Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 12165490
J. Immunol. 2002 Aug; 169(4): 1705-12
TCR down-modulation following binding to MHC/peptide complexes is considered to be instrumental for T cell activation because it allows serial triggering of receptors and the desensitization of stimulated cells. We studied CD3/TCR down-modulation and zeta degradation in T cells from two ZAP-70-immunodeficient patients. We show that, at high occupancy of the TCR, down-modulation of the CD3/TCR is comparable whether T cells express or do not express ZAP-70. However, if TCR occupancy was low, we found that CD3/TCR was down-regulated to a lesser extent in ZAP-70-negative than in ZAP-70-positive T cells. We studied CD3/TCR down-modulation in P116 (a ZAP-70-negative Jurkat cell-derived clone) and in P116 transfected with genes encoding the wild-type or a kinase-dead form of ZAP-70. Down-modulation of the TCR at high occupancy did not require ZAP-70, whereas at low TCR occupancy down-modulation was markedly reduced in the absence of ZAP-70 and in cells expressing a dead kinase mutant of ZAP-70. Thus, the presence of ZAP-70 alone is not sufficient for down-modulation; the kinase activity of this molecule is also required. The degradation of zeta induced by TCR triggering is also severely impaired in T cells from ZAP-70-deficient patients, P116 cells, and P116 cells expressing a kinase-dead form of ZAP-70. This defect in TCR-induced zeta degradation is observed at low and high levels of TCR occupancy. Our results identify ZAP-70, a tyrosine kinase known to be crucial for T cell activation, as a key player in TCR down-modulation and zeta degradation.