Early signal transduction by the antigen receptor without commitment to T cell activation

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Science  20 May 1988:
Vol. 240, Issue 4855, pp. 1029-1031
DOI: 10.1126/science.3259335


The T lymphocyte antigen-receptor complex mediates antigen-specific cell activation, at least in part, through the production of inositolphospholipid-derived second messengers. Little is known about how second messenger events, typically measured within minutes of ligand binding, eventually lead to distal biologic responses such as expression of lymphokine genes. Several monoclonal antibodies directed against the receptor complex were tested for their ability to elicit transmembrane signaling in the parental Jurkat line and in a somatic mutant (J.CaM1) with a deficient receptor function. One antibody elicited substantial early Ca2+ mobilization responses in both cells but was unable to promote expression of the interleukin-2 gene in J.CaM1. In J.CaM1 there was a diminished production of phosphatidylinositol second messengers, and the elevation in intracellular free Ca2+ was transient. Thus, short-term Ca2+ mobilization does not always indicate complete signal transmission and lead to a full cellular response.