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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

TCR engagement regulates differential responsiveness of human memory T cells to Fas (CD95)-mediated apoptosis.

In this work, we have tried to establish whether human memory T cells may be protected from Fas (CD95)-induced apoptosis when correctly activated by Ag, and not protected when nonspecifically or incorrectly activated. In particular, we wanted to investigate the molecular mechanisms that regulate the fate of memory T cells following an antigenic challenge. To address this issue, we chose an experimental system that closely mimics physiological T cell activation such as human T cell lines and clones specific for viral peptides or alloantigens. We demonstrate that memory T cells acquire an activation-induced cell death (AICD)-resistant phenotype when TCRs are properly engaged by specific Ag bound to MHC molecules. Ag concentration and costimulation are critical parameters in regulating the protective effect. The analysis of the mechanisms involved in the block of CD95 signal transduction pathways revealed that the crucial events are the inhibition of CD95- associated IL-1beta-converting enzyme (ICE)-like protease (FLICE) activation and poly(ADP)-ribose polymerase cleavage, and the mRNA expression of FLICE-like inhibitory protein. Furthermore, we have observed that TCR-mediated neosynthesis of FLICE-like inhibitory protein mRNA is suppressed either by protein tyrosine kinase inhibitors or cyclosporin A. In conclusion, the present analysis of the effects of TCR triggering on the regulation of AICD suggests that AICD could be inhibited in human memory T cells activated in vivo by a foreign Ag, but may become operative when the Ag has been cleared.[1]


  1. TCR engagement regulates differential responsiveness of human memory T cells to Fas (CD95)-mediated apoptosis. Di Somma, M.M., Somma, F., Gilardini Montani, M.S., Mangiacasale, R., Cundari, E., Piccolella, E. J. Immunol. (1999) [Pubmed]
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