Engagement of the T cell receptor leads to activation of several tyrosine kinases and phosphorylation of many intracellular proteins. This is followed by Ca2+ mobilization and activation of multiple biochemical pathways, including the Ras/MAPK cascade, and several downstream serine/threonine kinases. Membrane-associated adaptor proteins play an important role in T cell activation by coupling TCR ligation at the membrane to distal signalling cascades. Several new membrane associated adaptors have been identified in recent years. LAT (linker for activation of T cells) is an adaptor molecule, which following its phosphorylation associates with Grb2, Gads, PLC-gamma 1, and other signalling molecules. The functional importance of this molecule has been demonstrated by the study of LAT-deficient cell lines and LAT-deficient mice. Two other recently identified adaptor proteins, TRIM (T cell receptor interacting molecule) and SIT (SHP2-interacting transmembrane adaptor protein), which constitutively associate with several surface molecules, bind to PI3K and SHP2, respectively, after T cell activation and might also function in the TCR signalling pathway.