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.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.