Journal Article
. 2002 Apr; 168(9):4420-9.
doi: 10.4049/jimmunol.168.9.4420.

CTLA-4 suppresses proximal TCR signaling in resting human CD4(+) T cells by inhibiting ZAP-70 Tyr(319) phosphorylation: a potential role for tyrosine phosphatases

Christine Guntermann 1 Denis R Alexander  
  • PMID: 11970985
  •     42 citations


The balance between positive and negative signals plays a key role in determining T cell function. CTL-associated Ag-4 is a surface receptor that can inhibit T cell responses induced upon stimulation of the TCR and its CD28 coreceptor. Little is known regarding the signaling mechanisms elicited by CTLA-4. In this study we analyzed CTLA-4-mediated inhibition of TCR signaling in primary resting human CD4(+) T cells displaying low, but detectable, CTLA-4 cell surface expression. CTLA-4 coligation with the TCR resulted in reduced downstream protein tyrosine phosphorylation of signaling effectors and a striking inhibition of extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 activation. Analysis of proximal TCR signaling revealed that TCR zeta-chain phosphorylation and subsequent zeta-associated protein of 70 kDa (ZAP-70) tyrosine kinase recruitment were not significantly affected by CTLA-4 engagement. However, the association of p56(lck) with ZAP-70 was inhibited following CTLA-4 ligation, correlating with reduced actions of p56(lck) in the ZAP-70 immunocomplex. Moreover, CTLA-4 ligation caused the selective inhibition of CD3-mediated phosphorylation of the positive regulatory ZAP-70 Y319 site. In addition, we demonstrate protein tyrosine phosphatase activity associated with the phosphorylated CTLA-4 cytoplasmic tail. The major phosphatase activity was attributed to Src homology protein 2 domain-containing tyrosine phosphatase 1, a protein tyrosine phosphatase that has been shown to be a negative regulator of multiple signaling pathways in hemopoietic cells. Collectively, our findings suggest that CTLA-4 can act early during the immune response to regulate the threshold of T cell activation.

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