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

Transcription of T cell antigen receptor genes is induced by protein kinase C activation.

The regulation of expression of the TCR-alpha and -beta genes was studied in the human T cell tumor line Jurkat. Treatment of the cells with PMA was shown to decrease the surface expression of the TCR-alpha/beta/CD3 complex. Subsequent to PMA-induced modulation of the TCR/CD3 complex, increases in the mRNA levels of both the TCR-alpha and -beta genes were observed reaching a maximum 12 h after stimulation. Other T cell activators were also examined for their ability to increase TCR-alpha and -beta mRNA expression. Only agents that activate protein kinase C were shown to induce expression of the TCR-alpha and -beta genes. The observed increases in TCR-alpha and -beta gene mRNA levels were not the result of a uniquely derived Jurkat subline. Similar inductions of TCR-alpha and -beta mRNA levels were observed in an independently maintained Jurkat cell line. In both cell lines, elevations of TCR gene expression was accompanied by a decline in the expression of the c-myc proto-oncogene. PMA induction of TCR-alpha and -beta mRNA was shown to occur in the presence of the protein synthesis inhibitor cycloheximide. The 1.6-kb TCR-alpha and the 1.0-kb D beta J beta C beta TCR-beta gene transcripts were fully induced in the presence of cycloheximide, whereas the 1.3-kb V beta D beta J beta C beta transcript was only partly induced in the presence of cycloheximide. Run-on transcription assays demonstrated that the increase in TCR-alpha and -beta mRNA levels could be entirely accounted for by increases in the transcription rate of both genes after PMA induction. Thus, in summary, protein kinase C stimulation leads to TCR-alpha/beta modulation in Jurkat cells and an increase in steady state TCR-alpha and -beta mRNA levels as a result of transcriptional activation of both genes.[1]


  1. Transcription of T cell antigen receptor genes is induced by protein kinase C activation. Lindsten, T., June, C.H., Thompson, C.B. J. Immunol. (1988) [Pubmed]
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