Differential T cell receptor-mediated signaling in naive and memory CD4 T cells.
Farber DL., Acuto O., Bottomly K.
Naive and memory CD4 T cells differ in cell surface phenotype, function, activation requirements, and modes of regulation. To investigate the molecular bases for the dichotomies between naive and memory CD4 T cells and to understand how the T cell receptor (TCR) directs diverse functional outcomes, we investigated proximal signaling events triggered through the TCR/CD3 complex in naive and memory CD4 T cell subsets isolated on the basis of CD45 isoform expression. Naive CD4 T cells signal through TCR/CD3 similar to unseparated CD4 T cells, producing multiple tyrosine-phosphorylated protein species overall and phosphorylating the T cell-specific ZAP-70 tyrosine kinase which is recruited to the CD3zeta subunit of the TCR. Memory CD4 T cells, however, exhibit a unique pattern of signaling through TCR/CD3. Following stimulation through TCR/CD3, memory CD4 T cells produce fewer species of tyrosine-phosphorylated substrates and fail to phosphorylate ZAP-70, yet unphosphorylated ZAP-70 can associate with the TCR/CD3 complex. Moreover, a 26/28-kDa phosphorylated doublet is associated with CD3zeta in resting and activated memory but not in naive CD4 T cells. Despite these differences in the phosphorylation of ZAP-70 and CD3-associated proteins, the ZAP-70-related kinase, p72syk, exhibits similar phosphorylation in naive and memory T cell subsets, suggesting that this kinase could function in place of ZAP-70 in memory CD4 T cells. These results indicate that proximal signals are differentially coupled to the TCR in naive versus memory CD4 T cells, potentially leading to distinct downstream signaling events and ultimately to the diverse functions elicited by these two CD4 T cell subsets.