Role of the stress kinase pathway in signaling via the T cell costimulatory receptor 4-1BB.J Immunol. 1999 Sep 15; 163(6):2990-8.JI
4-1BB is a member of the TNFR superfamily expressed on activated CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. 4-1BB can costimulate IL-2 production by resting primary T cells independently of CD28 ligation. In this study, we report signaling events following 4-1BB receptor aggregation using an Ak-restricted costimulation-dependent T cell hybridoma, C8.A3. Aggregation of 4-1BB on the surface of C8.A3 cells induces TNFR-associated factor 2 recruitment, which in turn recruits and activates apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1, leading to downstream activation of c-Jun N-terminal/stress-activated protein kinases (JNK/SAPK). 4-1BB ligation also enhances anti-CD3-induced JNK/SAPK activation in primary T cells. Overexpression of a catalytically inactive form of apoptosis signal-regulating kinase-1 in C8.A3 T cells interferes with activation of the SAPK cascade and with IL-2 secretion, consistent with a critical role for JNK/SAPK activation in 4-1BB-dependent IL-2 production. Given the ability of both CD28 and 4-1BB to induce JNK/SAPK activation, we asked whether hyperosmotic shock, another inducer of this cascade, could function to provide a costimulatory signal to T cells. Osmotic shock of resting primary T cells in conjunction with anti-CD3 treatment was found to costimulate IL-2 production by the T cells, consistent with a pivotal role for JNK/SAPK in T cell costimulation.