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J Immunol. 2001 Jun 15;166(12):7009-13.

Cutting edge: lipid raft integrity affects the efficiency of MHC class I tetramer binding and cell surface TCR arrangement on CD8+ T cells.

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  • 1Beirne B. Carter Center for Immunology Research, and Department of Pathology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22908, USA.


Physically distinct cholesterol/sphingolipid-rich plasma membrane microdomains, so-called lipid rafts, have been recognized to play an important regulatory role in various cellular processes, from membrane trafficking to signal transduction, in a number of cell types. We report here that the ability of TCR on activated, functional CD8+ T lymphocytes to efficiently bind MHC class I tetramer complexes is dependent on the integrity of lipid rafts on the T lymphocyte membrane. We further provide evidence that TCR interact (associate) with lipid raft elements on the T cell surface before receptor engagement and that the topological arrangement of TCR on the cell surface is likewise influenced by lipid raft integrity.

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