The Ras/MAPK pathway is required for generation of iNKT cells

PLoS One. 2011 May 10;6(5):e19890. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019890.

Abstract

iNKT cells derive from CD4(+)CD8(+) DP thymocytes, and are selected by thymocyte-thymocyte interactions through signals from their invariant Vα14-Jα18 TCR and from the costimulatory molecules SLAMF1 and SLAMF6. Genetic studies have demonstrated the contribution of different signaling pathways to this process. Surprisingly, current models imply that the Ras/MAPK pathway, one of the critical mediators of conventional αβ T cell positive selection, is not necessary for iNKT cell development. Using mice defective at different levels of this pathway our results refute this paradigm, and demonstrate that Ras, and its downstream effectors Egr-1 and Egr-2 are required for positive selection of iNKT cells. Interestingly our results also show that there are differences in the contributions of several of these molecules to the development of iNKT and conventional αβ T cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD1d / metabolism
  • Early Growth Response Protein 1 / metabolism
  • Early Growth Response Protein 2 / metabolism
  • Integrases / metabolism
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / cytology*
  • Natural Killer T-Cells / enzymology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2 / metabolism
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family Member 1
  • Thymus Gland / cytology
  • ras Proteins / metabolism*

Substances

  • Antigens, CD
  • Antigens, CD1d
  • Early Growth Response Protein 1
  • Early Growth Response Protein 2
  • Egr1 protein, mouse
  • Egr2 protein, mouse
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-bcl-2
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family
  • Slamf1 protein, mouse
  • Slamf6 protein, mouse
  • Signaling Lymphocytic Activation Molecule Family Member 1
  • Cre recombinase
  • Integrases
  • ras Proteins