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Blood. 2008 Jan 15;111(2):525-33. Epub 2007 Oct 15.

Critical role for Rsk2 in T-lymphocyte activation.

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Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


During T-cell activation, a number of cytokine-activated signaling cascades, including the Jak-STAT, phosphoinositol 3-kinase (PI 3-kinase), and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways, play important roles in modulating the expression of target genes and mediating a cellular response. We now report that interleukin 2 (IL-2) and IL-15, but not IL-7, rapidly activate the p90 ribosomal S6 kinases, Rsk1 and Rsk2, in human T lymphocytes. Surprisingly, mouse spleen T cells transduced with either the wild-type or a dominant-negative (DN) Rsk2-expressing retrovirus could not be recovered, in contrast to the normal survival of T cells transduced with retroviruses expressing wild-type or DN mutants of Rsk1 or Rsk3. Examination of Rsk2 knockout (KO) mice revealed normal T-cell development, but these T cells had delayed cell-cycle progression and lower production of IL-2 in response to anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 stimulation in vitro. Moreover, Rsk2 KO mice had defective homeostatic T-cell expansion following sublethal irradiation in vivo, which is known to involve T-cell receptor (TCR), IL-2, and/or IL-15 signals, each of which we demonstrate can rapidly and potently activate Rsk2 in mouse T cells. These results indicate an essential nonredundant role of Rsk2 in T-cell activation.

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