Background: Protein kinase C-θ (PKCθ) plays an important role in signal transduction down-stream of the T cell receptor and T cells deficient of PKCθ show impaired NF-κB as well as NFAT/AP-1 activation resulting in strongly decreased IL-2 expression and proliferation. However, it is not yet entirely clear, how the function of PKCθ - upon T cell activation - is regulated on a molecular level.
Findings: Employing a yeast two-hybrid screen and co-immunoprecipitation analyses, we here identify coronin 1A (Coro1A) as a novel PKCθ-interacting protein. We show that the NH2-terminal WD40 domains of Coro1A and the C2-like domain of PKCθ are sufficient for the interaction. Furthermore, we confirm a physical interaction by GST-Coro1A mediated pull-down of endogenous PKCθ protein. Functionally, wild-type but not Coro1A lacking its actin-binding domain negatively interferes with PKCθ-dependent NF-κB, Cyclin D1 and IL-2 transactivation when analysed with luciferase promoter activation assays in Jurkat T cells. This could be phenocopied by pharmacological inhibitors of actin polymerization and PKC, respectively. Mechanistically, Coro1A overexpression attenuates both lipid raft and plasma membrane recruitment of PKCθ in CD3/CD28-activated T cells. Using primary CD3(+) T cells, we observed that (opposite to PKCθ) Coro1A does not localize preferentially to the immunological synapse. In addition, we show that CD3(+) T cells isolated from Coro1A-deficient mice show impaired IKK/NF-κB transactivation.
Conclusions: Together, these findings both in Jurkat T cells as well as in primary T cells indicate a regulatory role of Coro1A on PKCθ recruitment and function downstream of the TCR leading to NF-κB transactivation.