Integration of T cell receptor-dependent signaling pathways by adapter proteins

Annu Rev Immunol. 1999;17:89-108. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.17.1.89.


The initiation of biochemical signal transduction following ligation of surface receptors with intrinsic cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase activity is common for many cell types. T lymphocytes also require activation of tyrosine kinases following T cell receptor (TCR) ligation for maximal stimulation. However, the TCR has no intrinsic tyrosine kinase activity. Instead, the TCR must rely on cytoplasmic tyrosine kinases that localize to the TCR complex and initiate TCR-mediated signaling events. Although much has been learned regarding how these cytosolic tyrosine kinases are activated and recruited to the TCR complex, relatively little is understood about how these initial events are translated into transcriptional activation of genes that regulate cytokine production, cell proliferation, and cell death. Recently, it has become clear that the class of intracellular molecules known collectively as adapter proteins, molecules with modular domains capable of recruiting additional proteins but that exhibit no intrinsic enzymatic activity, serve to couple proximal biochemical events initiated by TCR ligation with more distal signaling pathways.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport*
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / immunology
  • GRB2 Adaptor Protein
  • Humans
  • Membrane Proteins*
  • Phosphoproteins / immunology
  • Proteins / immunology*
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins / immunology
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-cbl
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-crk
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism*
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases*


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Adaptor Proteins, Vesicular Transport
  • Carrier Proteins
  • FYB1 protein, human
  • GRAP2 protein, human
  • GRB2 Adaptor Protein
  • GRB2 protein, human
  • LAT protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-crk
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • SHC1 protein, human
  • SKAP1 protein, human
  • SLP-76 signal Transducing adaptor proteins
  • Shc Signaling Adaptor Proteins
  • Src Homology 2 Domain-Containing, Transforming Protein 1
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-cbl
  • Ubiquitin-Protein Ligases
  • Receptor Protein-Tyrosine Kinases
  • CBL protein, human