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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Feb 22;102(8):2904-9. Epub 2005 Feb 9.

T cell receptor (TCR) clustering in the immunological synapse integrates TCR and costimulatory signaling in selected T cells.

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  • 1Center for Immunology, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, 5323 Harry Hines Boulevard, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.


During T cell activation, T cell receptors (TCR) cluster at the center of the T cell/antigen-presenting cell interface forming a key component of the immunological synapse. The function of this TCR clustering is still unresolved. A comprehensive search for such a function yielded a very limited and specific result. A micrometer-scale receptor clustering integrated the TCR and CD28 signals required for IL-2 secretion in primary 5C.C7 T cells, a low-affinity/avidity TCR system. 5C.C7 TCR signaling itself was not affected. In addition, central TCR accumulation was not required for any T cell effector function tested in three other TCR transgenic models. Central TCR accumulation thus had a specific role in signaling integration in low-affinity T cells.

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