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EMBO J. 2004 Apr 7;23(7):1576-86. Epub 2004 Mar 25.

GADD45beta/GADD45gamma and MEKK4 comprise a genetic pathway mediating STAT4-independent IFNgamma production in T cells.

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Section of Immunobiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT, USA.


The stress-inducible molecules GADD45beta and GADD45gamma have been implicated in regulating IFNgamma production in CD4 T cells. However, how GADD45 proteins function has been controversial. MEKK4 is a MAP kinase kinase kinase that interacts with GADD45 in vitro. Here we generated MEKK4-deficient mice to define the function and regulation of this pathway. CD4 T cells from MEKK4-/- mice have reduced p38 activity and defective IFNgamma synthesis. Expression of GADD45beta or GADD45gamma promotes IFNgamma production in MEKK4+/+ T cells, but not in MEKK4-/- cells or in cells treated with a p38 inhibitor. Thus, MEKK4 mediates the action of GADD45beta and GADD45gamma on p38 activation and IFNgamma production. During Th1 differentiation, the GADD45beta/GADD45gamma/MEKK4 pathway appears to integrate upstream signals transduced by both T cell receptor and IL12/STAT4, leading to augmented IFNgamma production in a process independent of STAT4.

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