T cell antigen receptor signal transduction pathways

Annu Rev Immunol. 1996;14:259-74. doi: 10.1146/annurev.immunol.14.1.259.


The T cell antigen receptor (TCR) regulates the activation and growth of T lymphocytes. The initial membrane proximal event triggered by the TCR is activation of protein tyrosine kinases with the resultant phosphorylation of cellular proteins. This biochemical response couples the TCR to a divergent array of signal transduction molecules including enzymes that regulate lipid metabolism, GTP binding proteins, serine/threonine kinases, and adapter molecules. The ultimate aim of studies of intracellular signaling mechanisms is to understand the functional consequences of a particular biochemical event for receptor function. The control of cytokine gene expression is one of the mechanism that allows the TCR to control immune responses. Accordingly, one object of the present review is to discuss the role of the different TCR signal transduction pathways in linking the TCR to nuclear targets: the transcription factors that control the expression of cytokine genes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / immunology*


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell