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J Immunol. 2001 Dec 15;167(12):6841-8.

IL-2, -4, and -15 differentially regulate O-glycan branching and P-selectin ligand formation in activated CD8 T cells.

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Biomedical Research Centre and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.


The glycosyltransferase core 2 beta1-6 N-acetylglucosaminyl transferase (C2GnT1 or C2GlcNAcT1) is responsible for formation of branched structures on O-glycans present on cell surface glycoproteins. The O-glycan branch created by C2GnT1 is physiologically important insofar as only this structure can be extended and modified to yield P-selectin ligands that promote initial interactions between extravasating lymphocytes and endothelia. In mature T cells, C2GnT1 activity is thought to be induced as an intrinsic consequence of T cell activation. Through analysis of C2GnT1-dependent epitopes on CD43 and CD45RB we have found that in activated CD8(+) T cells expression of C2GnT1 was dependent upon exposure to specific cytokines rather than being induced as a direct consequence of activation. Activated CD8(+) cells became receptive to strong induction of C2GnT1 expression and P-selectin ligand expression in response to IL-2, moderate induction by IL-15, and minimal induction in response to IL-4. Our observations clarify the relationship between T cell activation and C2GnT1 expression, demonstrate the differential impact of distinct cytokines on expression of C2GnT1 activity and P-selectin ligand, and reinforce the concept that the cytokine milieu subsequent to activation can influence adhesion systems that dictate lymphocyte homing properties.

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