Selective activation of the c-Jun NH2-terminal protein Kinase signaling pathway by stimulatory KIR in the absence of KARAP/DAP12 in CD4+ T cells

Melissa R. Snyder, Mathias Lucas, Eric Vivier, Cornelia M. Weyand, Jörg J. Goronzy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations

Abstract

Activation of CD4+ T cells is governed by interplay between stimulatory and inhibitory receptors; predominance of stimulatory signals favors autoimmune reactions. In patients with rheumatoid arthritis, expression of the critical costimulatory molecule, CD28, is frequently lost. Instead, CD4+CD28null T cells express killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) with a preferential expression of the stimulatory receptor, CD158j. The frequency of CD4+CD28null T cells in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) correlates with the risk for more severe disease. Moreover, the KIR2DS2 gene, which encodes for CD158j, is a genetic risk factor for rheumatoid vasculitis. CD158j signals through the adaptor molecule, KARAP/DAP12, to positively regulate cytotoxic activity in NK cells. However, the majority of CD4+CD28null T cell clones lacked the expression of KARAP/DAP12. Despite the absence of KARAP/DAP12, CD158j was functional and augmented interferon-γ production after T cell receptor stimulation. Cross-linking of CD158j resulted in selective phosphorylation of c-Jun NH2-terminal protein kinase (JNK) and its upstream kinase, MKK4 that led to the expression of ATF-2 and c-Jun, all in the absence of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 phosphorylation. Mutation of the lysine residue within the transmembrane domain of CD158j abolished JNK activation, suggesting that an alternate adaptor molecule was being used. CD4+CD28null T cells expressed DAP10 and inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase, which acts downstream of DAP10, inhibited JNK activation; however, no interaction of DAP10 with CD158j could be detected. Our data suggest that CD158j in T cells functions as a costimulatory molecule through the JNK pathway independent of KARAP/DAP12 and DAP10. Costimulation by CD158j may contribute to the autoreactivity of CD4+CD28null T cells in RA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-449
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Experimental Medicine
Volume197
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 17 2003

Keywords

  • Autoimmunity
  • Costimulation
  • Killer immunoglobulin-like
  • Pathogenesis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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