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Science. 1997 Oct 3;278(5335):124-8.

Maintenance of human T cell anergy: blocking of IL-2 gene transcription by activated Rap1.

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Department of Adult Oncology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


In the absence of costimulation, T cells activated through their antigen receptor become unresponsive (anergic) and do not transcribe the gene encoding interleukin-2 (IL-2) when restimulated with antigen. Anergic alloantigen-specific human T cells contained phosphorylated Cbl that coimmunoprecipitated with Fyn. The adapter protein CrkL was associated with both phosphorylated Cbl and the guanidine nucleotide-releasing factor C3G, which catalyzes guanosine triphosphate (GTP) exchange on Rap1. Active Rap1 (GTP-bound form) was present in anergic cells. Forced expression of low amounts of Rap1-GTP in Jurkat T cells recapitulated the anergic defect and blocked T cell antigen receptor (TCR)- and CD28-mediated IL-2 gene transcription. Therefore, Rap1 functions as a negative regulator of TCR-mediated IL-2 gene transcription and may be responsible for the specific defect in IL-2 production in T cell anergy.

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