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Eur J Biochem. 1996 Feb 1;235(3):828-35.

Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase blocks T cell antigen receptor/CD3-induced activation of the mitogen-activated kinase Erk2.

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Division of Cell Biology, La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, CA, USA.


The production of 3-phosphorylated inositol phospholipids is implicated in regulation of cell growth and transformation. To explore the role of these lipids in T cell antigen receptor (TCR)/CD3-induced signaling, we have examined the effects of a specific phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns3K) inhibitor, wortmannin, and overexpression of two PtdIns3K constructs on the activation of down-stream effectors in anti-CD3 treated T cells. We report that treatment of cells with wortmannin blocked anti-CD3-induced activation of the mitogen-activation kinase Erk2 while not affecting phorbol-ester-induced Erk2 activation. An inactive analog of wortmannin, WM12, did not affect TCR/CD3-induced Erk2 activation, and wortmannin had no effect on the activity of Erk2 when added directly to the in vitro assays. Expression of a disruptive PtdIns3K construct also reduced Erk2 activation, while a construct that stimulates PtdIns3K enhanced the activation of Erk2. Receptor-induced activation of other Ser/Thr kinases, such as c-Raf, B-Raf, Mek1, Mek2, Mekk, was not affected by wortmannin. Our results suggest that the production of 3-phosphorylated inositol phospholipids is involved in the activation of Erk2, but does not regulate the enzymes that are thought to be upstream of Erk2.

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