From lipid second messengers to molecular motors: microtubule-organizing center reorientation in T cells

Immunol Rev. 2013 Nov;256(1):95-106. doi: 10.1111/imr.12116.


In T lymphocytes, polarization of the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) to the immunological synapse enables the directional secretion of cytokines, cytolytic factors, and other soluble molecules toward the antigen-presenting cell. This is likely to be crucial for maintaining the specificity of T-cell effector responses. Here, we review recent advances in our understanding of MTOC reorientation in T cells, focusing first on the importance of diacylglycerol and protein kinase C isozymes and then on the molecular motor proteins that function downstream to drive MTOC movement.

Keywords: T cells; T-cell receptors; lipid mediators; protein kinases and phosphatases; signal transduction; signaling proteins.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diglycerides / metabolism
  • Dyneins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Isoenzymes
  • Lipids / physiology*
  • Microtubule-Organizing Center / physiology*
  • Myosin Type II / metabolism
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • Second Messenger Systems / physiology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • Diglycerides
  • Isoenzymes
  • Lipids
  • Protein Kinase C
  • Myosin Type II
  • Dyneins