Constitutive Lck Activity Drives Sensitivity Differences between CD8+ Memory T Cell Subsets.

Author: Duane Moogk

Date: 6/6/2016

Journal:Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)


DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.1600178



CD8(+) T cells develop increased sensitivity following Ag experience, and differences in sensitivity exist between T cell memory subsets. How differential TCR signaling between memory subsets contributes to sensitivity differences is unclear. We show in mouse effector memory T cells (TEM) that >50% of lymphocyte-specific protein tyrosine kinase (Lck) exists in a constitutively active conformation, compared with <20% in central memory T cells (TCM). Immediately proximal to Lck signaling, we observed enhanced Zap-70 phosphorylation in TEM following TCR ligation compared with TCM Furthermore, we observed superior cytotoxic effector function in TEM compared with TCM, and we provide evidence that this results from a lower probability of TCM reaching threshold signaling owing to the decreased magnitude of TCR-proximal signaling. We provide evidence that the differences in Lck constitutive activity between CD8(+) TCM and TEM are due to differential regulation by SH2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 (Shp-1) and C-terminal Src kinase, and we use modeling of early TCR signaling to reveal the significance of these differences. We show that inhibition of Shp-1 results in increased constitutive Lck activity in TCM to levels similar to TEM, as well as increased cytotoxic effector function in TCM Collectively, this work demonstrates a role for constitutive Lck activity in controlling Ag sensitivity, and it suggests that differential activities of TCR-proximal signaling components may contribute to establishing the divergent effector properties of TCM and TEM. This work also identifies Shp-1 as a potential target to improve the cytotoxic effector functions of TCM for adoptive cell therapy applications.