SF2 and SRp55 regulation of CD45 exon 4 skipping during T cell activation

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Mar;29(3):823-37. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199903)29:03<823::AID-IMMU823>3.0.CO;2-C.


CD45 is an alternatively spliced membrane phosphatase required for T cell activation. Exons 4, 5 and 6 can be included or skipped from spliced mRNA resulting in several protein isoforms that include or exclude epitopes referred to as RA, RB or RC, respectively. T cells reciprocally express CD45RA or CD45RO (lacking all three exons), corresponding to naive versus memory T cells. Overexpression of the alternative splicing regulators, SF2 or SWAP, induces skipping of CD45 exon 4 in transfected COS cells. We show here that the arginine/serine-rich domain of SWAP and the RNA recognition motifs of SF2 are required for skipping of CD45 exon 4. Unlike SWAP, SF2 specifically regulated alternative splicing of CD45 exon 4, having no effect on a non-regulated exon of CD45 (exon 9). Like SF2 and SWAP, the SR proteins SC35, SRp40 and SRp75, but not SRp55 also induced CD45 exon 4 skipping. In contrast, antisense inhibition of SRp55 induced exon 4 skipping. SF2 and SRp55 proteins were not detectable or expressed at a very low level in freshly isolated CD45RA+ and CD45RO+ T cells. Activation of CD45RA+ T cells shifted CD45 expression from CD45RA to CD45RO, and induced a large increase in expression of both SF2 and SRp55. Thus, SF2 at least in part determines splicing of CD45 exon 4 during T cell activation. SRp55, SR protein phosphorylation, or other splicing factors likely regulate CD45 splicing in CD45RO+ memory T cells. The different SR proteins expressed by memory and activated T cells emphasize the different phenotypes of these cell types that both express CD45RO.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Alternative Splicing*
  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Drosophila Proteins*
  • Exons*
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens / genetics*
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*
  • Phosphoproteins / metabolism*
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • RNA Splicing Factors
  • RNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Serine-Arginine Splicing Factors
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Drosophila Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteins
  • RNA Splicing Factors
  • RNA-Binding Proteins
  • SFSWAP protein, human
  • SRSF6 protein, human
  • su(wa) protein, Drosophila
  • Serine-Arginine Splicing Factors
  • Leukocyte Common Antigens