NK cell-activating receptors require PKC-θ for sustained signaling, transcriptional activation, and IFN-γ secretion

Ilaria Tassi, Marina Cella, Rachel Presti, Angela Colucci, Susan Gilfillan, Dan R. Littman, Marco Colonnal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural killer (NK) cell sense virally infected cells and tumor cells through multiple cell surface receptors. Many NK cell- activating receptors signal through immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motif (ITAM)-containing adapters, which trigger both cytotoxicy and secretion of interferon-gamma (IFN-γ). Within the ITAM pathway, distinct signaling intermediates are variably involved in cytotoxicity and/or IFN-γ secretion. In this study, we have evaluated the role of protein kinase C-γ (PKC-γ) in NK-cell secretion of lytic mediators and IFN-γ. We found that engagement of NK-cell receptors that signal through ITAMs results in prompt activation of PKC-γ. Analyses of NK cells from PKC-θ-deficient mice indicated that PKC-θ is absolutely required for ITAMmediated IFN-γ secretion, whereas it has no marked influence on the release of cytolytic mediators. Moreover, we found that PKC-θ deficiency preferentially impairs sustained extracellular-regulated kinase signaling as well as activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase and the transcription factors AP-1 and NFAT but does not affect activation of NF-κB. These results indicate that NK cell-activating receptors require PKC-θ to generate sustained intracellular signals that reach the nucleus and promote transcriptional activation, ultimately inducing IFN-γ production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4109-4116
Number of pages8
JournalBlood
Volume112
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2008

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