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EMBO J. 1993 Nov;12(11):4367-73.

Raf-1 is required for T cell IL2 production.

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Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235-8884.


Engagement of the T cell receptor/CD3 complex activates the serine/threonine kinase, Raf-1, but the physiologic consequences of its activation have not been determined. The effects of Raf-1 on interleukin 2 (IL2) production in T cells were examined using activated and inhibitory forms of Raf-1. A truncated active form of Raf-1 was expressed constitutively from the metallothionein promoter in a malignant T cell line, Jurkat. Treatment of the cells with zinc and cadmium greatly increased active Raf-1 expression. This increase in Raf-1 expression allowed antibodies to CD3 and to CD28 to stimulate IL2 production in the absence of phorbol myristate acetate (PMA) and enhanced IL2 production stimulated by these antibodies in the presence of PMA. The action of active Raf-1 was to increase IL2 gene transcription as it enhanced transcription of a reporter gene linked to IL2 promoter. Finally, the dominant negative form of Raf-1 inhibited transcription directed by the IL2 promoter that was induced by the mitogen phytohemagglutinin (PHA) and PMA. We conclude that Raf-1 activity is necessary for IL2 gene transcription and secretion. These data indicate a role for Raf-1 in the immune response.

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