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J Immunol. 1987 Dec 15;139(12):3949-54.

Phosphorylation of CD4 and CD8 molecules following T cell triggering.

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Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA.


CD4 and CD8 molecules have been implicated in the regulation of T cell activation. In the present study, CD4 and CD8 were modified by increased phosphorylation when T cell clones or T cells were either exposed to phorbol-12-myristate- 13-acetate or were triggered via the CD3-T cell receptor complex. Activation of T cells through the CD2 sheep erythrocyte binding protein, using anti-T11(2) and -T11(3) antibodies, also resulted in CD4 and CD8 phosphorylation. These findings suggest that signals derived from two different receptor pathways can converge and result in similar molecular modifications of CD4 and CD8. Furthermore, phorbol myristate acetate treatment or activation via the CD2 pathway induced phosphorylation of the CD4 and CD8 molecules of thymocytes, suggesting that these molecules may be functional in thymus. Together, our findings indicate that CD4 and CD8 phosphorylation is a consequence of T cell triggering, and suggest that CD4 and CD8 phosphorylation may represent a molecular signaling mechanism among the CD3-T cell receptor complex, CD2, CD4, and CD8.

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