Shared Recipe for a Synapse

Science's STKE  05 Jun 2001:
Vol. 2001, Issue 85, pp. tw3
DOI: 10.1126/stke.2001.85.tw3

Clustering of membrane proteins is essential for signaling by T lymphocytes and neurons and in both cases depends on the transit of membrane microdomains across the plane of the cell surface. Khan et al. show that agrin, a protein required for organization of the neuromuscular synapse, is also expressed in T cells and influences the formation of the immune synapse. Addition of purified agrin to T cell cultures or enhancement of clustering with an antibody to agrin significantly lowered the threshold of antigen responsiveness by T cells. Thus, the modes for information delivery between lymphocytes and neurons may be more closely related than previously anticipated. See the Perspective by Trautmann and Vivier for more details.

A. A. Khan, C. Bose, L. S. Yam, M. J. Soloski, F. Rupp, Physiological regulation of the immunological synapse by agrin. Science 292, 1681-1686 (2001). [Abstract] [Full Text]

A. Trautmann, E. Vivier, Agrin--a bridge between the nervous and immune systems. Science 292, 1667-1668 (2001). [Full Text]