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J Immunol. 2005 Jul 15;175(2):864-73.

T cell leukemia-1 modulates TCR signal strength and IFN-gamma levels through phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase and protein kinase C pathway activation.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California-Los Angeles, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.


A signaling role for T cell leukemia-1 (TCL1) during T cell development or in premalignant T cell expansions and mature T cell tumors is unknown. In this study, TCL1 is shown to regulate the growth and survival of peripheral T cells but not precursor thymocytes. Proliferation is increased by TCL1-induced lowering of the TCR threshold for CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cell activation through both PI3K-Akt and protein kinase C-MAPK-ERK signaling pathways. This effect is submaximal as CD28 costimulation coupled to TCL1 expression additively accelerates dose-dependent T cell growth. In addition to its role in T cell proliferation, TCL1 also increases IFN-gamma levels from Th1-differentiated T cells, an effect that may provide a survival advantage during premalignant T cell expansions and in clonal T cell tumors. Combined, these data indicate a role for TCL1 control of growth and effector T cell functions, paralleling features provided by TCR-CD28 costimulation. These results also provide a more detailed mechanism for TCL1-augmented signaling and help explain the delayed occurrence of mature T cell expansions and leukemias despite tumorigenic TCL1 dysregulation that begins in early thymocytes.

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