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Immunity. 2006 Aug;25(2):213-24.

CXCR4 physically associates with the T cell receptor to signal in T cells.

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Department of Immunology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.


SDF-1alpha (CXCL12) signaling via its receptor, CXCR4, stimulates T cell chemotaxis and gene expression. The ZAP-70 tyrosine kinase critically mediates SDF-1alpha-dependent migration and prolonged ERK mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase activation in T cells. However, the molecular mechanism by which CXCR4 or other G protein-coupled receptors activate ZAP-70 has not been characterized. Here we show that SDF-1alpha stimulates the physical association of CXCR4 and the T cell receptor (TCR) and utilizes the ZAP-70 binding ITAM domains of the TCR for signal transduction. This pathway is responsible for several of the effects of SDF-1alpha on T cells, including prolonged ERK MAP kinase activity, increased intracellular calcium ion concentrations, robust AP-1 transcriptional activity, and SDF-1alpha costimulation of cytokine secretion. These results suggest new paradigms for understanding the effects of SDF-1alpha and other chemokines on immunity.

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