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J Biol Chem. 2010 Dec 10;285(50):38781-7. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.152173. Epub 2010 Oct 1.

CCR7/CCL21 migration on fibronectin is mediated by phospholipase Cgamma1 and ERK1/2 in primary T lymphocytes.

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Department of Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, and Immunology, The University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas 66160, USA.


CCR7 binds to its cognate ligand, CCL21, to mediate the migration of circulating naive T lymphocytes to the lymph nodes. T lymphocytes can bind to fibronectin, a constituent of lymph nodes, via their β1 integrins, which is a primary mechanism of T lymphocyte migration; however, the signaling pathways involved are unclear. We report that rapid (within 2 min) and transient phosphorylation of ERK1/2 is required for T cell migration on fibronectin in response to CCL21. Conversely, prevention of ERK1/2 phosphorylation by inhibition of its kinase, MAPK/MEK, prevented T lymphocyte migration. Previous studies have suggested that phospholipase Cγ1 (PLCγ1) can mediate phosphorylation of ERK1/2, which is required for β1 integrin activation. Paradoxically, we found that inhibition of PLCγ1 phosphorylation by the general PLC inhibitor U73122 was associated with a delayed and reduced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and reduced migration of T lymphocytes on fibronectin. To further characterize the relationship between ERK1/2 and PLCγ1, we reduced PLCγ1 levels by 85% using shRNA and observed a reduced phosphorylation of ERK1/2 and a significant loss of CCR7-mediated migration of T lymphocytes on fibronectin. In addition, we found that inhibition of ERK1/2 phosphorylation by U0126 resulted in a decreased phosphorylation of PLCγ1, suggesting a feedback loop between ERK1/2 and PLCγ1. Overall, these results suggest that the CCR7 signaling pathway leading to T lymphocyte migration on fibronectin is a β1 integrin-dependent pathway involving transient ERK1/2 phosphorylation, which is modulated by PLCγ1.

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