Background: Engagement of the b2 integrin, lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1), results in stabilization of T cell mRNA transcripts containing AU-rich elements (AREs) by inducing rapid nuclear-to-cytosolic translocation of the RNAstabilizing protein, HuR. However, little is known regarding integrin-induced signaling cascades that affect mRNA catabolism. This study examines the role of the GTPases, Rac 1 and Rac 2, and their downstream effectors, in the LFA-1induced effects on mRNA. Methodology/Principal Findings: Engagement of LFA-1 to its ligand, ICAM-1, in human peripheral T cells resulted in rapid activation of Rac1 and Rac2. siRNA-mediated knockdown of either Rac1 or Rac2 prevented LFA-1-stimulated stabilization of the labile transcripts encoding IFN-c and TNF-a, and integrin mediated IFN-c mRNA stabilization was absent in T cells obtained from Rac2 gene-deleted mice. LFA-1 engagement-induced translocation of HuR and stabilization of TNF- a mRNA was lost in Jurkat cells deficient in the Rac guanine nucleotide exchange factor Vav-1 (J.Vav1). The transfection of J.Vav1 cells with constitutively active Rac1 or Rac2 stabilized a labile b-globin reporter mRNA, in a HuR-dependent manner. Furthermore, LFA-1-mediated mRNA stabilization and HuR translocation in mouse splenic T cells was dependent on the phosphorylation of the mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase, MKK3, and its target MAP kinase p38MAPK, and lost in T cells obtained from MKK3 gene-deleted mice
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