c-Abl-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of the T-bet DNA-binding domain regulates CD4 + T-cell differentiation and allergic lung inflammation

An Chen, Sang Myeong Lee, Beixue Gao, Stephen Shannon, Zhou Zhu, Deyu Fang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The tyrosine kinase c-Abl is required for full activation of T cells, while its role in T-cell differentiation has not been characterized. We report that c-Abl deficiency skews CD4 + T cells to type 2 helper T cell (Th2) differentiation, and c-Abl -/- mice are more susceptible to allergic lung inflammation. c-Abl interacts with and phosphorylates T-bet, a Th1 lineage transcription factor. c-Abl-mediated phosphorylation enhances the transcriptional activation of T-bet. Interestingly, three tyrosine residues within the T-bet DNA-binding domain are the predominant sites of phosphorylation by c-Abl. Mutation of these tyrosine residues inhibits the promoter DNA-binding activity of T-bet. c-Abl regulates Th cell differentiation in a T-bet-dependent manner because genetic deletion of T-bet in CD4 + T cells abolishes c-Abl-deficiency-mediated enhancement of Th2 differentiation. Reintroduction of T-bet-null CD4 + T cells with wild-type T-bet, but not its tyrosine mutant, rescues gamma interferon (IFN-γ) production and inhibits Th2 cytokine production. Therefore, c-Abl catalyzes tyrosine phosphorylation of the DNA-binding domain of T-bet to regulate CD4 + T cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3445-3456
Number of pages12
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Volume31
Issue number16
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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