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Sci. STKE, 4 January 2005
Vol. 2005, Issue 265, p. re1
[DOI: 10.1126/stke.2652005re1]


The Yins of T Cell Activation

Jun O. Liu*

Abstract: Transcription factors activated in response to T cell receptor (TCR) signaling include nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) family, which is highly phosphorylated and thereby maintained in the cytoplasm of resting T cells, the nuclear factor NF-{kappa}B, which is kept in the cytoplasm of resting cells through its association with the inhibitor protein I{kappa}B, and activating protein–1 (AP-1), which is only transcribed after TCR stimulation. Negative regulators of TCR signaling can be divided into two groups: Class 1 regulators help maintain the quiescent state of unstimulated T cells, whereas class 2 regulators are themselves transcriptionally induced in response to TCR signaling and serve to limit and terminate the activating signal. Class 1 regulators include the autoinhibitory domain of the phosphatase calcineurin; I{kappa}B and its transcriptional activators Foxj1 and Foxo3a; and various transcriptional coregulators that inhibit interleukin-2 (IL-2) production. Class 2 regulators include the calcipressins, which, like NFATp and NFAT4 are feedback inhibitors of calcineurin-NFAT signaling, I{kappa}B, and the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphatases, which inhibit MAPK signaling and thus the nuclear localization of AP-1 components.

*Department of Pharmacology and Department of Neuroscience, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, 725 North Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA. E-mail: joliu{at}

Citation: J. O. Liu, The Yins of T Cell Activation. Sci. STKE 2005, re1 (2005).

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