Author(s): Patsoukis N, Brown J, Petkova V, Liu F, Li L,
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Abstract The receptor programmed death 1 (PD-1) inhibits T cell proliferation and plays a critical role in suppressing self-reactive T cells, and it also compromises antiviral and antitumor responses. To determine how PD-1 signaling inhibits T cell proliferation, we used human CD4(+) T cells to examine the effects of PD-1 signaling on the molecular control of the cell cycle. The ubiquitin ligase SCF(Skp2) degrades p27(kip1), an inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (Cdks), and PD-1 blocked cell cycle progression through the G(1) phase by suppressing transcription of SKP2, which encodes a component of this ubiquitin ligase. Thus, in T cells stimulated through PD-1, Cdks were not activated, and two critical Cdk substrates were not phosphorylated. Activation of PD-1 inhibited phosphorylation of the retinoblastoma gene product, which suppressed expression of E2F target genes. PD-1 also inhibited phosphorylation of the transcription factor Smad3, which increased its activity. These events induced additional inhibitory checkpoints in the cell cycle by increasing the abundance of the G(1) phase inhibitor p15(INK4) and repressing the Cdk-activating phosphatase Cdc25A. PD-1 suppressed SKP2 transcription by inhibiting phosphoinositide 3-kinase-Akt and Ras-mitogen-activated and extracellular signal-regulated kinase kinase (MEK)-extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) signaling. Exposure of cells to the proliferation-promoting cytokine interleukin-2 restored activation of MEK-ERK signaling, but not Akt signaling, and only partially restored SKP2 expression. Thus, PD-1 blocks cell cycle progression and proliferation of T lymphocytes by affecting multiple regulators of the cell cycle.
This article was published in Sci Signal
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology