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Phosphorylation and down-regulation of CD4 and CD8 in human CTLs and mouse L cells.

DiSanto J.P., Klein J.S., Flomenberg N.

The CD4 and CD8 molecules are rapidly phosphorylated following exposure of CD4+ or CD8+ human cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) clones to B-lymphoblastoid cell lines bearing the relevant target alloantigens. Treatment of CD4+ or CD8+ CTL clones with phorbol myristate acetate (PMA), phytohemagglutinin, or mitogenic combinations of CD2-specific antibodies also resulted in CD4 or CD8 phosphorylation. Down-regulation of the surface expression of these molecules could be demonstrated in both CD4+ and CD8+ clones following exposure to the relevant alloantigen or PMA. Parallel experiments were conducted using mouse L cells in which the human CD4 or CD8 antigens were stably expressed. Exposure of these transfectants to PMA induced rapid phosphorylation of the CD4 and CD8 molecules. As in CD4+ CTL clones, rapid modulation of the CD4 antigen could be demonstrated in L cells following PMA treatment. In contrast, there was no demonstrable down-regulation of the CD8 antigen in PMA-treated CD8+ L cell transfectants. These studies demonstrate a significant differential property of the CD4 and CD8 antigens and suggest that down-regulation of the CD8 antigen may require its expression in a T-cell environment and/or the association of CD8 with the T-cell receptor or other T cell-specific molecules.

Immunogenetics 30:494-501(1989) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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