International immunology

The CD45 tyrosine phosphatase regulates Campath-1H (CD52)-induced TCR-dependent signal transduction in human T cells.

PMID 10744652


Campath-1H, a humanized mAb undergoing clinical trials for treatment of leukemia, transplantation and autoimmune diseases, produces substantial lymphocyte depletion in vivo. The antibody binds to CD52, a highly glycosylated molecule attached to the membrane by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol anchor. Cross-linked Campath-1H is known to activate T cells in vitro. We have investigated the molecular basis for these effects by comparing the protein tyrosine phosphorylation signals induced by Campath-1H and the CD3 mAb OKT3 in primary T cells, and in CD45(+)TCR(+), CD45(-)TCR(+) and CD45(+)TCR(-) Jurkat subclones transfected with CD52. Our results show that Campath-1H triggers similar tyrosine phosphorylation events as OKT3 in both primary T cells and in the CD45(+)TCR(+) Jurkat sub-clone, albeit at quantitatively lower levels. However, no phospholipase C gamma 1 activation nor calcium signals were detected in response to CD52 ligation. The CD52-mediated induction of protein tyrosine phosphorylation was absolutely dependent upon the expression of both the TCR and the CD45 phosphotyrosine phosphatase at the cell surface. Cross-linking of Campath-1H was essential for signal transduction in all cells investigated. Fluorescence resonance energy transfer was used to demonstrate CD52 homo-association at the cell surface in Jurkat T cells in a TCR- and CD45-independent manner, and CD52-TCR association in CD45(+)TCR(+) cells. We propose a model to explain the activating effects of Campath-1H in which CD52 mAb cross-linking causes the trapping of TCR polypeptides within molecular complexes at the cell surface, thereby inducing signals via the TCR by a process which depends on the CD45-mediated regulation of the p56(lck) and p59(fyn) tyrosine kinases.