Mechanisms of NKT cell anergy induction involve Cbl-b-promoted monoubiquitination of CARMA1

Satoshi Kojo, Chris Elly, Yohsuke Harada, Wallace Y. Langdon, Mitchell Kronenberg, Yun Cai Liu

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57 Citations (Scopus)


Repeated injection of α-galactosylceramide, an agonistic ligand for natural killer T (NKT) cells, results in long-term unresponsiveness or anergy, which severely limits its clinical application. However, the molecular mechanisms leading to NKT anergy induction remain unclear. We show here that the decreased IFN-γ production and failed tumor rejection observed in anergized NKT cells are rescued by Cbl-b deficiency. Cbl-b E3 ligase activity is critical for the anergy induction, as revealed by the similarity between Cbl-b-/- and its RING finger mutant NKT cells. Cbl-b binds and promotes monoubiquitination to CARMA1, a critical signaling molecule in NFκB activation. Ubiquitin conjugation to CARMA1 disrupts its complex formation with Bcl10 without affecting its protein stability. In addition, CARMA1-/- NKT cells are defective in IFN-γ production. The study identifies an important signaling pathway linking Cbl-b-induced monoubiquitination to NFκB activation in NKT cell anergy induction, which may help design approaches for human cancer therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17847-17851
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number42
Publication statusPublished - Oct 20 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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