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J Immunol. 2003 Jan 1;170(1):325-33.

Minimal requirement of tyrosine residues of linker for activation of T cells in TCR signaling and thymocyte development.

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Department of Immunology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710, USA.


Linker for activation of T cells (LAT) is a membrane-associated adaptor protein that is phosphorylated on multiple tyrosines upon TCR cross-linking. Previous studies show that LAT is essential for TCR-mediated signaling and thymocyte development. In this study, we expressed a series of LAT Tyr to Phe mutants in LAT-deficient J.CaM2.5 cells and examined their tyrosine phosphorylation; association with Grb2, Gads, and phospholipase C (PLC)-gamma1; and function in T cell activation. Our results showed that the five membrane-distal tyrosines were phosphorylated upon T cell activation. Grb2, Gads, and PLC-gamma1 associated with LAT preferentially via different sets of tyrosine residues; however, they failed to interact with LAT mutants containing only one tyrosine. We also determined the minimal requirement of LAT tyrosine residues in T cell activation and thymocyte development. Our results showed that a minimum of three tyrosines is required for LAT to function in T cell activation and thymocyte development. LAT mutants that were capable of binding Grb2 and PLC-gamma1 could reconstitute T cell activation in LAT-deficient cells and thymocyte development in LAT-deficient mice.

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