A network of PDZ-containing proteins regulates T cell polarity and morphology during migration and immunological synapse formation

Immunity. 2005 Jun;22(6):737-48. doi: 10.1016/j.immuni.2005.04.009.


T cell shape is dictated by the selective recruitment of molecules to different regions of the cell (polarity) and is integral to every aspect of T cell function, from migration to cytotoxicity. This study describes a mechanism for the regulation of T cell polarity. We show that T cells contain a network of asymmetrically distributed proteins with the capacity to dictate the subcellular localization of both cell surface receptors and morphological determinants in T cells. Proteins from the Scribble, Crumbs3, and Par3 complexes, previously shown to regulate epithelial polarity, were polarized in T cells containing either uropods or immunological synapses. Reduction in Scribble expression prevented the polarization of cell surface receptors and prevented morphological changes associated with uropod formation, migration, and antigen presentation. By dynamically coordinating molecular distribution throughout the T cell, this network provides a mechanism by which T cell function and polarity are linked.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / immunology
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Cell Polarity / immunology*
  • Cell Shape / immunology
  • Humans
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology


  • Membrane Proteins