Peptide modification or blocking of CD8, resulting in weak TCR signaling, can activate CTL for Fas- but not perforin-dependent cytotoxicity or cytokine production.
Kessler B., Hudrisier D., Schroeter M., Tschopp J., Cerottini JC., Luescher IF.
This study describes a form of partial agonism for a CD8+ CTL clone, S15, in which perforin-dependent killing and IFN-gamma production were lost but Fas (APO1 or CD95)-dependent cytotoxicity preserved. Cloned S15 CTL are H-2Kd restricted and specific for a photoreactive derivative of the Plasmodium berghei circumsporozoite peptide PbCS 252-260 (SYIPSAEKI). The presence of a photoactivatable group in the epitope permitted assessment of TCR-ligand binding by TCR photoaffinity labeling. Selective activation of Fas-dependent killing was observed for a peptide-derivative variant containing a modified photoreactive group. A similar functional response was obtained after binding of the wild-type peptide derivative upon blocking of CD8 participation in TCR-ligand binding. The epitope modification or blocking of CD8 resulted in an > or = 8-fold decrease in TCR-ligand binding. In both cases, phosphorylation of zeta-chain and ZAP-70, as well as calcium mobilization were reduced close to background levels, indicating that activation of Fas-dependent cytotoxicity required weaker TCR signaling than activation of perforin-dependent killing or IFN-gamma production. Consistent with this, we observed that depletion of the protein tyrosine kinase p56(lck) by preincubation of S15 CTL with herbimycin A severely impaired perforin- but not Fas-dependent cytotoxicity. Together with the observation that S15 CTL constitutively express Fas ligand, these results indicate that TCR signaling too weak to elicit perforin-dependent cytotoxicity or cytokine production can induce Fas-dependent cytotoxicity, possibly by translocation of preformed Fas ligand to the cell surface.