Cytoskeletal polarization is crucial for many aspects of immune function, ranging from neutrophil migration to the sampling of gut flora by intestinal dendritic cells. It also plays a key role during lymphocyte cell–cell interactions, the most conspicuous of which is perhaps the immunological synapse (IS) formed between a T cell and an antigen-presenting cell (APC). IS formation is associated with the reorientation of the T cell’s microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) to a position just beneath the cell–cell interface. This cytoskeletal remodeling event aligns secretory organelles inside the T cell with the IS, enabling the directional release of cytokines and cytolytic factors toward the APC. MTOC polarization is therefore crucial for maintaining the specificity of a T cell’s secretory and cytotoxic responses. It has been known for some time that T cell receptor (TCR) stimulation activates the MTOC polarization response. It has been difficult, however, to identify the machinery that couples early TCR signaling to cytoskeletal remodeling. Over the past few years, considerable progress has been made in this area. This review will present an overview of recent advances, touching on both the mechanisms that drive MTOC polarization and the effector responses that require it. Particular attention will be paid to both novel and atypical members of the protein kinase C family, which are now known to play important roles in both the establishment and the maintenance of the polarized state.
cell polarity; cytoskeleton; lymphocyte; protein kinase C; signal transduction; T cell
NK cells participate in host defense through the directed secretion of lytic granule contents onto a target cell. This work demonstrates that lytic granules rapidly converge to the MTOC using dynein prior to and independently of their polarization for directed secretion. This defines a dynein-dependent paradigm for bolus secretion of lethal cargo.
Natural killer cells are lymphocytes specialized to participate in host defense through their innate ability to mediate cytotoxicity by secreting the contents of preformed secretory lysosomes (lytic granules) directly onto a target cell. This form of directed secretion requires the formation of an immunological synapse and occurs stepwise with actin reorganization preceding microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) polarization to the synapse. Because MTOC polarization to the synapse is required for polarization of lytic granules, we attempted to define their interrelationship. We found that compared with the time required for MTOC polarization, lytic granules converged to the MTOC rapidly. The MTOC-directed movement of lytic granules was independent of actin and microtubule reorganization, dependent on dynein motor function, occurred before MTOC polarization, and did not require a commitment to cytotoxicity. This defines a novel paradigm for rapid MTOC-directed transport as a prerequisite for directed secretion, one that may prepare, but not commit cells for precision secretory function.
Polarization of the T cell microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) toward the antigen-presenting cell is driven by the accumulation of diacylglycerol at the immunological synapse (IS). The mechanisms that couple diacylglycerol to the MTOC are not known. Using single-cell photoactivation of the T cell receptor, we demonstrated that three distinct protein kinase C (PKC) isoforms are recruited by diacylglycerol to the IS in two steps. PKC-ε and PKC-η accumulated first in a broad region of membrane, while PKC-θ arrived later in a smaller zone. Functional experiments indicated that PKC-θ was required for MTOC reorientation, and that PKC-ε and PKC-η operated redundantly to promote PKC-θ recruitment and subsequent polarization responses. These results establish a previously uncharacterized role for PKCs in T cell polarity.
Engagement of a T cell to an antigen-presenting cell (APC) induces the formation of an immunological synapse as well as reorientation of the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) toward the APC. How signals emanating from the T cell receptor (TCR) induce MTOC polarization is not known. One group of proteins known to play a critical role in asymmetric cell division and cell polarization is the partitioning defective (Par) family of proteins. In this study, we found that Par1b, a member of the Par family of proteins, was inducibly phosphorylated following TCR stimulation. This phosphorylation resulted in 14-3-3 protein binding and caused the relocalization of Par1b from the membrane into the cytoplasm. As a dominant negative form of Par1b blocked TCR-induced MTOC polarization, our data suggest that Par1b functions in the establishment of T cell polarity following engagement to an APC.
T Cells; T Cell Receptors; Protein Kinases; Signal Transduction
Polarization of T cells involves reorientation of the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC). Because activated ERK is localized at the immunological synapse, we investigated its role by showing that ERK activation is important for MTOC polarization. Suspecting that ERK phosphorylates a regulator of microtubules, we next focused on stathmin, a known ERK substrate. Our work indicates that during T cell activation, ERK is recruited to the synapse allowing it to phosphorylate stathmin molecules near the immunological synapse. Supporting an important role of stathmin phosphorylation in T cell activation, we showed that T cell activation results in increased microtubule growth rate dependent on the presence of stathmin. The significance of this finding was demonstrated by results showing that CTL from stathmin−/− mice displayed defective MTOC polarization and defective target cell cytolysis. These data implicate stathmin as a regulator of the microtubule network during T cell activation.
T cell receptor (TCR)-mediated cytoskeletal reorganization is considered to be Arp2/3-dependent. We therefore examined Arp2/3- and formin-dependent cytoskeletal processes during T cell activation. We demonstrate that without Arp2/3-mediated actin nucleation, stimulated T cells cannot form an F-actin-rich lamellipod, but instead produce polarized filopodia-like structures. Moreover, the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC), which rapidly reorients to the immunological synapse through an unknown mechanism, polarizes in the absence of Arp2/3. Conversely, the actin-nucleating formins, DIA1 and FMNL1, do not affect TCR-stimulated F-actin-rich structures, but instead display unique patterns of centrosome co-localization and control TCR-mediated MTOC polarization. Significantly, depletion of FMNL1 or DIA1 in cytotoxic lymphocytes abrogates cell-mediated killing. Altogether, our results identify Arp2/3-independent cytoskeletal reorganization events in T lymphocytes, and indicate that formins are essential cytoskeletal regulators of centrosome polarity in T cells.
An essential function of the immunological synapse (IS) is directed secretion. NK cells are especially adept at this activity, as they direct lytic granules to the synapse for secretion, which enables cytotoxicity and facilitates host defense. This initially requires rearrangement of the actin cytoskeleton and, subsequently, microtubule-dependent trafficking of the lytic granules. As these two steps are sequential, specific linkages between them are likely to serve as critical regulators of cytotoxicity. We studied Cdc42-interacting protein–4 (CIP4), which constitutively interacts with tubulin and microtubules but focuses to the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) after NK cell activation, when it is able to associate with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp) and the actin filament–rich IS. WASp deficiency, overexpression of CIP4, or parts of CIP4 interfere with this union and block normal CIP4 localization, MTOC polarization to the IS, and cytotoxicity. Reduction of endogenous CIP4 expression using small interfering RNA similarly inhibits MTOC polarization and cytotoxic activity but does not impair actin filament accumulation at the IS, or Cdc42 activation. Thus, CIP4 is an important cytoskeletal adaptor that functions after filamentous actin accumulation and Cdc42 activation to enable MTOC polarization and NK cell cytotoxicity.
Direct cell-cell spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus type-1 (HIV-1) at the virological synapse (VS) is an efficient mode of dissemination between CD4+ T cells but the mechanisms by which HIV-1 proteins are directed towards intercellular contacts is unclear. We have used confocal microscopy and electron tomography coupled with functional virology and cell biology of primary CD4+ T cells from normal individuals and patients with Chediak-Higashi Syndrome and report that the HIV-1 VS displays a regulated secretion phenotype that shares features with polarized secretion at the T cell immunological synapse (IS). Cell-cell contact at the VS re-orientates the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) and organelles within the HIV-1-infected T cell towards the engaged target T cell, concomitant with polarization of viral proteins. Directed secretion of proteins at the T cell IS requires specialized organelles termed secretory lysosomes (SL) and we show that the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env) localizes with CTLA-4 and FasL in SL-related compartments and at the VS. Finally, CD4+ T cells that are disabled for regulated secretion are less able to support productive cell-to-cell HIV-1 spread. We propose that HIV-1 hijacks the regulated secretory pathway of CD4+ T cells to enhance its dissemination.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus type-1 (HIV-1), the cause of the global AIDS pandemic, primarily infects CD4+ T lymphocytes and efficient replication necessitates transmission of infection to susceptible neighbouring cells. To ensure that the necessary components are transported to the correct location in the cell and at the right time, viral assembly is carefully controlled. To do this, HIV-1 preferentially assembles and buds at sites of cell-cell contact called virological synapses. T lymphocytes employ a specialized trafficking pathway known as the regulated secretory pathway that is activated following cell-cell contact. Here we show that HIV-1 proteins associate with cellular compartments that are involved in regulated secretion and that CD4+ T cells from patients with a genetic defect in this pathway are less able to support spreading infection. We conclude that HIV-1 hijacks elements of the T cell regulated secretory pathway to promote T cell-to-T cell transmission at virological synapses. This study provides the first evidence that lymphotropic viruses can hijack regulated secretion to enhance pathogenesis and may open up new opportunities for rational drug design to help combat HIV/AIDS.
The virologic synapse (VS), which is formed between a virus-infected and uninfected cell, plays a central role in the transmission of certain viruses, such as HIV and HTLV-1. During VS formation, HTLV-1-infected T-cells polarize cellular and viral proteins toward the uninfected T-cell. This polarization resembles anterior-posterior cell polarity induced by immunological synapse (IS) formation, which is more extensively characterized than VS formation and occurs when a T-cell interacts with an antigen-presenting cell. One measure of cell polarity induced by both IS or VS formation is the repositioning of the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) relative to the contact point with the interacting cell. Here we describe an automated, high throughput system to score repositioning of the MTOC and thereby cell polarity establishment. The method rapidly and accurately calculates the angle between the MTOC and the IS for thousands of cells. We also show that the system can be adapted to score anterior-posterior polarity establishment of epithelial cells. This general approach represents a significant advancement over manual cell polarity scoring, which is subject to experimenter bias and requires more time and effort to evaluate large numbers of cells.
polarity; high throughput imaging; immunological synapse; virological synapse; T-cell; epithelial cell; pipeline pilot
Cytolytic granule mediated killing of virus-infected cells is an essential function of cytotoxic T lymphocytes. Analysis of lytic granule delivery shows that the granules can take long or short paths to the secretory domain where they are released. Both paths utilize the same intracellular molecular events, which have different spatial and temporal arrangements in each path and are regulated by the kinetics of downstream Ca2+ mediated signaling. Rapid and robust signaling causes swift granule concentration near the MTOC and subsequent delivery by the polarized MTOC directly to the secretory domain - the shortest and fastest path. Indolent signaling leads to late recruitment of granules that move along microtubules to the periphery of the synapse and then move tangentially to fuse at the outer edge of the secretory domain - a longer path. The short pathway is associated with faster granule release and more efficient killing than the long pathway.
Cytotoxic T lymphocytes; TCR early signaling; kinetics of Ca2+ signaling; cytolytic granules; immunological synapse
Abstract. Binding of a T cell to an appropriate antigen-presenting cell (APC) induces the rapid reorientation of the T cell cytoskeleton and secretory apparatus towards the cell–cell contact site in a T cell antigen receptor (TCR) and peptide/major histocompatibility complex–dependent process. Such T cell polarization directs the delivery of cytokines and cytotoxic mediators towards the APC and contributes to the highly selective and specific action of effector T cells. To study the signaling pathways that regulate cytoskeletal rearrangements in T lymphocytes, we set up a conjugate formation assay using Jurkat T cells as effectors and cell-sized latex beads coated with various antibodies as artificial APCs. Here, we report that beads coated with antibodies specific for the TCR-CD3 complex were sufficient to induce T cell polarization towards the bead attachment site, as judged by reorientation of the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) and localized actin polymerization. Thus, these cytoskeletal changes did not depend on activation of additional coreceptors. Moreover, single subunits of the TCR complex, namely TCR-ζ and CD3ε, were equally effective in inducing cytoskeletal polarization. However, mutagenesis of the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based activation motifs (ITAMs), present three times in TCR-ζ and once in CD3ε, revealed that the induction of cytoskeletal rearrangements required the presence of at least one intact ITAM. In agreement with this result, lack of functional Lck, the protein tyrosine kinase responsible for ITAM phosphorylation, abolished both MTOC reorientation and polarized actin polymerization. Both inhibitor and transient overexpression studies demonstrated that MTOC reorientation could occur in the absence of Ras activation. Our results suggest that APC-induced T cell polarization is a TCR-mediated event that is coupled to the TCR by the same signaling motif as TCR-induced gene activation, but diverges in its distal signaling requirements.
IL-12 is enriched at the immunological synapse in TLR-activated dendritic cells interacting with antigen-specific CD8+ T cells; synaptic delivery of IL-12 induces IFN-γ production in the T cell.
The immune synapse (IS) forms as dendritic cells (DCs) and T cells interact in lymph nodes during initiation of adaptive immunity. Factors that contribute to the formation and maintenance of IS stability and function have been mostly studied in T cells, whereas little is known about events occurring during synapse formation in DCs. Here, we show that DCs activated by Toll-like receptor (TLR) agonists reorient the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) toward the interacting T cell during antigen-specific synapse formation through a mechanism that depends on the Rho GTPase Cdc42. IL-12, a pivotal cytokine produced by DCs, is found enriched around the MTOC at early time points after TLR ligation and is dragged to the DC–T cell interface in antigen-specific synapses. Synaptic delivery of IL-12 induces activation of pSTAT4 and IFN-γ neosynthesis in CD8+ naive T cells engaged in antigen-specific conjugates and promotes the survival of antigen-primed T cells. We propose that DC polarization increases the local concentration of proinflammatory mediators at the IS and that this represents a new mechanism by which T cell priming is controlled.
Specific binding (conjugation) of cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) to target cells (TC) is the first step in a multistage process ultimately resulting in dissolution of the TC and recycling of the CTL. We examined the position of the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) of immune CTL bound to specific TC. Immunofluorescence labeling of freshly prepared CTL-TC conjugates with tubulin antibodies indicated that the MTOC in essentially all conjugated CTL but not in the conjugated TC were oriented towards the intercellular contact site. This finding was corroborated by electron microscopy examination of CTL-TC conjugates fixed either immediately after conjugation or during the lytic process. Antibody-induced caps of membrane antigens of CTL such as H-2 and Thy 1, did not show a similar relationship to the MTOC. Incubation of CTL- TC conjugates, 10-15 min at room temperature, resulted in an apparent deterioration of the microtubular system of conjugated CTL. It is proposed that the CTL plasma membrane proximal to the MTOC is particularly active in forming stable intercellular contacts, resulting in CTL-TC conjugation, and that subsequent modulation of the microtubular system of the CTL may be related to the cytolytic response and to detachment of the effector cell.
The formin INF2 promotes the formation of stabilized, detyrosinated microtubules, which are important for centrosome reorientation to the immunological synapse of T cells.
T cell antigen receptor–proximal signaling components, Rho-family GTPases, and formin proteins DIA1 and FMNL1 have been implicated in centrosome reorientation to the immunological synapse of T lymphocytes. However, the role of these molecules in the reorientation process is not yet defined. Here we find that a subset of microtubules became rapidly stabilized and that their α-tubulin subunit posttranslationally detyrosinated after engagement of the T cell receptor. Formation of stabilized, detyrosinated microtubules required the formin INF2, which was also found to be essential for centrosome reorientation, but it occurred independently of T cell receptor–induced massive tyrosine phosphorylation. The FH2 domain, which was mapped as the INF2 region involved in centrosome repositioning, was able to mediate the formation of stable, detyrosinated microtubules and to restore centrosome translocation in DIA1-, FMNL1-, Rac1-, and Cdc42-deficient cells. Further experiments indicated that microtubule stabilization was required for centrosome polarization. Our work identifies INF2 and stable, detyrosinated microtubules as central players in centrosome reorientation in T cells.
Cell polarization is essential for targeting signaling elements and organelles to active plasma membrane regions. In a few specialized cell types, cell polarity is enhanced by reorientation of the MTOC and associated organelles toward dynamic membrane sites. Phagocytosis is a highly polarized process whereby particles >0.5 μm are internalized at stimulated regions on the cell surface of macrophages. Here we provide detailed evidence that the MTOC reorients toward the site of particle internalization during phagocytosis. We visualized MTOC proximity to IgG-sRBCs in fixed RAW264.7 cells, during live cell imaging using fluorescent chimeras to label the MTOC and using frustrated phagocytosis assays. MTOC reorientation in macrophages is initiated by FcγR ligation and is complete within 1 h. Polarization of the MTOC toward the phagosome requires the MT cytoskeleton and dynein motor activity. cdc42, PI3K, and mPAR-6 are all important signaling molecules for MTOC reorientation during phagocytosis. MTOC reorientation was not essential for particle internalization or phagolysosome formation. However Golgi reorientation in concert with MTOC reorientation during phagocytosis implicates MTOC reorientation in antigen processing events in macrophages.
In migrating cells, external signals polarize the microtubule (MT) cytoskeleton by stimulating the formation of oriented, stabilized MTs and inducing the reorientation of the MT organizing center (MTOC). Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) has been implicated in each of these processes, although whether it regulates both processes in a single system and how its activity is regulated are unclear. We examined these issues in wound-edge, serum-starved NIH 3T3 fibroblasts where MT stabilization and MTOC reorientation are triggered by lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), but are regulated independently by distinct Rho GTPase-signaling pathways. In the absence of other treatments, the GSK3β inhibitors, LiCl or SB216763, induced the formation of stable MTs, but not MTOC reorientation, in starved fibroblasts. Overexpression of GSK3β in starved fibroblasts inhibited LPA-induced stable MTs without inhibiting MTOC reorientation. Analysis of factors involved in stable MT formation (Rho, mDia, and EB1) showed that GSK3β functioned upstream of EB1, but downstream of Rho-mDia. mDia was both necessary and sufficient for inducing stable MTs and for up-regulating GSK3β phosphorylation on Ser9, an inhibitory site. mDia appears to regulate GSK3β through novel class PKCs because PKC inhibitors and dominant negative constructs of novel PKC isoforms prevented phosphorylation of GSK3β Ser9 and stable MT formation. Novel PKCs also interacted with mDia in vivo and in vitro. These results identify a new activity for the formin mDia in regulating GSK3β through novel PKCs and implicate novel PKCs as new factors in the MT stabilization pathway.
We have previously shown that microtubule-organizing centers (MTOC's) become preferentially oriented towards the leading edge of migrating endothelial cells (EC's) at the margin of an experimentally induced wound made in a confluent EC monolayer. To learn more about the mechanism responsible for the reorientation of MTOC's and to determine whether a similar reorientation takes place when cell migration is inhibited, we incubated the wounded cultures with colcemid (C) and cytochalasin B (CB), which disrupt microtubules (MT's) and microfilaments (MF's), respectively. The results obtained showed that the MTOC reorientation can occur independent of cell migration since MTOC's reoriented preferentially toward the wound edge in the CB- treated cultures, even though forward migration of the EC was inhibited. In addition, the MTOC reorientation is inhibited by C, indicating that it requires an intact system of MT's and/or other intracellular structures whose distribution is dependent on that of MT's.
Rap1 GTPases control immune synapse formation and signaling in lymphocytes. However, the precise molecular mechanism by which Rap1 regulates natural killer (NK) cell activation is not known. Using Rap1a or Rap1b knockout mice, we identify Rap1b as the major isoform in NK cells. Its absence significantly impaired LFA1 polarization, spreading, and microtubule organizing center (MTOC) formation in NK cells. Neither Rap1 isoform was essential for NK cytotoxicity. However, absence of Rap1b impaired NKG2D, Ly49D, and NCR1-mediated cytokine and chemokine production. Upon activation, Rap1b colocalized with the scaffolding protein IQGAP1. This interaction facilitated sequential phosphorylation of B-Raf, C-Raf, and ERK1/2 and helped IQGAP1 to form a large signalosome in the perinuclear region. These results reveal a previously unrecognized role for Rap1b in NK cell signaling and effector functions.
The compartmentalization of plasma membrane proteins has a key role in regulation of lymphocyte activation and development of immunity. We found that the proline-rich tyrosine kinase-2 (PYK-2/RAFTK) colocalized with the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) at the trailing edge of migrating natural killer (NK) cells. When polyclonal NK cells bound to K562 targets, PYK-2 translocated to the area of NK–target cell interaction. The specificity of this process was assessed with NK cell clones bearing activatory or inhibitory forms of CD94/NKG2. The translocation of PYK-2, MTOC, and paxillin to the area of NK–target cell contact was regulated upon specific recognition of target cells through NK cell receptors, controlling target cell killing. Furthermore, parallel in vitro kinase assays showed that PYK-2 was activated in response to signals that specifically triggered its translocation and NK cell mediated cytotoxicity. The overexpression of both the wt and a dominant-negative mutant of PYK-2, but not ZAP-70 wt, prevented the specific translocation of the MTOC and paxillin, and blocked the cytotoxic response of NK cells. Our data indicate that subcellular compartmentalization of PYK-2 correlates with effective signal transduction. Furthermore, they also suggest an important role for PYK-2 on the assembly of the signaling complexes that regulate the cytotoxic response.
CD94/NKG2; cytotoxicity; microtubule-organizing center; cytoskeletal proteins; HLA-E
Dok-4 is a recently identified member of the Dok family of adaptor proteins, which are characterized by an amino-terminal pleckstrin homology domain (PH), a phosphotyrosine binding domain (PTB) and a carboxy-terminal region containing several tyrosines and poly-proline-rich motifs. Two members of the Dok family, Dok-1 and Dok-2 have already been described as negative regulators in T cells. However, the function of Dok-4, which is also expressed in T cells remains unknown. In this study, we report that Dok-4 is phosphorylated after TCR engagement and shuttled within the cytoplasm of T cells before being recruited to the polarized microtubule organizing centre (MTOC) after the formation of the immunological synapse. Loss-of-function experiments using RNAi constructs show that Dok-4 is a negative regulator of ERK phosphorylation, IL-2 promoter activity and T cell proliferation. Exogenous expression of wild-type Dok-4 induces a significant activation of Rap1, which is involved in the regulation of ERK. The PH domain of Dok-4 is required both for its cytoplasmic shuttling and relocalization as well as for its inhibitory properties on T cell activation. Thus, Dok4 represents a novel negative regulator of T cells.
Amino Acid Motifs; Antigen-Presenting Cells; immunology; metabolism; Cell Communication; immunology; Cell Line; Gene Expression Regulation; Humans; Intracellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins; chemistry; genetics; metabolism; Lymphocyte Activation; immunology; Microtubule-Organizing Center; immunology; metabolism; Phosphotyrosine; metabolism; Promoter Regions, Genetic; genetics; Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell; immunology; Signal Transduction; immunology; T-Lymphocytes; immunology; metabolism; T cells; cell activation; signal transduction; adaptor molecules; protein tyrosine kinases
The T cell receptor–activated tyrosine kinase Lck controls docking of the centrosome at the plasma membrane within the immunological synapse but not polarization of the centrosome around the nucleus.
Docking of the centrosome at the plasma membrane directs lytic granules to the immunological synapse. To identify signals controlling centrosome docking at the synapse, we have studied cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) in which expression of the T cell receptor–activated tyrosine kinase Lck is ablated. In the absence of Lck, the centrosome is able to translocate around the nucleus toward the immunological synapse but is unable to dock at the plasma membrane. Lytic granules fail to polarize and release their contents, and target cells are not killed. In CTLs deficient in both Lck and the related tyrosine kinase Fyn, centrosome translocation is impaired, and the centrosome remains on the distal side of the nucleus relative to the synapse. These results show that repositioning of the centrosome in CTLs involves at least two distinct steps, with Lck signaling required for the centrosome to dock at the plasma membrane.
The translocation of the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) toward the nascent immune synapse (IS) is an early step in lymphocyte activation initiated by T cell receptor (TCR) signaling. The molecular mechanisms that control the physical movement of the lymphocyte MTOC remain largely unknown. We have studied the role of the dynein–dynactin complex, a microtubule-based molecular motor, in the process of T cell activation during T cell antigen–presenting cell cognate immune interactions. Impairment of dynein–dynactin complex activity, either by overexpressing the p50-dynamitin component of dynactin to disrupt the complex or by knocking down dynein heavy chain expression to prevent its formation, inhibited MTOC translocation after TCR antigen priming. This resulted in a strong reduction in the phosphorylation of molecules such as ζ chain–associated protein kinase 70 (ZAP70), linker of activated T cells (LAT), and Vav1; prevented the supply of molecules to the IS from intracellular pools, resulting in a disorganized and dysfunctional IS architecture; and impaired interleukin-2 production. Together, these data reveal MTOC translocation as an important mechanism underlying IS formation and sustained T cell signaling.
The distribution of microtubules and microtubule organizing centers (MTOCs) during the development of cell polarity in eight-cell mouse blastomeres was studied by immunofluorescence and immunoelectron microscopy using monoclonal anti-tubulin antibodies and an anti- pericentriolar material (PCM) serum. In early eight-cell blastomeres microtubules were found mainly around the nucleus and in the cell cortex, whereas PCM foci were observed dispersed in the cytoplasm. During the eight-cell stage, microtubules disappeared from the area adjacent to the zone of intercellular contact and accumulated in the apical part of the cell while their number decreased in the basal domain. The PCM also relocalized to the apical domain of the cell, but this occurred after the redistribution of the microtubules by a mechanism that involved the microtubule network. The possible roles of both MTOCs and microtubules in establishing cell polarity are discussed.
Linker for activation of T cells (LAT) is a transmembrane adaptor protein that is essential to bridge T cell receptor (TCR) engagement to downstream signaling events. The indispensable role of LAT in thymocyte development and T cell activation has been well characterized; however, the function of LAT in cytotoxic-T-lymphocyte (CTL) cytotoxicity remains unknown. We show here that LAT-deficient CTLs failed to upregulate FasL and produce gamma interferon after engagement with target cells and had impaired granule-mediated killing. We further dissected the effect of the LAT deletion on each step of granule exocytosis. LAT deficiency led to altered synapse formation, subsequently causing unstable T cell–antigen-presenting cell (APC) conjugates. Microtubule organizing center polarization and granule reorientation were also impaired by LAT deficiency, leading to reduced granule delivery. Despite these defects, granule release was still observed in LAT-deficient CTLs due to residual calcium flux and phospholipase C (PLC) activity. Our data demonstrated that LAT-mediated signaling intricately regulates CTL cytotoxicity at multiple steps.
This study was designed to investigate the relationship between the
position of the microtubule organizing center (MTOC) and the direction of
migration of a sheet of endothelial cells (EC). Using immunofluorescence
and phase microscopy the MTOC's of migrating EC were visualized as the
cells moved into an in vitro experimental wound produced by mechanical
denudation of part of a confluent monolayer culture. Although the MTOC's in
nonmigrating EC were randomly positioned in relation to the nucleus, in
migrating cells the position of the MTOC's changed so that 80% of the cells
had the MTOC positioned in front of the nucleus toward the direction of
movement of the endothelial sheet. This repositioning of the MTOC occurred
within the first 4 h after wounding and was associated with the beginning
of migration of EC's into the wounded area as seen by time-lapse
cinemicrophotography. These studies focus attention on the MTOC as a
cytoskeletal structure that may play a role in determining the direction of