Deindl S, Kadlecek TA, Cao X, Kuriyan J, Weiss A
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 106 (49) 20699-20704 [2009-12-08; online 2009-11-17]
The delivery of signals from the activated T cell antigen receptor (TCR) inside the cell relies on the protein tyrosine kinase ZAP-70 (zeta-associated protein of 70 kDa). A recent crystal structure of inactive full-length ZAP-70 suggests that a central interface formed by the docking of the two SH2 domains of ZAP-70 onto the kinase domain is crucial for suppressing catalytic activity. Here we validate the significance of this autoinhibitory interface for the regulation of ZAP-70 catalytic activity and the T cell response. For this purpose, we perform in vitro catalytic activity assays and binding experiments using ZAP-70 proteins purified from insect cells to examine activation of ZAP-70. Furthermore, we use cell lines stably expressing wild-type or mutant ZAP-70 to monitor proximal events in T cell signaling, including TCR-induced phosphorylation of ZAP-70 substrates, activation of the MAP kinase pathway, and intracellular Ca(2+) levels. Taken together, our results directly correlate the stability of the autoinhibitory interface with the activation of these key events in the T cell response.