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The immunological synapse is a specialized cell-cell junction between T cell and antigen-presenting cell surfaces. It is characterized by a central cluster of antigen receptors, a ring of integrin family adhesion molecules, and temporal stability over hours. The role of this specific organization in signaling for T cell activation has been controversial. We use in vitro and in silico experiments to determine that the immunological synapse acts as a type of adaptive controller that both boosts T cell receptor triggering and attenuates strong signals.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1218 - 1222


Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing, Animals, Antigen-Presenting Cells, Antigens, Cell Membrane, Computer Simulation, Cytoskeletal Proteins, Down-Regulation, Endocytosis, Ligands, Lipid Bilayers, Lymphocyte Activation, Major Histocompatibility Complex, Mice, Mice, Transgenic, Microscopy, Confocal, Models, Immunological, Monte Carlo Method, Peptides, Phosphorylation, Protein-Tyrosine Kinases, Proteins, Receptor Aggregation, Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, Signal Transduction, T-Lymphocytes, ZAP-70 Protein-Tyrosine Kinase