The Immunological Synapse: A Molecular Machine Controlling T Cell Activation
Grakoui A., Bromley SK., Sumen C., Davis MM., Shaw AS., Allen PM., Dustin ML.
The specialized junction between a T lymphocyte and an antigen-presenting cell, the immunological synapse, consists of a central cluster of T cell receptors surrounded by a ring of adhesion molecules. Immunological synapse formation is now shown to be an active and dynamic mechanism that allows T cells to distinguish potential antigenic ligands. Initially, T cell receptor ligands were engaged in an outermost ring of the nascent synapse. Transport of these complexes into the central cluster was dependent on T cell receptor–ligand interaction kinetics. Finally, formation of a stable central cluster at the heart of the synapse was a determinative event for T cell proliferation.