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Immunol Res. 2003;27(1):71-84.

Diverse roles of integrins in human T lymphocyte biology.

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Department of Immunology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


T lymphocytes are the primary cells responsible for maintaining the immune system. There are many intricate mechanisms involved in the regulation of T cells and the integrin family of adhesive surface proteins plays a pivotal role in the control of T lymphocyte activation and functions. Integrins are heterodimeric transmembrane proteins that are not merely adhesion molecules but also function in T cell coactivation by providing a scaffold for signaling and cytoskeletal proteins that are adept at transmitting signals from the inside of the cell to the outside ("inside-out signaling") or from the outside of the cell to the inside ("outside-in signaling"). The signaling property of integrins allows for rapid responses to changes in the microenviroment of the lymphocyte. Therefore, whether the T cell needs to adhere or detach, integrins can quickly accommodate either state of the cell. Once cells are guided to sites of infection, inflammation, or antigen presentation, integrins can also participate in the initiation, maintenance, or termination of the response. This review will focus on the aspects of integrin-mediated T cell coactivation, affinity and avidity control of integrins, signaling molecules involved with integrins, association of integrins in lipid microdomains, and negative regulation of integrins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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