Maintenance of Human T Cell Anergy: Blocking of IL-2 Gene Transcription by Activated Rap1

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Science  03 Oct 1997:
Vol. 278, Issue 5335, pp. 124-128
DOI: 10.1126/science.278.5335.124

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In the absence of costimulation, T cells activated through their antigen receptor become unresponsive (anergic) and do not transcribe the gene encoding interleukin-2 (IL-2) when restimulated with antigen. Anergic alloantigen-specific human T cells contained phosphorylated Cbl that coimmunoprecipitated with Fyn. The adapter protein CrkL was associated with both phosphorylated Cbl and the guanidine nucleotide–releasing factor C3G, which catalyzes guanosine triphosphate (GTP) exchange on Rap1. Active Rap1 (GTP-bound form) was present in anergic cells. Forced expression of low amounts of Rap1-GTP in Jurkat T cells recapitulated the anergic defect and blocked T cell antigen receptor (TCR)– and CD28-mediated IL-2 gene transcription. Therefore, Rap1 functions as a negative regulator of TCR-mediated IL-2 gene transcription and may be responsible for the specific defect in IL-2 production in T cell anergy.

  • * To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: vassiliki_boussiotis{at}

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