T Lymphocyte Migration: An Action Movie Starring the Actin and Associated Actors

Front Immunol. 2015 Nov 18;6:586. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2015.00586. eCollection 2015.


The actin cytoskeleton is composed of a dynamic filament meshwork that builds the architecture of the cell to sustain its fundamental properties. This physical structure is characterized by a continuous remodeling, which allows cells to accomplish complex motility steps such as directed migration, crossing of biological barriers, and interaction with other cells. T lymphocytes excel in these motility steps to ensure their immune surveillance duties. In particular, actin cytoskeleton remodeling is a key to facilitate the journey of T lymphocytes through distinct tissue environments and to tune their stop and go behavior during the scanning of antigen-presenting cells. The molecular mechanisms controlling actin cytoskeleton remodeling during T lymphocyte motility have been only partially unraveled, since the function of many actin regulators has not yet been assessed in these cells. Our review aims to integrate the current knowledge into a comprehensive picture of how the actin cytoskeleton drives T lymphocyte migration. We will present the molecular actors that control actin cytoskeleton remodeling, as well as their role in the different T lymphocyte motile steps. We will also highlight which challenges remain to be addressed experimentally and which approaches appear promising to tackle them.

Keywords: T lymphocytes; actin cytoskeleton; migration.

Publication types

  • Review