The mitogen-induced increase in T cell size involves PKC and NFAT activation of Rel/NF-kappaB-dependent c-myc expression

Immunity. 2004 Jul;21(1):19-30. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2004.06.004.


Cell growth during the G1 stage of the cell cycle is partly controlled by inducing c-myc expression, which in B cells is regulated by the NF-kappaB1 and c-Rel transcription factors. Here, we show that c-myc-dependent growth during T cell activation requires c-Rel and RelA and that blocking this growth by inhibiting protein kinase C theta (PKCtheta) coincides with a failure to upregulate c-myc due to impaired RelA nuclear import and inhibition of NFAT-dependent c-rel transcription. These results demonstrate that different Rel/NF-kappaB dimers regulate the mitogenic growth of mature T and B cells, with a signaling pathway incorporating PKCtheta and NFAT controlling c-Rel/RelA-induced c-myc expression in activated T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Size
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Mice
  • Mitogens / pharmacology
  • NF-kappa B / physiology*
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins*
  • Protein Kinase C / physiology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc / metabolism*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-rel / physiology
  • Signal Transduction
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Transcription Factors


  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Mitogens
  • Myc protein, mouse
  • NF-kappa B
  • NFATC Transcription Factors
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-rel
  • Transcription Factor RelA
  • Transcription Factors
  • Protein Kinase C