Phorbol ester-mediated re-expression of endogenous LAT adapter in J.CaM2 cells: a model for dissecting drivers and blockers ofLATtranscription

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Linker for activation of T cells (LAT) is a raft-associated, transmembrane adapter protein critical for T-cell development and function. LAT expression is transiently upregulated upon T-cell receptor (TCR) engagement, but molecular mechanisms conveying TCR signaling to enhanced LAT transcription are not fully understood. Here we found that a Jurkat subline J.CaM2, initially characterized as LAT deficient, conditionally re-expressed LAT upon the treatment with a protein kinase C activator, phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA). We took advantage of the above observation for studying cis-elements and trans-acting factors contributing to the activation-induced expression of LAT. We identified a LAT gene region spanning nucleotide position - 14 to +357 relative to the ATG start codon as containing novel cis-regulatory elements that were able to promote PMA-induced reporter transcription in the absence of the core LAT promoter. Interestingly, a point mutation in LAT intron 1, identified in J.CaM2 cells, downmodulated LAT promoter activity by 50%. Mithramycin A, a selective Sp1 DNA-binding inhibitor, abolished LAT expression upon PMA treatment as did calcium ionophore ionomycin (Iono) and valproic acid (VPA), widely used as an anti-epileptic drug. Our data introduce J.CaM2 cells as a model for dissecting drivers and blockers of activation induced expression of LAT.

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