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Wiley Interdiscip Rev Syst Biol Med. 2013 Jan-Feb;5(1):101-10. doi: 10.1002/wsbm.1194. Epub 2012 Nov 13.

The adaptor protein LAT serves as an integration node for signaling pathways that drive T cell activation.

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Department of Microbiology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA, USA.


T cells are essential for the adaptive immune response to pathogens. However, dysfunctional T cell activity has been implicated in numerous diseases, including the failure of organ transplants, allergic reactions, asthma, autoimmune disorders, and coronary artery disease. T cell responses to pathogens require the induction of the primary activating receptor, the T cell receptor (TCR), along with other costimulatory and adhesion receptors. Signal transduction pathways activated downstream of these receptors drive T cell responses required for the immune response and disease progression. A key question in our understanding of the mechanism of T cell activation is how signaling pathways emanating from multiple receptors integrate together to alter T cell effector functions. One integration node for intracellular signaling is the membrane-associated adaptor protein linker for the activation of T cells or LAT. Upon stimulation of the TCR and other receptors, LAT is phosphorylated at several tyrosines residues on its cytoplasmic tail. This leads to the binding of SH2 domain-containing proteins and their associated molecules and the formation of large multiprotein complexes. These dynamic and highly regulated signaling complexes facilitate the production of second messengers, activate downstream pathways, induce actin cytoskeleton polymerization, and stimulate the activity of multiple transcription factors. Thus, signaling pathways from several receptors feed into LAT, which then integrates this information and selectively induces pathways critical for T cell activation and the adaptive immune response.

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