In previous studies (Morrison et al., 1990), we showed that ganglioside (GM1) modulation of CD4 was associated with activation of phospholipase C and increased production of inositol triphosphate, but not with activation of protein kinase C. These results demonstrated a unique signal transduction pathway related to GM1 modulation of CD4 on T cells and raised the question as to whether intracellular Ca2+ levels and related protein kinases would be affected by GM1-induced signalling. We now show that GM1 modulation of CD4 from human T cells corresponds to decreased cellular Ca2+ without significant changes in cellular photein phosphorylation. In the course of this study we discovered that T cells challenged with GM1 exhibited new proteins in their surrounding media. Fractionation of cellular and supernatant proteins show that cells treated with GM1 released proteins with an approximate molecular weight (Mr) of 49 000. This was exclusive of GM1 protein association and GM1-induced protein phosphorylation. Immunoblots demonstrated the presence of CD4 in GM1-treated cell supernatants. Western immunoblots using anti-CD4 antibodies detected a lower Mr form (49 000) of CD4 in the supernatants of GM1-treated cells. These studies further define the unique nature of GM1 signalling relating to modulation of CD4 and demonstrate that the fate of GM1 modulated CD4, in part, involves protein shedding.
- T-helper cell
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