Protien kinase Cθ in T cell activation

Noah Isakov, Amnon Altman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

313 Scopus citations


The novel protein kinase C (PKC) isoform, PKCθ, is selectively expressed in T lymphocytes and is a sine qua non for T cell antigen receptor (TCR)-triggered activation of mature T cells. Productive engagement of T cells by antigen-presenting cells (APCs) results in recruitment of PKCθ to the T cell-APC contact area - the immunological synapse - where it interacts with several signaling molecules to induce activation signals essential for productive T cell activation and IL-2 production. The transcription factors NF-κB and AP-1 are the primary physiological targets of PKCθ, and efficient activation of these transcription factors by PKCθ requires integration of TCR and CD28 costimulatory signals. PKCθ cooperates with the protein Ser/Thr phosphatase, calcineurin, in transducing signals leading to activation of JNK, NFAT, and the IL-2 gene. PKCθ also promotes T cell cycle progression and regulates programmed T cell death. The exact mode of regulation and immediate downstream substrates of PKCθ are still largely unknown. Identification of these molecules and determination of their mode of operation with respect to the function of PKCθ will provide essential information on the mechanism of T cell activation. The selective expression of PKCθ in T cells and its essential role in mature T cell activation establish it as an attractive drug target for immunosuppression in transplantation and autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-794
Number of pages34
JournalAnnual Review of Immunology
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • IL-2
  • Immune synapse
  • NF-κB/AP-1
  • PKCθ
  • TCR/CD28

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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