Regulation of microtubule-organizing center orientation and actomyosin cytoskeleton rearrangement during immune interactions

Immunol Rev. 2002 Nov;189:84-97. doi: 10.1034/j.1600-065x.2002.18908.x.


The reorganization of membrane, cytoskeletal and signaling molecules during immune interactions is critical for the generation of immune response. At the initiation of the T cell-antigen presenting cell (APC) interaction, antigen-independent weak adhesion forces allow the scanning of the APC surface by the T cell receptor for specific antigens. The stabilization of T cell-APC conjugates involves the segregation of membrane and intracellular signaling proteins, driven by reorganization of membrane microdomains and cytoskeletal changes. In early T cell-APC cognate interactions, the microtubular cytoskeleton undergoes drastic changes that lead to microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) reorientation to the vicinity of the cell-cell contact area. Recent data on the dynamics of MTOC redistribution and its influence in T cell-APC conjugate stabilization, together with the description of an increasing number of signaling molecules associated to this complex, underscore the key role of MTOC translocation in the T cell response. We focus on the mechanisms that control the early MTOC reorientation during T cell-APC interaction and the relevance of this process to T cell activation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actomyosin / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Antigen-Presenting Cells / immunology
  • Cell Communication / immunology
  • Centrosome / immunology
  • Cytoskeleton / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • MAP Kinase Signaling System / immunology
  • Mice
  • Microtubule-Organizing Center / immunology*
  • Models, Immunological
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / metabolism
  • Signal Transduction / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • Actomyosin