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Annu Rev Immunol. 2019 Apr 26;37:201-224. doi: 10.1146/annurev-immunol-042718-041341. Epub 2018 Dec 21.

Origin, Organization, Dynamics, and Function of Actin and Actomyosin Networks at the T Cell Immunological Synapse.

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Cell Biology and Physiology Center, National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892, USA; email:


The engagement of a T cell with an antigen-presenting cell (APC) or activating surface results in the formation within the T cell of several distinct actin and actomyosin networks. These networks reside largely within a narrow zone immediately under the T cell's plasma membrane at its site of contact with the APC or activating surface, i.e., at the immunological synapse. Here we review the origin, organization, dynamics, and function of these synapse-associated actin and actomyosin networks. Importantly, recent insights into the nature of these actin-based cytoskeletal structures were made possible in several cases by advances in light microscopy.


T cell; actin; formin; immunological synapse; lytic granule; myosin

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