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

Rac1- mediated Bcl-2 induction is critical in antigen- induced CD4 single-positive differentiation of a CD4+CD8+ immature thymocyte line.

Rac1, one of the Rho family small guanosine triphosphatases, has been shown to work as a "molecular switch" in various signal transduction pathways. To assess the function of Rac1 in the differentiation process of CD4 single-positive (CD4-SP) T cells from CD4CD8 double-positive (DP) cells, we used a DP cell line DPK, which can differentiate into CD4-SP cells upon TCR stimulation in vitro. DPK expressing dominant-negative (dn)Rac1 underwent massive apoptosis upon TCR stimulation and resulted in defective differentiation of CD4-SP cells. Conversely, overexpression of dnRac2 did not affect differentiation. TCR-dependent actin polymerization was inhibited, whereas early ERK activation was unaltered in dnRac1- expressing DPK. We found that TCR-dependent induction of Bcl-2 was suppressed greatly in dnRac1-expressing DPK, and this suppression was independent of actin rearrangement. Furthermore, introduction of exogenous Bcl-2 inhibited TCR-dependent induction of apoptosis and restored CD4-SP generation in dnRac1-expressing DPK without restoring TCR-induced actin polymerization. Collectively, these data indicate that Rac1 is critical in differentiation of CD4-SP from the DP cell line by preventing TCR-induced apoptosis via Bcl-2 up-regulation.[1]


  1. Rac1-mediated Bcl-2 induction is critical in antigen-induced CD4 single-positive differentiation of a CD4+CD8+ immature thymocyte line. Oda, H., Suzuki, H., Sakai, K., Kitahara, S., Patrick, M.S., Azuma, Y., Sugi, K., Kitamura, T., Kaye, J., Shirai, M. J. Leukoc. Biol. (2007) [Pubmed]
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