A novel role of the scaffolding protein JLP in tuning CD40-induced activation of dendritic cells

Huiming Wang, Chongbo Zhao, Manli Zhang, Clement M. Lee, E. Premkumar Reddy, Sam K.P. Kung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Receptor internalization is a common mechanism underlying surface receptor down-regulation (and thus receptor signaling) upon its engagement with the cognate ligand. Tight regulation of surface CD40 expression is critical in regulating different functional properties of dendritic cell (DC). Engagement of CD40 on mature DC and the cognate CD40 ligand on T cell activates c-Jun N-terminal MAPK, p38 and ERK1/2 MAPK pathways in mature DC. JNK-associated leucine zipper protein (JLP) is a scaffolding protein that interacted with p38 and JNK. The molecular mechanism underlying CD40 internalization and its physiological impact on DC functions remained unclear. Here we reported that the engagement of CD40 on the LPS-activated DC down-regulated the surface expression of CD40. We examined the role of the JLP protein in DC differentiation, and in the regulation of DC function(s) in vitro. In contrast to the abundant JLP expression observed in immortal cell lines, primary immature DC expressed low levels of the JLP proteins. The induction of the JLP protein expression was observed in the LPS-mature DC that were activated by CD40 ligation, and also in the poly I:C stimulated DC. JLP-silenced DC was impaired in regulating CD40 surface expression upon LPS stimulation and CD40 induced receptor internalization. Such aberrant change in the regulation of surface CD40 expression was associated with an augmented capacity of the JLP-silenced DC in IL-12 production. Collectively, our data identified a novel role of a scaffolding protein JLP in the regulation of surface CD40 expression and fine-tuning of DC function.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)835-843
Number of pages9
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • CD40
  • DC maturation
  • Scaffolding protein


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