Author(s): Siegel JN, Egerton M, Phillips AF, Samelson LE
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Abstract The T cell receptor for antigen (TCR) is a multichain complex on the surface of T lymphocytes which binds peptide antigen and transduces a transmembrane signal leading to IL-2 secretion. Engagement of the TCR leads to activation of a tyrosine phosphorylation pathway and a phospholipase C (PLC) pathway leading to activation of protein kinase C (PCK). Currently available data suggest that the primary event in signal transduction is tyrosine kinase activation, since when this pathway is inhibited, PLC activation is blocked and there is no production of IL-2. The nature of the tyrosine kinase which initiates the signaling cascade is currently unknown. The CD4/CD8 associated kinase p56lck clearly plays a role in tyrosine phosphorylation, but it is clearly not the only tyrosine kinase involved. Studies demonstrating physical association of p59lyn with the TCR implicate fyn as an important candidate for the TCR tyrosine kinase. The protein tyrosine phosphatase CD45 also plays a critical early role in signal transduction since in cells where it is deficient, neither tyrosine kinase activation nor later signaling events are seen. The importance of the PLC/PKC pathway is illustrated by the fact that activation of this pathway alone may lead to IL-2 production. However, there may also be other mechanisms which can generate an IL-2 response. Two proteins known to be involved in growth regulation--p21ras and c-raf--have now been shown to be downstream targets of the PLC/PKC pathway.
This article was published in Semin Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology