Author(s): Hansen AK, Regner M, Bonefeld CM, Boding L, Kongsbak M,
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Abstract Cytotoxic T (Tc) cells play a key role in the defense against virus infections. Tc cells recognize infected cells via the T-cell receptor (TCR) and subsequently kill the target cells by one or more cytotoxic mechanisms. Induction of the cytotoxic mechanisms is finely tuned by the activation signals from the TCR. To determine whether TCR down-regulation affects the cytotoxicity of Tc cells, we studied TCR down-regulation-deficient CD3γLLAA mice. We found that Tc cells from CD3γLLAA mice have reduced cytotoxicity due to a specific deficiency in exocytosis of lytic granules. To determine whether this defect was reflected in an increased susceptibility to virus infections, we studied the course of ectromelia virus (ECTV) infection. We found that the susceptibility to ECTV infection was significantly increased in CD3γLLAA mice with a mortality rate almost as high as in granzyme B knock-out mice. Finally, we found that TCR signaling in CD3γLLAA Tc cells caused highly increased tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of the c-Cbl ubiquitin ligase, and that the impaired exocytosis of lytic granules could be rescued by the knockdown of c-Cbl. Thus, our work demonstrates that TCR down-regulation critically increases Tc cell cytotoxicity and protection against poxvirus infection. Copyright © 2011 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.
This article was published in Eur J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology