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Immunity. 2011 Jun 24;34(6):919-31. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2011.05.012.

Dynein-driven transport of T cell receptor microclusters regulates immune synapse formation and T cell activation.

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Laboratory for Cell Signaling, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan.


When T cells recognize a peptide-major histocompatibility complex on antigen-presenting cells (APCs), T cell receptor microclusters (TCR-MCs) are generated and move to the center of the T cell-APC interface to form the central supramolecular activation cluster (cSMAC). cSMAC formation depends on stimulation strength and regulates T cell activation. We demonstrate that the dynein motor complex colocalized and coimmunoprecipitated with the TCR complex and that TCR-MCs moved along microtubules (MTs) toward the center of the immune synapse in a dynein-dependent manner to form cSMAC. MTs are located in close proximity to the plasma membrane at the activation site. TCR-MC velocity and cSMAC formation were impaired by dynein or MT inhibitors or by ablation of dynein expression. T cells with impaired cSMAC formation exhibited enhanced cellular activation including protein phosphorylation and interleukin-2 production. These results indicate that cSMAC formation by TCR-MC movement depends on dynein and MTs, and the movement regulates T cell activation.

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