Send to

Choose Destination
Cell Immunol. 1995 Jun;163(1):70-9.

Dominant mutations confer resistance to the immunosuppressant, rapamycin, in variants of a T cell lymphoma.

Author information

Department of Immunology Research, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 07065, USA.


Rapamycin (RAP) disrupts signaling events implicated in cytokine-dependent proliferation of lymphocytes and other cells. This action is known to involve the formation of molecular complexes between the drug and intracellular binding proteins, termed FKBPs. However, the biochemical target(s) for the effector RAP-FKBP complexes remain uncharacterized. As an approach to explore the mechanism of action of RAP, we have isolated three independent sets of somatic mutants of the YAC-1 murine T cell line with markedly reduced sensitivity to the drug's inhibitory effects on proliferation and on IL-1-induced IFN-gamma production. These mutants were still fully sensitive to FK-506, an immunosuppressant structurally related to RAP whose mode of action also involves an interaction with FKBPs. Furthermore, the 12-kDa FKBP, FKBP12, was detectable in immunoblots from cytosolic extracts and eluates from RAP-affinity matrix in the mutants as in wild-type cells, suggesting that the resistance to RAP in the mutants is not due to a lack of FKBP12 expression. Cell fusion experiments were conducted to further define the nature of the alterations imparting RAP resistance in these mutants. Clones deficient in either thymidine kinase or hypoxanthine-guanine phosphoribosyltransferase, suitable as fusion partners for aminopterin-based selection of hybrids were generated from the wild-type or mutant lines. In most instances, the hybrids derived from the fusion between RAP-sensitive clones and RAP-resistant clones exhibited a RAP-resistant phenotype. Similar results were obtained with hybrids between RAP-resistant YAC-1 clones and the RAP-sensitive EL-4 cell line. Therefore, the mutations that confer resistance to RAP in the present system are dominant. Altogether, our observations are consistent with a model where pharmacologically relevant targets for the RAP-FKBP complex, rather than FKBP, might be altered in the mutants such that the inactivation of these targets by the effector complex is prevented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center