Regulation of RasGRP1 function in T cell development and activation by its unique tail domain.
The Ras-guanyl nucleotide exchange factor RasGRP1 plays a critical role in T cell receptor-mediated Erk activation. Previous studies have emphasized the importance of RasGRP1 in the positive selection of thymocytes, activation of T cells, and control of autoimmunity. RasGRP1 consists of a number of well-characterized domains, which it shares with its other family members; however, RasGRP1 also contains an ~200 residue-long tail domain, the function of which is unknown. To elucidate the physiological role of this domain, we generated knock-in mice expressing RasGRP1 without the tail domain. Further analysis of these knock-in mice showed that thymocytes lacking the tail domain of RasGRP1 underwent aberrant thymic selection and, following TCR stimulation, were unable to activate Erk. Furthermore, the deletion of the tail domain led to enhanced CD4(+) T cell expansion in aged mice, as well as the production of autoantibodies. Mechanistically, the tail-deleted form of RasGRP1 was not able to traffic to the cell membrane following stimulation, indicating a potential reason for its inability to activate Erk. While the DAG-binding C1 domain of RasGRP1 has long been recognized as an important factor mediating Erk activation, we have revealed the physiological relevance of the tail domain in RasGRP1 function and control of Erk signaling.
Fuller, DM; Zhu, M; Song, X; Ou-Yang, C-W; Sullivan, SA; Stone, JC; Zhang, W
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