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Cell Signal. 2017 Dec;40:62-72. doi: 10.1016/j.cellsig.2017.08.007. Epub 2017 Aug 26.

PDE8 controls CD4+ T cell motility through the PDE8A-Raf-1 kinase signaling complex.

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Department of Immunology, UConn Health, United States.
Department of Immunology, UConn Health, United States; The National Hospital of Faroe Islands, Faroe Islands.
Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.
Department of Cell Biology, UConn Health, United States.
Department of Immunology, UConn Health, United States. Electronic address:


The levels of cAMP are regulated by phosphodiesterase enzymes (PDEs), which are targets for the treatment of inflammatory disorders. We have previously shown that PDE8 regulates T cell motility. Here, for the first time, we report that PDE8A exerts part of its control of T cell function through the V-raf-1 murine leukemia viral oncogene homolog 1 (Raf-1) kinase signaling pathway. To examine T cell motility under physiologic conditions, we analyzed T cell interactions with endothelial cells and ligands in flow assays. The highly PDE8-selective enzymatic inhibitor PF-04957325 suppresses adhesion of in vivo myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) activated inflammatory CD4+ T effector (Teff) cells to brain endothelial cells under shear stress. Recently, PDE8A was shown to associate with Raf-1 creating a compartment of low cAMP levels around Raf-1 thereby protecting it from protein kinase A (PKA) mediated inhibitory phosphorylation. To test the function of this complex in Teff cells, we used a cell permeable peptide that selectively disrupts the PDE8A-Raf-1 interaction. The disruptor peptide inhibits the Teff-endothelial cell interaction more potently than the enzymatic inhibitor. Furthermore, the LFA-1/ICAM-1 interaction was identified as a target of disruptor peptide mediated reduction of adhesion, spreading and locomotion of Teff cells under flow. Mechanistically, we observed that disruption of the PDE8A-Raf-1 complex profoundly alters Raf-1 signaling in Teff cells. Collectively, our studies demonstrate that PDE8A inhibition by enzymatic inhibitors or PDE8A-Raf-1 kinase complex disruptors decreases Teff cell adhesion and migration under flow, and represents a novel approach to target T cells in inflammation.


Autoimmunity; CD4(+) T cells; Inflammation; Integrins; PDE8; T cell motility

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