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  • Defective production of functional 98-kDa form of Elf-1 is responsible for the decreased expression of TCR zeta-chain in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Defective production of functional 98-kDa form of Elf-1 is responsible for the decreased expression of TCR zeta-chain in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950) (2002-11-08)
Yuang-Taung Juang, Klaus Tenbrock, Madhusoodana P Nambiar, Mark F Gourley, G C Tsokos
ABSTRACT

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the prototypic autoimmune disease, is characterized by defective expression of TCR zeta-chain. Elf-1 (E-74-like factor) is a member of the Ets (E-26-specific) family and is crucial for the basal transcription of TCR zeta-chain in Jurkat cells. We previously demonstrated that Elf-1 exists in the cytoplasm mainly as 80-kDa form and after phosphorylation and O-glycosylation it moves to the nucleus as a 98-kDa which binds DNA. We now demonstrate that Elf-1 is crucial for the transactivation of TCR zeta-chain promoter in normal and SLE T cells. Defective expression of TCR zeta-chain in SLE T cells is associated with two distinct molecular defects in the generation of the 98-kDa DNA binding Elf-1 form. In the first, the levels of the 98-kDa form were either decreased or absent. In the second, the apparent levels of the nuclear Elf-1 form were normal but included only two of the three bands into which the nuclear Elf-1 form separated in isoelectric focusing gels. Because both the transcription and the translation processes of Elf-1 gene are normal in SLE T cells, our data demonstrate that abnormal posttranslational mechanisms of the Elf-1 protein result in defective expression of functional Elf-1, and consequently, the transcriptional defect of TCR zeta-chain in patients of SLE.