Homotypic cell aggregation plays important roles in physiological and pathological processes, including embryogenesis, immune responses, angiogenesis, tumor cell invasion and metastasis. CD147 has been implicated in most of these phenomena, and it was identified as a T cell activation-associated antigen due to its obvious up-regulation in activated T cells. However, the explicit function and mechanism of CD147 in T cells have not been fully elucidated. In this study, large and compact aggregates were observed in Jurkat T cells after treatment with the specific CD147 monoclonal antibody HAb18 or after the expression of CD147 was silenced by RNA interference, which indicated an inhibitory effect of CD147 in T cell homotypic aggregation. Knocking down CD147 expression resulted in a significant decrease in CD98, along with prominent cell aggregation, similar to that treated by CD98 and CD147 monoclonal antibodies. Furthermore, decreased cell chemotactic activity was observed following CD147- and CD98-mediated cell aggregation, and increased aggregation was correlated with a decrease in the chemotactic ability of the Jurkat T cells, suggesting that CD147- and CD98-mediated homotypic cell aggregation plays a negative role in T cell chemotaxis. Our data also showed that p-ERK, p-ZAP70, p-CD3ζ and p-LCK were significantly decreased in the CD147- and CD98-knocked down Jurkat T cells, which suggested that decreased CD147- and/or CD98-induced homotypic T cell aggregation and aggregation-inhibited chemotaxis might be associated with these signaling pathways. A role for CD147 in cell aggregation and chemotaxis was further indicated in primary CD4(+) T cells. Similarly, low expression of CD147 in primary T cells induced prominent cell aggregation and this aggregation attenuated primary T cell chemotactic ability in response to CypA. Our results have demonstrated the correlation between homotypic cell aggregation and the chemotactic response of T cells to CypA, and these data indicate that CD147 and CD98 might play important roles in cyclophilin-induced cell migration.
Keywords: CD147; CD98; Chemotaxis; Homotypic cell aggregation; Jurkat T cells.
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