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Impact of the immunological synapse on T cell signaling.

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Program in Molecular Pathogenesis, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, and Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, NY 10016, USA.


T cell activation requires interactions of T cell antigen receptors and peptides presented by major histocompatibility complex molecules in an adhesive junction between the T cell and antigen-presenting cell (APC). Stable junctions with bull's-eye supramolecular activation clusters have been defined as immunological synapses (IS). These structures maintain T cell-APC interaction and allow directed secretion. T cells can also be activated by asymmetric hemisynapses (HS) that allow migration during signal integration. IS and HS dominate in different stages of T cell priming. Optimal effector functions may also depend upon cyclical use of IS and HS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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