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J Exp Med. 1997 Sep 15;186(6):887-97.

Impaired plasma membrane targeting of Grb2-murine son of sevenless (mSOS) complex and differential activation of the Fyn-T cell receptor (TCR)-zeta-Cbl pathway mediate T cell hyporesponsiveness in autoimmune nonobese diabetic mice.

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Autoimmunity/Diabetes Group, The John P. Robarts Research Institute, London, Ontario, Canada N6G 2V4.


Nonobese diabetic (NOD) mouse thymocytes are hyporesponsive to T cell antigen receptor (TCR)-mediated stimulation of proliferation, and this T cell hyporesponsiveness may be causal to the onset of autoimmune diabetes in NOD mice. We previously showed that TCR-induced NOD T cell hyporesponsiveness is associated with a block in Ras activation and defective signaling along the PKC/Ras/MAPK pathway. Here, we report that several sequential changes in TCR-proximal signaling events may mediate this block in Ras activation. We demonstrate that NOD T cell hyporesponsiveness is associated with the (a) enhanced TCR-beta-associated Fyn kinase activity and the differential activation of the Fyn-TCR-zeta-Cbl pathway, which may account for the impaired recruitment of ZAP70 to membrane-bound TCR-zeta; (b) relative inability of the murine son of sevenless (mSOS) Ras GDP releasing factor activity to translocate from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane; and (c) exclusion of mSOS and PLC-gamma1 from the TCR-zeta-associated Grb2/pp36-38/ZAP70 signaling complex. Our data suggest that altered tyrosine phosphorylation and targeting of the Grb2/pp36-38/ZAP70 complex to the plasma membrane and cytoskeleton and the deficient association of mSOS with this Grb2-containing complex may block the downstream activation of Ras and Ras-mediated amplification of TCR/CD3-mediated signals in hyporesponsive NOD T cells. These findings implicate mSOS as an important mediator of downregulation of Ras signaling in hyporesponsive NOD T cells.

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