Dexamethasone induces rapid tyrosine-phosphorylation of ZAP-70 in Jurkat cells

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Steroid hormones are known to mediate rapid non-genomic effects occurring within minutes, besides the classical genomic actions mediated by the nuclear translocation of the cytoplasmic glucocorticoid receptor (GR). The glucocorticoid hormone (GC) has significant role in the regulation of T-cell activation; however, the cross-talk between the GC and T-cell receptor (TcR) signal transducing pathways are still to be elucidated. We examined the rapid effects of GC exposure on in vitro cultured human T-cells. Our results showed that Dexamethasone (DX), a GC analogue, when applied at high dose (10 μM), induced rapid (within 5 min) tyrosine-phosphorylation events in Jurkat cells. Short DX pre-treatment strongly inhibited the tyrosine-phosphorylation stimulated by CD3 cross-linking. Furthermore, we also investigated the phosphorylation status of ZAP-70, an important member of tyrosine kinase mediated signalling pathway of TcR-elicited T-cell activation. Here, we demonstrate that high dose DX induced a rapid ZAP-70 tyrosine-phosphorylation in Jurkat T-cells. DX-induced ZAP-70 phosphorylation could be inhibited by RU486 (GR antagonist), suggesting that this process was GR mediated. DX-induced ZAP-70 phosphorylation did not occur in the absence of active p56-lck as examined in the p56-lck kinase-deficient Jurkat cell line JCaM1.6. Our results show that DX, at a high dose, can rapidly influence the initial tyrosine-phosphorylation events of the CD3 signalling pathway in Jurkat cells, thereby modifying TcR-derived signals. Lck and ZAP-70 represent an important molecular link between the TcR and GC signalling pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-154
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2006



  • Glucocorticoid hormone
  • Glucocorticoid hormone receptor
  • Jurkat cells
  • Non-genomic effects
  • Tyrosine-phosphorylation
  • ZAP-70

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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