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Mol Immunol. 2007 May;44(12):3085-91. Epub 2007 Apr 5.

Epi-allelic Erk1 and Erk2 knockdown series for quantitative analysis of T cell Erk regulation and IL-2 production.

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Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Biology, 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, United States.


Erk activation is often used as a downstream pathway indicator of TCR signaling, generally in terms of both Erk1 and Erk2 isoforms measured together. In order to investigate potential distinctions between Erk1 and Erk2 regulation and effects downstream of TCR ligation, we generated a series of stable and independent Erk1 and Erk2 shRNA knockdown lines in the 1B6 T cell hybridoma. We observed no compensatory effect by opposite isoform upregulation, and found similar fractions of total phosphorylated Erk1/2 across this epi-allelic series in response to both anti-CD3 and peptide-MHC stimulation of TCR. Moreover, a previous prediction of an isoform-independent linear relationship between Erk activation and IL-2 production was confirmed. The effect of the shRNA-mediated knockdowns in reducing IL-2 production was observed to be stronger than that arising from pharmacological MEK inhibition at comparable degrees of ERK1/2 phosphorylation levels.

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