Differential regulation and impact of fucosyltransferase VII and core 2 β1,6-N-acetyl-glycosaminyltransferase for generation of E-selectin and P-selectin ligands in murine CD4+ T cells


Correspondence: U. Syrbe, Experimentelle Rheumatologie, DRFZ, Charitéplatz 1, 10117 Berlin, Germany. E-mail: syrbe@drfz.de

Senior author: Uta Syrbe


Ligands for E-selectin and P-selectin (E-lig and P-lig) are induced on CD4+ T cells upon differentiation into effector T cells. Glycosyltransferases, especially α 1,3-fucosyltransferase VII (FucT-VII) and core 2 β1,6-N-acetyl-glycosaminyltransferase I (C2GlcNAcT-I), are critical for their synthesis. We here analysed the signals that control the expression of E-lig, P-lig and mRNA coding for FucT-VII and C2GlcNAcT-I. In line with previous reports, we found that P-lig expression correlates with the regulation of C2GlcNAcT-I, whereas E-lig expression can occur at low levels of C2GlcNAcT-I mRNA but requires high FucT-VII mRNA expression. Interestingly, the two enzymes are regulated by different signals. Activation-induced C2GlcNAcT-I up-regulation under permissive (T helper type 1) conditions was strongly reduced by cyclosporin A (CsA), suggesting the involvement of T-cell receptor-dependent, calcineurin/NFAT-dependent signals in combination with interleukin-12 (IL-12) -mediated signals in the regulation of C2GlcNAcT-I. In contrast, expression of FucT-VII mRNA was not significantly inhibited by CsA. Interleukin-4 inhibited the expression of FucT-VII but IL-2 and IL-7 were found to support induction of FucT-VII and E-lig. E-selectin, P-selectin and their ligands initially appeared to have rather overlapping functions. These findings however, unravel striking differences in the regulation of E-lig and P-lig expression, dictated by the dominance of FucT-VII and C2GlcNAcT-I, respectively, and their dependency on signals from either promiscuous or homeostatic cytokines (FucT-VII) or a strong T-cell receptor signal in combination with inflammatory cytokines in case of C2GlcNAcT-I.