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J Immunol. 2006 Oct 1;177(7):4402-13.

A large T cell invagination with CD2 enrichment resets receptor engagement in the immunological synapse.

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


T cell activation is driven by the TCR and complemented by costimulation. We have studied the dynamics of ligand-engagement of the costimulatory receptor CD2 in T cell/APC couples. Thousands of ligand-engaged CD2 molecules were included in a large T cell invagination at the center of the cellular interface within 1 min of cell couple formation. The structure and regulation of this invagination shared numerous features with phagocytosis and macropinocytosis. Three observations further characterize the invagination and the inclusion of CD2: 1) numerous ligand-engaged receptors were enriched in and internalized through the T cell invagination, none as prominently as CD2; 2) dissolution of the T cell invagination and CD2 engagement were required for effective proximal T cell signaling; and 3) the T cell invagination was uniquely sensitive to the affinity of the TCR for peptide-MHC. Based on this characterization, we speculate that the T cell invagination, aided by CD2 enrichment, internalizes parts of the TCR signaling machinery to reset T cell signaling upon agonist-mediated, stable APC contact.

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