p21ras initiates Rac-1 but not phosphatidyl inositol 3 kinase/PKB, mediated signaling pathways in T lymphocytes

Elisabeth Genot (Lead / Corresponding author), Karin Reif, Sarah Beach, Ijsbrand Kramer, Doreen Cantrell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    37 Citations (Scopus)


    p21ras is activated by the T cell antigen receptor (TCR) and then co-ordinates important signaling pathways for T lymphocyte activation. Effector pathways for this guanine nucleotide binding protein in T cells are mediated by the serine/threonine kinase Raf-1 and the Ras-related GTPase Rac-1. In fibroblasts, an important effector for the Ras oncogene is Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PtdIns 3-kinase). Activation of this lipid kinase is able to induce critical Rac-1 signaling pathways and can couple p21ras to cell survival mechanisms via the serine/threonine kinase Akt/PKB. The role of PtdIns 3-kinase in Ras signaling in T cells has not been explored. In the present study, we examined the ability of PtdIns 3-kinase to initiate the Rac-1 signaling pathways important for T cell activation. We also examined the possibility that Akt/PKB is regulated by Ras signaling pathways in T lymphocytes. The results show that Ras can initiate a Rac-1 mediated pathway that regulates the transcriptional function of AP-1 complexes. PtdIns 3-kinase signals cannot mimic p21ras and induce the Rac mediated responses of AP-1 transcriptional activation. Moreover, neither TCR or Ras activation of AP-1 is dependent on PtdIns 3-kinase, PKB is activated in response to triggering of the T cell antigen receptor; PtdIns 3-kinase activity is both required and sufficient for this TCR response. In contrast, p21ras signals are unable to induce Akt/PKB activity in T cell nor is Ras function required for Akt/PKB activation in response to the TCR. The present data thus highlight that PtdIns 3-kinase and Akt/PKB are not universal Ras effector molecules. Ras can initiate Rac-1 regulated signaling pathways in the context of T cell antigen receptor function independently of PtdIns 3-kinase activity.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1731-1738
    Number of pages8
    Issue number13
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 1998


    • Akt/PKB
    • p21ras
    • Signalling pathways
    • T cells

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Molecular Biology
    • Genetics
    • Cancer Research


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