c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase inhibits targeting of the protein phosphatase calcineurin to NFATc1

Chi Wing Chow, Chen Dong, Richard A. Flavell, Roger J. Davis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


The protein phosphatase calcineurin is a critical mediator of calcium signals during T-cell activation. One substrate of calcineurin is the transcription factor NFATc1, which is retained in the cytoplasm of quiescent cells. NFATc1 activation requires the translocation of the transcription factor into the nucleus, a process that is mediated by calcineurin. This interaction with calcineurin requires a targeting domain (PxIxIT motif) located in the NH2-terminal region of NFATc1. Here we demonstrate that the calcineurin targeting domain of NFATc1 is phosphorylated and inactivated by the c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase (JNK). This disruption of calcineurin targeting inhibits the nuclear accumulation and transcription activity of NFATc1 and accounts for the observation that Jnk1(-/-) T cells exhibit greatly increased NFATc1-dependent nuclear responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5227-5234
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number14
StatePublished - Jul 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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