Signaling through ephrin-A ligand leads to activation of Src-family kinases, Akt phosphorylation, and inhibition of antigen receptor-induced apoptosis

Holen HL, Shadidi M, Narvhus K, Kjܸsnes O, Tierens A, Aasheim HC
Source: J Leukoc Biol
Publication Date: (2008)
Issue: epub: online
Research Area:
Immunotherapy / Hematology
Cells used in publication:
T cell, human peripheral blood unstim.
Species: human
Tissue Origin: blood
Nucleofector® I/II/2b
Eph receptor tyrosine kinases and ephrins play important roles in diverse biological processes such as migration, adhesion, and angiogenesis. Forward and reverse signaling has been reported in receptor- and ligand-bearing cells. The ligands can be divided into the transmembrane ephrin-B family and the GPI-anchored ephrin-A family. Here, we show expression of ephrin-A ligands on CD4+ T cells cultured in medium with human serum and the T cell line Jurkat TAg and on cells isolated from patients with T cell lymphomas and T cell leukemias. Functional role and identification of proteins involved in ephrin-A signaling were investigated here in the T cell line Jurkat TAg. Signaling through ephrin-A induces phosphorylation of several proteins, including the Src kinases Lck and Fyn. In addition, PI-3K is activated, shown by induced phosphorylation of the Akt kinase. An ephrin-A signaling complex could be isolated, containing several phosphorylated proteins including Lck and Fyn. Interestingly, we show that signaling through ephrin-A in Jurkat TAg cells, initiated by interaction with the EphA2 receptor, leads to inhibition of activation-induced cell death. To conclude, ephrin-A signaling in Jurkat TAg cells leads to induced phosphorylation of several proteins including Lck, Fyn, and Akt. A consequence of ephrin-A signaling is inhibition of antigen receptor-induced apoptosis.