Constitutive Clathrin-mediated Endocytosis of CTLA-4 Persists during T Cell Activation

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Abstract

CTLA-4 is one of the most important negative regulators of the T cell immune response. However, the subcellular distribution of CTLA-4 is unusual for a receptor that interacts with cell surface transmembrane ligands in that CTLA-4 is rapidly internalized from the plasma membrane. It has been proposed that T cell activation can lead to stabilization of CTLA-4 expression at the cell surface. Here we have analyzed in detail the internalization, recycling, and degradation of CTLA-4. We demonstrate that CTLA-4 is rapidly internalized from the plasma membrane in a clathrin-and dynamin-dependent manner driven by the well characterized YVKM trafficking motif. Furthermore, we show that once internalized, CTLA-4 co-localizes with markers of recycling endosomes and is recycled to the plasma membrane. Although we observed limited co-localization of CTLA-4 with lysosomal markers, CTLA-4 was nonetheless degraded in a manner inhibited by lysosomal blockade. T cell activation stimulated mobilization of CTLA-4, as judged by an increase in cell surface expression; however, this pool of CTLA-4 continued to endocytose and was not stably retained at the cell surface. These data support a model of trafficking whereby CTLA-4 is constitutively internalized in a ligand-independent manner undergoing both recycling and degradation. Stimulation of T cells increases CTLA-4 turnover at the plasma membrane; however, CTLA-4 endocytosis continues and is not stabilized during activation of human T cells. These findings emphasize the importance of clathrin-mediated endocytosis in regulating CTLA-4 trafficking throughout T cell activation.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9429-9440
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume287
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012