Zap-70-independent Ca(2+) Mobilization and Erk Activation in Jurkat T cells in Response to T-cell Antigen Receptor Ligation

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Molecular and Cellular Biology





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The tyrosine kinase ZAP-70 has been implicated as a critical intermediary between T-cell antigen receptor (TCR) stimulation and Erk activation on the basis of the ability of dominant negative ZAP-70 to inhibit TCR-stimulated Erk activation, and the reported inability of anti-CD3 antibodies to activate Erk in ZAP-70-negative Jurkat cells. However, Erk is activated in T cells receiving a partial agonist signal, despite failing to activate ZAP-70. This discrepancy led us to reanalyze the ZAP-70-negative Jurkat T-cell line P116 for its ability to support Erk activation in response to TCR/CD3 stimulation. Erk was activated by CD3 cross-linking in P116 cells. However, this response required a higher concentration of anti-CD3 antibody and was delayed and transient compared to that in Jurkat T cells. Activation of Raf-1 and MEK-1 was coincident with Erk activation. Remarkably, the time course of Ras activation was comparable in the two cell lines, despite proceeding in the absence of LAT tyrosine phosphorylation in the P116 cells. CD3 stimulation of P116 cells also induced tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C-gamma1 (PLCgamma1) and increased the intracellular Ca(2+) concentration. Protein kinase C (PKC) inhibitors blocked CD3-stimulated Erk activation in P116 cells, while parental Jurkat cells were refractory to PKC inhibition. The physiologic relevance of these signaling events is further supported by the finding of PLCgamma1 tyrosine phosphorylation, Erk activation, and CD69 upregulation in P116 cells on stimulation with superantigen and antigen-presenting cells. These results demonstrate the existence of two pathways leading to TCR-stimulated Erk activation in Jurkat T cells: a ZAP-70-independent pathway requiring PKC and a ZAP-70-dependent pathway that is PKC independent.