our results provide evidence that CD28 costimulation of different cytokines is mediated by discrete signaling pathways, one of which includes Akt.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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