cAMP regulates IL-2 receptor signaling in human T cells

Georgialina Rodriguez, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


Proper immune system function is dependent on positive and negative regulation of T cell signaling pathways. Full T cell activation requires sequential signaling through the T cell receptor (TCR), costimulatory molecules and the IL-2 receptor (IL-2R). The IL-2R associated Janus tyrosine kinase 3 (Jak3), as well as Signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (Stat5), are required for normal T cell function and survival. Constitutive activation of Jak3 and Stat5 have been linked to cancers of hematopoietic origin, including certain lymphomas and leukemias. The production of cAMP by adenylate cyclase has been shown to negatively regulate human TCR mediated cell proliferation. Since cAMP has been shown to negatively regulate T cell activation, we sought to investigate whether crosstalk exists between cAMP and IL-2R signaling. The first objective of this study was to determine the effect of cAMP on the activation of IL-2R signaling molecules Jak3 and Stat5. We found that the potent adenylate cyclase activator, forskolin, inhibited IL-2 activation of Jak3 and Stat5. Indeed, in vitro kinase assays and electrophoretic mobility shift assays verified a loss of Jak3 enzymatic activity and Stat5 DNA binding ability, respectively. Further analysis of IL-2R signaling showed that forskolin treatment reduced IL-2 induced association of the IL-2Rβ and γc chain. Because cAMP activates protein kinase A (PKA), the second objective was to determine the role for PKA in the cAMP directed regulation of IL-2R signaling intermediates. Interestingly, forskolin induced serine phosphorylation of Jak3, suggesting that cAMP can directly regulate Jak3 via activation of a serine/threonine kinase. Indeed, phosphoamino acid analysis revealed that PKA was able to induce Jak3 serine phosphorylation in the human leukemia cell line MT-2. In addition, in vitro kinase assays established that PKA can directly inhibit Jak3 enzymatic activity. Collectively, these data indicate that cAMP negatively regulates IL-2R signaling via various effector molecules by a previously unrecognized mechanism. This new data suggests that the Jak3/Stat5 pathway may be regulated by various pharmacological agents that stimulate cAMP production and thus can be used to uncouple some types of T cell mediated diseases.

Subject Area

Cellular biology

Recommended Citation

Rodriguez, Georgialina, "cAMP regulates IL-2 receptor signaling in human T cells" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3343816.