Tec kinases: shaping T-cell activation through actin

Trends Cell Biol. 2004 Aug;14(8):443-51. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2003.07.001.


Following stimulation, T cells undergo marked actin-dependent changes in shape that are required for productive cellular interactions and movement during immune responses. Reorganization of the actin cytoskeletal is also necessary for the formation of an immunological synapse - the convergence of several signaling molecules at the plasma membrane that occurs after effective T-cell receptor (TCR) signaling. Much emerging evidence indicates that the Tec family of tyrosine kinases has a role in actin cytoskeleton reorganization. Specifically, T cells that lack or express mutant versions of the Tec kinase Itk show impaired TCR-induced actin polymerization, cell polarization and regulation of the signaling events involved in cytoskeletal reorganization. These data, as well as other findings, support roles for Tec kinases in actin cytoskeleton regulation.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Actins / chemistry
  • Actins / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / physiology*
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / chemistry
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocytes / enzymology*


  • Actins
  • Tec protein-tyrosine kinase
  • Protein-Tyrosine Kinases