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Curr Opin Cell Biol. 2007 Oct;19(5):529-33. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Cell adhesion molecules and actin cytoskeleton at immune synapses and kinapses.

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Program in Molecular Pathogenesis, Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Center for Biology and Medicine of the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY 10016, United States.


The immunological synapse is a stable adhesive junction between a polarized immune effector cell and an antigen-bearing cell. Immunological synapses are often observed to have a striking radial symmetry in the plane of contact with a prominent central cluster of antigen receptors surrounded by concentric rings of adhesion molecules and actin-rich projections. There is a striking similarity between the radial zones of the immunological synapse and the dynamic actinomyosin modules employed by migrating cells. Breaking the symmetry of an immunological synapse generates a moving adhesive junction that can be defined as a kinapse, which facilitates signal integration by immune cells while moving over the surface of antigen-presenting cells.

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