Impaired Activation and Localization of LAT in Anergic T Cells as a Consequence of a Selective Palmitoylation Defect

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The molecular basis of T cell anergy is not completely understood. We show that in antigen-primed anergic murine CD4+ T cells the linker for activation of T cells (LAT) is hypophosphorylated upon CD3/CD28 restimulation. Signaling events downstream of LAT (PLCγ1 phosphorylation and p85 [PI3-K] association) were impaired, whereas upstream events (CD3ζ and ZAP-70 phosphorylation) remained intact. LAT recruitment to the immunological synapse and its localization in detergent-resistant membrane (DRM) fractions were defective in anergic T cells. These defects resulted from impaired palmitoylation of LAT and were selective since the DRM localization and palmitoylation of Fyn were intact. This LAT defect was independent of Cbl-b and did not reflect enhanced LAT degradation. These results identify LAT as the most upstream target of anergy induction; moreover, they suggest that regulation of the amount of LAT in the immunological synapse and DRM by posttranslational palmitoylation contributes to the induction of T cell anergy.

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