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Int Immunol. 1993 Jan;5(1):63-70.

Expression of PILOT, a putative transcription factor, requires two signals and is cyclosporin A sensitive in T cells.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Society Research Unit for Immunology/Rheumatology, Erlangen University, Germany.


Few known genes (IL-2, members of the IL-8 family, interferon-gamma) are induced in T cells only through the combined effect of phorbol myristic acetate (PMA) and a Ca(2+)-ionophore, and expression of only these genes can be fully suppressed by Cyclosporin A (CyA). We have identified a putative transcription factor, designated PILOT, with an identical dual signal requirement for expression. Induction of the PILOT gene is detectable in human T cells 20 min following activation in the presence of cycloheximide and is fully suppressed by CyA. The PILOT protein has a calculated M(r) of 42.6 kDa and contains three zinc fingers of the C2H2-type at the carboxyl-terminus which are highly homologous to the zinc finger regions of the transcription factors EGR1, EGR2, and pAT 133. In contrast to T cells, in fibroblasts PILOT gene expression requires only one signal (PMA) and is not affected by CyA. This observation directly demonstrates the existence of a Ca2+ signal-dependent regulatory element obligatory for expression of some genes in T cells but not in fibroblasts. This differential expression model will be valuable in the dissection of the dual signal pathway in T cells and the effects of CyA upon it.

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