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J Immunol. 2010 Aug 15;185(4):2013-9. doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.0902572. Epub 2010 Jul 14.

Beta-catenin signaling mediates CD4 expression on mature CD8+ T cells.

Author information

1
Department of Immunology and Microbiology, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA.

Abstract

Upon activation, a subset of mature human CD8(+) T cells re-expresses CD4 dimly. This CD4(dim)CD8(bright) T cell population is genuine and enriched in antiviral CD8(+) T cell responses. The signaling pathway that leads to CD4 re-expression on mature CD8(+) T cells is not clear. Given that Wnt/beta-catenin signaling plays a critical role in the transition of CD4(-)CD8(-) to CD4(+)CD8(+) thymocytes, we determined whether beta-catenin mediates CD4 expression on mature CD8(+) T cells. We demonstrate that active beta-catenin expression is 20-fold higher on CD4(dim)CD8(bright) than CD4(-)CD8(+) T cells. Activation of beta-catenin signaling, through LiCl or transfection with a constitutively active construct of beta-catenin, induced CD4 on CD8(+) T cells by approximately 10-fold. Conversely, inhibition of beta-catenin signaling through transfection with a dominant-negative construct for T cell factor-4, a downstream effector of beta-catenin signaling, diminished CD4 expression on CD8(+) T cells by 50% in response to T cell activation. Beta-catenin-mediated induction of CD4 on CD8(+) T cells is transcriptionally regulated, as it induced CD4 mRNA, and T cell factor/lymphoid enhancer factor sites were identified within the human CD4 promoter. Further, beta-catenin expression induced the antiapoptotic factor BcL-xL, suggesting that beta-catenin may mediate protection against activation-induced cell death. Collectively, these data demonstrate that beta-catenin is critical in inducing CD4 expression on mature CD8(+) T cells, suggesting that it is a common pathway for CD4 upregulation among thymocytes and mature CD8(+) T cells.

PMID:
20631314
PMCID:
PMC3963465
DOI:
10.4049/jimmunol.0902572
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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