MAPK, Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase, and Mammalian Target of Rapamycin Pathways Converge at the Level of Ribosomal Protein S6 Phosphorylation to Control Metabolic Signaling in CD8 T Cells

Robert J. Salmond, Juliet Emery, Klaus Okkenhaug, Rose Zamoyska

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ribosomal protein S6 (rpS6) is a key component of the translational machinery in eukaryotic cells and is essential for ribosome biogenesis. rpS6 is phosphorylated on evolutionarily conserved serine residues, and data indicate that rpS6 phosphorylation might regulate cell growth and protein synthesis. Studies in cell lines have shown an important role for the serine kinase mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) in rpS6 phosphorylation, further linking rpS6 to control of cellular metabolism. rpS6 is essential in T cells because its deletion in mouse double-positive thymocyte cells results in a complete block in T cell development; however, the signaling pathway leading to rpS6 phosphorylation downstream of TCR stimulation has yet to be fully characterized. We show that maximal TCR-induced rpS6 phosphorylation in CD8 T cells requires both Lck and Fyn activity and downstream activation of PI3K, mTOR, and MEK/ERK MAPK pathways. We demonstrate that there is cross-talk between the PI3K and MAPK pathways as well as PI3K-independent mTOR activity, which result in differential phosphorylation of specific rpS6 serine residues. These results place rpS6 phosphorylation as a point of convergence for multiple crucial signaling pathways downstream of TCR triggering. The Journal of Immunology, 2009, 183: 7388-7397.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7388-7397
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009

Cite this