Molecular Dynamics of Co-signal Molecules in T-Cell Activation

  • Takashi SaitoEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1189)


T-cell activation is induced through the TCR microcluster (TCR-MC), which is generated by dynamically recruiting the TCR, kinases, and adaptors to trigger the full activation signal. Co-stimulation receptors also accumulate, mostly at the TCR-MC, and induce signals that positively and negatively modulate the direction and magnitude of T-cell activation. CD28 initially colocalizes with the TCR-MC but then migrates to a distinct region of the cSMAC called the signaling cSMAC, where it recruits and associates with PKCθ, CARMA1, and Rltpr to induce sustained co-stimulation signals leading to NF-kB activation. Although CTLA-4 and PD-1 mediate inhibitory functions in T-cell activation, their molecular dynamics are quite different. Both are expressed only after activation, when they function as feedback inhibition of T-cell activation. Whereas PD-1 initially accumulates in the TCR-MC and then moves to the cSMAC, CTLA-4 directly accumulates at the cSMAC. PD-1 inhibits activation by inducing dephosphorylation of TCR-upstream signaling molecules by transiently recruiting SHP2, whereas CTLA-4 competes with CD28 for CD80/86 binding within the signaling cSMAC. In general, for both positive and negative co-stimulation, these co-stimulation receptors are also clustered in a ligand-dependent fashion, and their colocalization with the TCR-MC is required to mediate co-stimulation signals.


Imaging TCR signaling Microclusters Immune synapse Co-stimulation CD28 CTLA-4 PD-1 



We thank M.L. Dustin, M. Tokunaga, H. Yagita, M. Azuma, and T. Honjo for the collaboration; T. Yokosuka and A. Hashimoto-Tane for the main study; W. Kobayashi, M. Takamatsu, M. Sakuma, and M. Unno for the technical help; and M. Yoshioka and H. Yamaguchi for the secretarial help.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratory for Cell SignalingRIKEN Center for Integrative Medical SciencesYokohamaJapan

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