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The immunological synapse is a specialized cell-cell junction that is defined by large-scale spatial patterns of receptors and signaling molecules yet remains largely enigmatic in terms of formation and function. We used supported bilayer membranes and nanometer-scale structures fabricated onto the underlying substrate to impose geometric constraints on immunological synapse formation. Analysis of the resulting alternatively patterned synapses revealed a causal relation between the radial position of T cell receptors (TCRs) and signaling activity, with prolonged signaling from TCR microclusters that had been mechanically trapped in the peripheral regions of the synapse. These results are consistent with a model of the synapse in which spatial translocation of TCRs represents a direct mechanism of signal regulation.

Original publication

DOI

10.1126/science.1119238

Type

Journal article

Journal

Science

Publication Date

18/11/2005

Volume

310

Pages

1191 - 1193

Keywords

Amino Acid Motifs, Animals, Antigen-Presenting Cells, Cells, Cultured, Lipid Bilayers, Mice, Models, Immunological, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Signal Transduction, Structure-Activity Relationship, T-Lymphocytes