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Eur J Immunol. 1990 Aug;20(8):1747-53.

Identification of the intracytoplasmic region essential for signal transduction through a B cell activation molecule, CD40.

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Division of Immunology, Osaka University, Japan.


CD40 is a 45-kDa glycoprotein expressed on human B lineage cells. Anti-CD40 induces the proliferation of B cells and the extracellular region of CD40 is related to those of a certain kind of growth factor receptors. Therefore, it has been proposed that CD40 might be a receptor for a molecule involved in the growth regulation of B cells. The cDNA coding for CD40 was transfected into the murine B lymphoma cell line M12 and the murine thymoma cell line EL4. The growth of both M12 and EL4 transfectants expressing human CD40 was inhibited by anti-CD40. Phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) augmented the growth inhibitory effects of anti-CD40 on transfectants. The CD40 molecule was constitutively phosphorylated not only in human tonsil B cells but also in transfectants expressing CD40. PMA augmented the phosphorylation of CD40 in these cells. These results indicate that in spite of the growth inhibitory effect of anti-CD40, the augmentative effect of PMA is conserved in CD40+ transfectants and suggest that the transfectant might be useful for the study of signal transduction mechanism through CD40. To investigate which part of the CD40 molecule is important for signal transduction, transfectants expressing mutant CD40 cDNA were established and their growth response to anti-CD40 was evaluated. The mutant molecule, which had an Ala for Thr substitution at position 234, and the deletion mutants lacking Thr234 were inactive in growth signal transduction, indicating that Thr234 itself or the region around Thr234 is essential for signal transduction through CD40.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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