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Eur J Immunol. 2002 Mar;32(3):616-26.

Endo- and exocytic rate constants for spontaneous and protein kinase C-activated T cell receptor cycling.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.


To determine the rate constants of spontaneous and activated TCR cycling, we examined TCR endo- and exocytosis in the human T cell line Jurkat by three different methods. Using a simple kinetic model for TCR cycling and non-linear regression analyses, we found that the spontaneous endocytic rate constant of the TCR was low (approximately 0.012 min(-1)) whereas the spontaneous exocytic rate constant was similar to that of other cycling receptors (approximately 0.055 min(-1)). Following protein kinase C activation (PKC) the endocytic rate constant was increased tenfold (to approximately 0.128 min(-1)) whereas the exocytic rate constant was unaffected. Thus, the TCR becomes a rapidly cycling receptor with kinetics similar to classical cycling receptors subsequent to PKC activation. This results in a reduction of the half-life of cell surface expressed TCR from approximately 58 to 6 min and allows rapid redistribution of the TCR during T cell activation.

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