Author(s): Li Y, Harada T, Juang YT, Kyttaris VC, Wang Y,
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Abstract Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune/inflammatory disease characterized by autoantibody production and abnormal T cells that infiltrate tissues through not well-known mechanisms. We report that SLE T lymphocytes display increased levels of CD44, ezrin, radixin, and moesin (ERM) phosphorylation, stronger actin polymerization, higher polar cap formation, and enhanced adhesion and chemotactic migration compared with T cells from patients with rheumatoid arthritis and normal individuals. Silencing of CD44 by CD44 small interfering RNA in SLE T cells inhibited significantly their ability to adhere and migrate as did treatment with Rho kinase and actin polymerization inhibitors. Forced expression of T567D-ezrin, a phosphorylation-mimic form, enhanced remarkably the adhesion and migration rate of normal T cells. Anti-CD3/TCR autoantibodies present in SLE sera caused increased ERM phosphorylation, adhesion, and migration in normal T cells. pERM and CD44 are highly expressed in T cells infiltrating in the kidneys of patients with lupus nephritis. These data prove that increased ERM phosphorylation represents a key molecular abnormality that guides T cell adhesion and migration in SLE patients.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Rheumatology: Current Research