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

CD40-mediated signaling in monocytic cells: up-regulation of tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor mRNAs and activation of mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathways.

The biochemical pathways involved in CD40 signaling have been extensively studied in B cells and B cell lines, and appear to be primarily initiated by recruitment of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated factor (TRAF) signaling proteins to the CD40 cytoplasmic domain. Signaling pathways activated through CD40 in monocytes/macrophages have not been characterized as well as in B cells. Using human monocytes and the human monocytic cell line THP1, we examined signal transduction events induced by CD40 engagement with its ligand, CD154. In human monocytes, all TRAF mRNAs were expressed constitutively and CD40 ligation resulted in a strong up-regulation of TRAF1 mRNA. In THP1 cells, CD40 ligation induced expression of TRAF1 and TRAF5 mRNAs. Engagement of CD40 in both monocytes and THP1 cells led to the rapid and transient activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases ( ERK) 1 and 2, and to low levels of JNK activation. No CD40-dependent activation of p38 mitogen- activated protein kinase ( MAPK) was found. In CD154- stimulated monocytes and THP1 cells the upstream ERK1/2 activator, MAPK kinase (MEK) 1/2, and downstream substrate, c-Myc, were activated. By blocking activation of ERK1/2 with a MEK-specific inhibitor, PD98059, CD40-dependent secretion of the pro-inflammatory cytokines, TNF-alpha, IL-6 and IL-8, was demonstrated to be linked to the ERK1/2 pathway. The ERK1/2 pathway did not appear to be involved in up-regulating TRAF1 and TRAF5 mRNAs in THP1 cells. Collectively, these results suggest distinct differences between B cells and monocytic cells in CD40-dependent activation of MAPK pathways.[1]


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