The role of membrane-associated adaptors in T cell receptor signalling

Semin Immunol. 2000 Feb;12(1):35-41. doi: 10.1006/smim.2000.0205.


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.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing*
  • Animals
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • GRB2 Adaptor Protein
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes / physiology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / physiology
  • Membrane Proteins / physiology*
  • Phospholipase C gamma
  • Phosphoproteins / physiology
  • Proteins / physiology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology*
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear / physiology
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / physiology*
  • Type C Phospholipases / physiology


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Carrier Proteins
  • GRAP2 protein, human
  • GRB2 Adaptor Protein
  • GRB2 protein, human
  • Isoenzymes
  • LAT protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Phosphoproteins
  • Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Receptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear
  • TRAT1 protein, human
  • nuclear receptor subfamily 0, group B, member 2
  • Type C Phospholipases
  • Phospholipase C gamma