RhoB Mediates Phosphoantigen Recognition by Vγ9Vδ2 T Cell Receptor

Cell Rep. 2016 May 31;15(9):1973-85. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.04.081. Epub 2016 May 19.


Human Vγ9Vδ2 T cells respond to tumor cells by sensing elevated levels of phosphorylated intermediates of the dysregulated mevalonate pathway, which is translated into activating signals by the ubiquitously expressed butyrophilin A1 (BTN3A1) through yet unknown mechanisms. Here, we developed an unbiased, genome-wide screening method that identified RhoB as a critical mediator of Vγ9Vδ2 TCR activation in tumor cells. Our results show that Vγ9Vδ2 TCR activation is modulated by the GTPase activity of RhoB and its redistribution to BTN3A1. This is associated with cytoskeletal changes that directly stabilize BTN3A1 in the membrane, and the subsequent dissociation of RhoB from BTN3A1. Furthermore, phosphoantigen accumulation induces a conformational change in BTN3A1, rendering its extracellular domains recognizable by Vγ9Vδ2 TCRs. These complementary events provide further evidence for inside-out signaling as an essential step in the recognition of tumor cells by a Vγ9Vδ2 TCR.

MeSH terms

  • Actin Cytoskeleton / metabolism
  • Antigens / metabolism
  • Antigens, CD / chemistry
  • Antigens, CD / metabolism
  • Butyrophilins / chemistry
  • Butyrophilins / metabolism
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Genetic Loci
  • HEK293 Cells
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Models, Biological
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Phosphorylation
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics
  • Protein Binding
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Multimerization
  • RNA, Small Interfering / metabolism
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta / metabolism*
  • rhoB GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism*


  • Antigens
  • Antigens, CD
  • BTN3A1 protein, human
  • Butyrophilins
  • RNA, Small Interfering
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell, gamma-delta
  • rhoB GTP-Binding Protein