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J Leukoc Biol. 2003 Jun;73(6):815-22.

Up-regulated expression of MICA on activated T lymphocytes involves Lck and Fyn kinases and signaling through MEK1/ERK, p38 MAP kinase, and calcineurin.

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Laboratorio de Inmunogenética, Hospital de Clínicas José de San Martín, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina.


Major histocompatibility complex class I-related chain (MICA) is a cell stress-regulated molecule recognized by cytotoxic cells expressing the NKG2D molecule. MICA can be induced on T cells after CD3 or CD28 engagement. Here, we investigated the intracellular pathways leading to activation-induced expression of MICA. The Src kinase inhibitor PP1 inhibited up-regulated expression of MICA on anti-CD3-stimulated T cells. Downstream signaling routes involved mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase (MEK)1/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), p38 MAPK, and calcineurin, as MICA expression was prevented by U0126, SB202190, cyclosporin A, and FK506. Also, Lck and Fyn as well as MEK1/ERK and p38 MAPK were found to regulate MICA expression in anti-CD28/phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate-stimulated T cells. Expression of MICA on activated T cells involved interleukin-2-dependent signaling routes triggered by Janus tyrosine kinases/signal transducer and activators of transcription and p70(S)(6) kinase, as it could be inhibited by AG490 and rapamycin. This is the first demonstration of the intracellular pathways involved in activation-induced expression of MICA, which may reveal potential targets for immune intervention to modulate MICA expression in pathological disorders.

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