The role of calcineurin in lymphocyte activation

Semin Immunol. 2000 Aug;12(4):405-15. doi: 10.1006/smim.2000.0221.


Lymphokine gene transcription involves numerous signal transduction molecules and second messengers. The serine/threonine phosphatase calcineurin has been demonstrated to play a central role in the immediate, early activation of numerous lymphokines (such as interleukin [IL]-2) and in the regulation of cell surface receptors such as CD40L, CD95, and recently CD25 alpha (the alpha chain of the IL-2 receptor). In addition to lymphocyte activation, calcineurin functions include control of neuronal signaling, muscle contraction, muscle hypertrophy and cellular death. Therefore, calcineurin not only plays a vital role in the regulation of T lymphocyte function, but also functions in cellular environments outside the immune system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcineurin / immunology*
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology*
  • Lymphokines / immunology
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*


  • Lymphokines
  • Calcineurin