Plasma membrane LAT activation precedes vesicular recruitment defining two phases of early T-cell activation

Nat Commun. 2018 May 22;9(1):2013. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-04419-x.


The relative importance of plasma membrane-localized LAT versus vesicular LAT for microcluster formation and T-cell receptor (TCR) activation is unclear. Here, we show the sequence of events in LAT microcluster formation and vesicle delivery, using lattice light sheet microscopy to image a T cell from the earliest point of activation. A kinetic lag occurs between LAT microcluster formation and vesicular pool recruitment to the synapse. Correlative 3D light and electron microscopy show an absence of vesicles at microclusters at early times, but an abundance of vesicles as activation proceeds. Using TIRF-SIM to look at the activated T-cell surface with high resolution, we capture directed vesicle movement between microclusters on microtubules. We propose a model in which cell surface LAT is recruited rapidly and phosphorylated at sites of T-cell activation, while the vesicular pool is subsequently recruited and dynamically interacts with microclusters.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / genetics*
  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing / immunology
  • Cell Membrane / immunology*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cytoplasmic Vesicles / immunology*
  • Cytoplasmic Vesicles / ultrastructure
  • GRB2 Adaptor Protein / genetics
  • GRB2 Adaptor Protein / immunology
  • Gene Expression Regulation
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Humans
  • Immunological Synapses / metabolism
  • Immunological Synapses / ultrastructure
  • Jurkat Cells
  • Lymphocyte Activation / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / immunology
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Microtubules / immunology*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure
  • Phosphorylation
  • R-SNARE Proteins / genetics
  • R-SNARE Proteins / immunology
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / genetics*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / immunology
  • Signal Transduction
  • Time-Lapse Imaging
  • ZAP-70 Protein-Tyrosine Kinase / genetics
  • ZAP-70 Protein-Tyrosine Kinase / immunology


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • GRB2 Adaptor Protein
  • GRB2 protein, human
  • LAT protein, human
  • Membrane Proteins
  • R-SNARE Proteins
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell
  • VAMP7 protein, human
  • ZAP-70 Protein-Tyrosine Kinase