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Immunol Rev. 2013 Nov;256(1):118-32. doi: 10.1111/imr.12110.

Orchestrating cytoskeleton and intracellular vesicle traffic to build functional immunological synapses.

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Institut Pasteur, Department of Immunology, Lymphocyte Cell Biology Unit, Paris, France; CNRS, URA-1961, Paris, France.


Immunological synapses are specialized cell-cell contacts formed between T lymphocytes and antigen-presenting cells. They are induced upon antigen recognition and are crucial for T-cell activation and effector functions. The generation and function of immunological synapses depend on an active T-cell polarization process, which results from a finely orchestrated crosstalk between the antigen receptor signal transduction machinery, the actin and microtubule cytoskeletons, and controlled vesicle traffic. Although we understand how some of these particular events are regulated, we still lack knowledge on how these multiple cellular elements are harmonized to ensure appropriate T-cell responses. We discuss here our view on how T-cell receptor signal transduction initially commands cytoskeletal and vesicle traffic polarization, which in turn sets the immunological synapse molecular design that regulates T-cell activation. We also discuss how the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1) hijacks some of these processes impairing immunological synapse generation and function.


HIV; T-cell antigen receptor; actin; immunological synapse; microtubules; vesicle traffic

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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