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The Journal of biological chemistry

Functional uncoupling of T-cell receptor engagement and Lck activation in anergic human thymic CD4+ T cells.


PMID 11279170

Abstract

Human thymic CD1a-CD4+ T cells in the final stage of thymic maturation are susceptible to anergy induced by a superantigen, toxic shock syndrome toxin-1 (TSST-1). Thymic CD4+ T-cell blasts, established by stimulating human thymic CD1a-CD4+ T cells with TSST-1 in vitro, produce a low level of interleukin-2 after restimulation with TSST-1, whereas TSST-1-induced adult peripheral blood (APB) CD4+ T-cell blasts produce high levels of interleukin-2. The extent of tyrosine phosphorylation of the T-cell receptor zeta chain induced after restimulation with TSST-1 was 2-4-fold higher in APB CD4+ T-cell blasts than in thymic CD4+ T-cell blasts. The tyrosine kinase activity of Lck was low in both thymic and APB CD4+ T-cell blasts before restimulation with TSST-1. After restimulation, the Lck kinase activity increased in APB CD4+ T-cell blasts but not in thymic CD4+ T-cell blasts. Surprisingly, Lck was highly tyrosine-phosphorylated in both thymic and APB CD4+ T-cell blasts before restimulation with TSST-1. After restimulation, it was markedly dephosphorylated in APB CD4+ T-cell blasts but not in thymic CD4+ T-cell blasts. Lck from APB CD4+ T-cell blasts bound the peptide containing the phosphotyrosine at the negative regulatory site of Lck-505 indicating that the site of dephosphorylation in TSST-1-activated T-cell blasts is Tyr-505. Confocal microscopy demonstrated that colocalization of Lck and CD45 was induced after restimulation with TSST-1 in APB CD4+ T-cell blasts but not in thymic CD4+ T-cell blasts. Further, remarkable accumulation of Lck in the membrane raft was observed in restimulated APB CD4+ T-cell blasts but not in thymic CD4+ T-cell blasts. These data indicate that interaction between Lck and CD45 is suppressed physically in thymic CD4+ T-cell blasts and plays a critical role in sustaining an anergic state.