Reshaping the Synapse

Science's STKE  22 Nov 2005:
Vol. 2005, Issue 311, pp. tw414
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3112005tw414

The immune synapse forms at the interface between a T cell and an antigen-presenting cell (APC) and is composed of discrete domains of stimulatory molecules and receptors critical for T cell activation. Mossman et al. have imposed physical constraints on the synapse domains using a hybrid junction between a live cell and an anchored lipid bilayer (representing the APC surface). The authors directly tested the effects of membrane reorganization on the signals delivered by the synapse. Constraint of T cell receptor ligand pairs to the periphery--rather than the center of the synapse, where they normally coalesce--sustained rather than diminished synapse signaling, establishing a relation between the duration of T cell receptor signals and their position in the synapse.

K. D. Mossman, G. Campi, J. T. Groves, M. L. Dustin, Altered TCR signaling from geometrically repatterned immunological synapses. Science 310, 1191-1193 (2005). [Abstract] [Full Text]